Sunday, May 30, 2010

How Cliff is spending his holiday weekend

Cliff did not plan to put up any hay this year, because haying interferes with our motorcycle time.  Haying has to be done on a weekend when it's sunny and dry:  that's perfect motorcycle-riding weather.  We were going to have Adam buy hay for his horses and store it in our barn, and I'd feed it out for him; we'd buy hay for our cow(s).  
Unfortunately or fortunately, however you want to look at it, we've had record rainfall totals this year, and the grass has gone wild.  It has to be mowed.  The newly seeded pasture is so rank that even if Cliff cut it with the brush hog, the cut grass would kill out new growth.  
So, on this perfect weekend when we could have taken a road trip, Cliff is haying.  
Friday he mowed.  I didn't get any pictures of that, for some reason.  


Yesterday, he raked.  I used one of the raking pictures for my new header.  That Farmall H he's using was a restoration project one winter; grandson Arick, around ten years old at the time, worked side by side with his grandpa.  Cliff had Arick's name put on it, and when he dies or moves to town, that tractor is Arick's.  Cliff tries to use it occasionally, since it isn't good for any old equipment to sit idle all the time.  (After seeing these pictures, I think I finally removed that fingerprint on the lens my son told me about days ago.)  


Today he's bailing, using the Mahindra tractor that we're taking care of for the brother-in-law who moved to St. Louis.  Cliff is an equal opportunity tractor-user.  He's gotten rid of a lot of his collection, though.  Last weekend he sold the John Deere 520 on Craigslist.  


Cliff bought the old round baler for $500; new ones cost thousands.  We could buy a lifetime supply of hay for less than the price of a new baler.  There is a different kind of cost, though, to using aged farm machinery.  


Every time a bale is done, Cliff has to stop the tractor, climb off, get up on the baler, and help it tie the baler twine around the hay bale:  Every. Single. Time.  Cliff's tried to make it work properly, but it just won't do it by itself the way it's supposed to.  At times like these, I realize it's a good thing we only have a little over forty acres, with only about fifteen of it in grass.    
So, how's YOUR weekend going?  Are you getting any motorcycle riding in?  Never mind, don't tell me.


Iris rested in the shade of a big bale of hay while Cliff toiled.

3 comments:

Hollie said...

Sorry you guys aren't getting to ride. I know that's a job baleing hay! Looks like Iris is wore out from watching Cliff do all the work. LOL Have a good day!

Sayit-baldys said...

WHEN A TEENAGER, LOVED HAYBALING TIME.
HORSE DRAWN EQUIPMENT.
NEIGHBOR GIRLS CARRYING WATER JUGS BY HORSEBACK TO SATISFY OUR THIRST.
HORSEDRAWN MOWING MACHINE, CAN REMEMBER THE DISTINCTIVE SMELL OF THAT MOWING MACHINE, LUBRICATING GREASE AND FRICTION OF CUTTER BAR CONTACT WITH THE NEW MOWN HAY.
THERE WAS A LOT OF DRAG AND FRICTION AND IT TOOK A BIG STRONG TEAM OF HORSES TO PULL THAT MOWER ALL DAY.
IMPORTANT TO HAVE A NEWLY SHARPENED CUTTER BAR READY.
YOUNG FOLKS COULD OPERATE THE 'RAKE' THAT WINROWED THE HAY AND TURNED THE WINROWS AFTER BEING IN THE HOT SUN A COUPLE OF HOURS. THE RAKE WAS EASILY PULLED WITH ONE HORSE. PRESSING A FOOT PEDAL RELEASED THE ROLL OF HAY TO FORM THE WINROW.
WHEN DRY TO BALE THE HAY WAS GATHERED WITH THE 'GO DEVIL' PULLED BY TWO HORSES.
BEST NOT PACK THE HAY TOO TIGHT OR IT CAUSED A DIFFICULT JOB FOR THE WORKER TO FORK THE HAY INTO THE MOUTH OF THE BALER.
SEVERAL WORKERS WERE REQUIRED. STACK IT ON THE HAY WAGON AND TAKE IT TO THE BARN FOR STORAGE. sam

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

It is a very hot and sunny one here. I just turned the Air on in the camper as otherwise it would heat up really bad. I won't be sitting in it all day but enjoying my spot in the shade with some good cold lemonade. I'm babysitting for my son while he and his wife go canoeing with DD and her hubby. Hope your day is a good one and that Cliff takes some breaks out of that heat.