Saturday, September 6, 2014

♫I Want To Mow Brome...♫ or ♫Hay Down, Hay Down....♫

Bruce has a strange quirk, he can integrate song lyrics into everyday tasks, instead of Bobby Bare singing, "I want to go home, I want to go home...." Bruce will be in the hay field singing, "I want to mow brome....". His brother in law, John Rogers, upon heard Hank Ballard singing Finger Popping Time, "Hey now, Hey now..." translated it to "Hay Down, Hay Down!" With all the rain we have had this summer, putting up hay has been challenging to say the least, we had both brome, for my horses, and alfalfa for the cattle down most of the week, with very poor drying conditions. Today finally, Bruce was able to rake the fields and about 4:30 we went out to bale the brome since it was the driest.

There is baling hay and then there is baling hay, for the horses we get out the old New Holland baler and put the hay in small square bales that I can handle myself. It's a lot of work and Bruce does most of it, stacking the bales on the rack and then in the barn. I get off pretty easy, driving the baler and unloading off the rack. Usually it is about 100 degrees in the shade when we do this but it was a gorgeous day today, sunny and cool. This is my view from the little Deutz tractor, we have big Deutz also, my job is the run the back tire right next to the windrow so the baler can pick it up.

This is Bruce's job, stacking a bale....

...going back to wait for the next one to pop out of the baler.

He's hot footing it to this pasture gate so I can drive in and turn around to go back and pick up the next windrow of hay.

The breakdowns don't happen often but it's always frustrating, not only did the twine roll up in the 'knotters', so 2 bales did not get tied....

...when I started the baler, I didn't have it running fast enough and heard a BANG! The pin in the flywheel sheared so that had to be fixed.

This time Bruce got on the tractor and ran it to see if everything was working correctly.

The haystack grows as we near the end of the field.

These are the soybeans that are starting to turn, our first field, eventually all the leaves will fall off and just the brown stalk and bean pods will be left.

Bruce does all the fun jobs, such as getting this long outfit, out of this gate without running into the posts or losing bales of hay.

The tractor and baler are through, can he get the hayrack also?

Yes he can! And narry a bale of hay on the ground....

...and we are off, down the road to the pond where more hay is waiting to be bundled and tucked away into the barn for winter. Both drivers hug the ditches as we meet.

This is a selfie I took of me.

Bruce gets a little rest while I make a big turn with the tractor, he's rapidly running out of room on the rack.

Back at our barn, I'm throwing the bales inside and Bruce stacks them.

Murphy got in the way of one bale, she didn't understand, "GET OUT OF THE WAY!" and ended up under a bale. She took refuge at the top of the stack and stayed there until we finished.

There were a few bales that were too green to put in the barn so we took them to the cows in the pasture, I was driving the tractor and Bruce was throwing them in the bunk. We are supposed to be the weaker sex, you know.

This is how Bruce and his dad put up all their hay for years, thousands of bales, each one moved at least three times by hand.

Makes you tired just thinking of it, doesn't it?

Then some enterprising person invented the big round baler so now Bruce can go out in shorts, if he chooses, bale his alfalfa.....

...put it in the barn....

...and take it out of the barn, all from the comfort of his tractor.

God Bless America!


  1. Pictures evoke memories, and memories evoke reminiscent smells..and this one is one of theeee best smells in the whole wide world.... freshly mowed or baled hay . Your view from "your spot" on the tractor was my old spot. I could smell the old tractor smell (although for me it was the MM tractor, wasn't allowed to touch the Deutz which was brand new) but that old MM always smelled like the gasoline you fed it with....ooh Ioved that smell too! Not to mention the great tan I would get driving the baler! But, always a hot house flower, I never had to unload any loads, all I had to do was drive drive (think of the Everly Brothers song :All I have to do is dream....) Yes, I grew up with changing lyrics to those songs... we all are a bunch of quirks!!

  2. I had a hard time seeing you in your selfie, but in the third look at it I see you in the shadow with a big hat and hand up taking the picture. GOOD ONE.

  3. Shirley is right, the smell of that hay is glorious all right. I can just hear Brucie with his songs, that and stepping on the brake pedal to the beat of a song while shirley and I would lurch forward with every braking.....he is a unique, one of a kind, weird in an oh so loving way brother!! Glad I'm not out there sweating on the bale rack, closest I ever got to one was when I was ~ 10 years old, running back and forth on one and of course, I was barefoot and ZING got a heck of a sliver in the upper pad of my foot. From then on I had a 'hate' relationship with bale racks!!