First Day of Haying

First Day of Haying

We finally put hay up for the first time this year earlier this week. Rain had delayed the operation for a while. Most were round bales. Two rows of alfalfa became square bales for the horses.

The next morning, early, rain came. Storm clouds stayed for a while.

Sunrise brought rays and shadows of bales, and I stood outside the barn gaping at the sight for a few minutes before sense finally said, “Go get your camera!”

Standing on the bales, I played with the light, snapping before the gold changed to dull yellow with no shadows. Sometimes, the colors changed so quickly I could see the progression in photos shot just seconds apart. Continue reading “First Day of Haying”

The Gift

The Gift

How do I love God? How do I prove my love for God? By doing beautifully the work I was given to do, by doing simply that which God has entrusted to me, in whatever form it may take.

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Photo taken by my grandfather.

I started baling hay when I was ten. My first job was dragging bales toward the back of the wagon. Then someone decided I was better off in the driver’s seat of our Massey Ferguson 1100. So I learned how to inch the tractor forward through the hay field next to a school classmate’s house with the New Holland square baler and wooden hay wagon attached. Turns were tricky, but I got through them with my dad’s help. “Take it wide!” he’d yell from the wagon, hands framing his mouth. “Swing it.”

So I did, and even though there were trees on the edge of that field, I went on through without much commotion. I soon took pride in my ability to let out the clutch gently without making the crew of cousins and other high schoolers stumble. Continue reading “The Gift”

Hey! We’re Making Hay: A Photo Essay

Hey! We’re Making Hay: A Photo Essay

Along with speaking to a group at the 4-H science workshops about my blog (that was pretty cool), writing a freelance article, and other various and sundry tasks, I’ve been in the field a lot over the last two weeks. Almost all of it was raking hay, although I had about an hour and a half where we were loading up small square bales. This time of year, we’re mostly doing round bales since it’s first cutting hay (usually lower quality than second and third cuttings taken later in the summer), but we put up around 75 small bales for a neighbor.

And it was downright hot. I don’t usually wear a hat, but this time I did. Most of my baseball caps are black Purdue marching band hats or a black Progressive Dairyman cap I received for having an article in their magazine a while back. But black is not the most favorable color for being in the sun, so I showcased my white Penn State snap back hat, which is supposedly very cool and hip.

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With my sunglasses, hat and ear plugs, I felt like I was stylin’. Or in my own little world. They were good ear plugs.  Continue reading “Hey! We’re Making Hay: A Photo Essay”