Make hay while the sun shines

There’s a hum in the air. It isn’t from the bees or the flies (though trust me, they are all around). If you stood anywhere on the farm today you would hear the dull but constant hum of a tractor – or tractors. We have had unprecedented good luck with weather this week and everyone is rushing to take advantage of it. The smell of freshly cut hay drifts through car windows and hangs in the air like a perfume of pure sunshine.

Sunshine is what I think of every time I smell hay. It doesn’t matter if I’m standing down in the hay barn on a rainy April afternoon or shaking out a flake of it in front of one of the ladies on a November evening (a chore, I’ll admit, I perform very rarely). Hay smells, well like hay – it’s distinct and rich, there is a warmth and sweetness to it that I can only describe as captured summer.

Anyway, I realized that not everyone knows how hay is made and thus a new project for me. I mean, we all know what a hay bale looks like – it’s iconic, like Mickey Mouse. Children and adults alike, probably all 6+ billion of us, know what a hay bale looks like, but could you tell me the process? What a tedder is? What it looks like? How a baler works? The intricate and finely tuned dance it does to tie the baling twine into a perfect knot? The answer from most would be “no.”

This weekend I’ve been busy taking pictures and probably annoying my brother with my frequent visits to the fields to take “action” shots. I will share it all with you soon.

Happy 4th of July!

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