Monday, August 9, 2010

Hauling Hay

Last weekend we gathered a portion of the family and a few friends to head out to the field and haul hay. It's that time of year. Time to stock up for the winter months when the pasture is covered with snow. We have learned to do this in rounds. We help our friends, they help us in return and the work goes by much faster and we all have a better time doing it. Little Doop's anticipation of this event was so great. He had watched JM and his friends haul hay the night before we started our own and on that night he wasn't equipped to participate. He would for sure be prepared the following day when it was time to head out again. He dreamed all day long about the opportunity to lift his first bale of hay. He just knew he was going to be able to throw them on the trailer like the bigger boys, but his heart and effort just weren't great enough to lift something so much larger than himself and he was immediately disappointed in his result. No worries. He will have plenty more chances at the hay hauling business.

There are many things that are not so enjoyable about hauling hay, but there are also many things that are. Among my favorites are the scenery and the smell. I love fresh cut hay. It reminds me of being little and going out with my dad and grandpa. My grandpa's hands were twisted and gnarled much like my dad's are now, and so he always drove the truck and supervised. My dad worked hard throwing the bales on by himself, and when I was old enough I would throw them along side him trying to keep up and make a difference in the load he carried. I enjoyed it. The hot summer sun, and the cool drinks afterward were another part of the pleasure. Of course now my grown up eyes don't see as much fun in the work as they used too, but now I notice the scenery that I once did not. I love being out on these farms where there are no houses to block the sky, and on this night a storm passed overhead as we worked in the field.

Although little Doop was not successful at moving any of the bales, the younger kids did a great job of rolling the bales out of the way so the truck could pass through making the whole process much more efficient.

It was a hot job, and Seej worked up a good sweat. I was proud of her for digging in and helping out.

The teamwork continues as the driver goes slow enough for the guys to throw the hay on, yet fast enough to get it done quickly. In this case there were three people throwing hay on while JM and his friend did the stacking. Things go much faster when everyone is working together.

And where was Lou? Well, she was rolling bales out of the way right along side Seej until she got a blister on the back of her foot. Unfortunately this benched her for the second half of the game, and she spent the rest of the time riding in the back of the truck enjoying the rest.

Doop's disappointment over not being able to help didn't last too long. He made his way into one of the trucks and practiced his duck call. Hunting season is coming soon, and trust me I definitely wanted to shoot something after listening to him blow on that thing for an hour!

I love watching JM haul hay. He has a strong work ethic, and it's one of the qualities I love most about him. Those are my dad's hay hauling chaps he has on. They are one more thing that take me back in time. I vividly remember my dad using the hay hooks and wearing those chaps sweating out in the summer sun. Oh how I wish he could still wear them, but I have to admit that JM wears them well.

Just as we headed back from round 2 the storm passed over, and the sky was beautiful.

It made me want to visit this place more often.

Back at the house the hay elevator is put into place to make the stacking in the barn an easier task. Several of the guys unload the trailer, and the hay is placed on this conveyor belt and taken to the top where JM and his friend are once again the stackers.

Stacking the hay in the barn is an important job. It must be kept dry and stacked in a fashion that won't topple over, and this can be a challenging task. Especially when it gets closer to the top, but these two are old pro's.

And as they stack the kids look on wishing that they could climb to the top of the stack as well. They laugh and they joke as the kids harass them, and soon the job is complete.

When everything is said and done everyone is hot and tired. Even these two are worn out just watching, or maybe their just tired of waiting. They always think their hungry!


Bobbidee said...[Reply to comment]

Love that! The pics are beautiful. I so want to practice. Very nice.

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