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*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

Posts Tagged ‘round bales

Wickedly Slick

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This morning the day dawned with an icy glaze covering everything after an overnight dose of wet precipitation. Luckily, we had already aborted any travel plans because of Cyndie’s continuing convalescence from eyelid surgery. The roads are wickedly slick and riddled with auto incidents as depicted by the Department of Transportation map.

No thank you. Unfortunately, Cyndie’s brother and parents had to give up on a plan of driving to St. Peter this morning for a memorial service for Fred’s cousin. We had planned to attend after first learning of the service, but when the appointment for Cyndie’s surgery popped in for the day after Christmas, it changed a lot of our plans.

Yesterday was a very fractured day. Imagine breaking an entire day into 20-minute segments. That was our routine as we strove to adhere to the doctor prescribed routine of icing, then resting her eyes for alternating 20-minute increments over the first 24-hours after the procedure. What better cold pack than a bag of frozen peas?

Today she is supposed to switch to heat pads, four times a day.

I give her credit for being a very good patient.

Too bad she didn’t get out to see the round hay bales in our fields were picked up while we were in Stillwater on Thursday.

Good thing they finished that chore before our roads became as slick as a skating rink. I wouldn’t want to try pulling a trailer of hay in these conditions!



Second Cut

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It’s done now. Yesterday the neighbors rolled up some round bales out of the last cutting of our fields. After a long, wet summer, the harvest was finally completed over the opening weekend of November.

I’ll admit I had my doubts it would ever happen. The weather hasn’t offered much of a break for hay growers this year, so we are pleased to have our renters finally enjoying some last-minute success.

While they were doing that, we were preparing the diesel tractor for winter duty by reattaching weights to the rear wheels. That is not an easy task, as there are two weights for each wheel and each single weight is almost more than I can lift.

That’s probably part of what made it difficult. Since I am able to lift them, even though just barely, I decided to try doing as much of it as possible by hand. When I reached my limit, I coerced Cyndie to help me do battle. After a lot of grunting, huffing, and puffing, we got the weights secured in place with bolts.

It was a heroic effort that we had neglected to take before winter last year, which left the diesel tractor mostly useless during some of the late-season heavy snows. This year we intend to be better prepared.

Just maybe, it will result in us ultimately not needing to use the big tractor. Better safe than sorry.



Written by johnwhays

November 4, 2019 at 7:00 am

Round Bales

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We have a new look to our property lately. After weeks of our mowed hay fields getting wet, the neighbors who rented our fields arranged to have a beef farmer make some round bales out of it. That’s a first for us. It gives the place a different appearance.

Square bales like the ones we used must be picked up right away and moved under cover to keep them dry, but the round bales can be left out in the field. Beef cows are much less picky about what they eat compared to horses, so these bales of old grass that laid in the field for an extended time will still find use as feed.

I snapped that photo from the seat of our lawn tractor while mowing. I installed new blades after work yesterday and tackled two-thirds of the grass before the day started to fade. It’s amazing how hyper-sensitive I can suddenly (temporarily) be about mowing over any potential hazards like sticks, stones, and pine cones in the yard with new blades.

I know from experience that such intense concern does not last. After several accidental incidents of mowing over something I regret, I start to lose my inhibitions and trend increasingly toward reckless abandon. I’m pretty hard on mower blades.

I used to be pretty concerned about hay bales, too.

Not so much anymore.

I kind of like the way the round bales look in our fields. Gives an appearance of at least some level of functional progress. I’m not sure it entirely offsets the derelict impression the paddocks evoke, with the tall grass going to seed like never before, but the bales are a welcome sign of activity in our fields.



Written by johnwhays

July 31, 2019 at 6:00 am