Wednesday, 25 June 2008

Hay Time

Hay making was an interesting time and great fun too, I really enjoyed it. I’d been watching the weather and the other farmers and when the forecast changed and threatened rain I knew I was going to have to get cutting on my own. While cutting on the Friday I kept a good look out for leverets and I found 2. I thought I’d photographed them – I actually stroked the ears of one of them but no photographs were on the camera when I downloaded. I tried checking the camera screen while out in the field but the sun was so bright I couldn’t see a thing.

The buzzard, along with a couple of other smaller birds of prey and a few crows were following me round the field so I chased the leverets into the cover of the surrounding ditch to give them a chance of avoiding the circling horde. I didn’t see the buzzard take anything but the smaller birds had a couple of mice and the crows seemed to be after the locusts. The locusts have grown so quickly; about a month ago they were average size now they are more or less full size, 3 inches, long. I love watching them fly, they seem to me to be like fluttering fairies – hmm maybe I spend too long in the sun. What I also spotted were the beautiful cornflowers and some camomile, so the bunch of flowers at the end of the blog are now adorning my kitchen and just yell summer to me.

Regis arrived Saturday morning and showed me how to set up the tedder and then I spent a very pleasant time turning the hay. As I’ve said in previous posts, there wasn’t much so it dried really quickly and in the afternoon I put it into windrows. Sunday, Regis was away so baling was done on Monday and is in Monday’s post.

So Monday afternoon found me lying on my back on the top of a hay cart surrounded by wonderful sweet smelling hay with a cloudless azure sky above and brilliant sunshine. Life doesn’t get better than that.

We got about 100 bales off the field and have stacked them in the hay loft attached to the house. It was an interesting experience; I’d not been brave enough to venture up there on my own. Nothing to do with any possible inhabitants there but whether the floorboards were rotten. They creaked and bent a bit in places but held and we got the two trailer loads of hay safely stored.

That evening I gave the alpacas some of the hay from the broken bales. They ate it quite quickly so I took some more down a couple of hours later. They almost mugged me for it; I dropped some as the bale was falling apart but continued over to the hayrack to put out the rest. When I turned round they were almost fighting over what I’d dropped. I think I have some very happy alpacas and I’m happy too. They’ve got good hay again and I’ve got easy to manage bales, I can carry it down in one hand and each bale fills the hayrack and there’s no dust or bad hay to sort through. Suddenly feeding them has become a 10 minute job rather than the ¾ hour it used to take to pull enough good hay from the large bales.


Georgina said...

Hi Deborah, Gosh no wonder I can't get hold of you!!! I'm glad you've got your hay in. It's very late this year as is everything else. Debs x

aims said...

Ooohhh! The pic of the woman in the hay loft has me breathing hard - asthma - allergic to hay and I love the smell of it. Drats!

What oh what is a leveret?

dND said...

Debs - I can't get over how long it took summer to get started. There didn't really seem to be much spring either. Then come midsummers day someone flicked the switch and summer arrived with 33 degrees.

Aims - a leveret is a baby hare. It shows how many roots the English language has as the word comes from levere an old French word for hare - the current is lievre.

Georgina said...

Deborah, j'ai un award ici pour toi chez moi! Debs x

Alan said...

Nice picts. You are blessed to be able to see and enjoy the beauty while engulfed in the dusty, sweaty business of hay making.