Sunday, August 24, 2008
One of three wagons of beautiful alfalfa hay.
The wonderful lads and gents who put up my hay...THANKS!
Once again, we've been blessed beyond our deserving. As you may recall, last year we had a severe drought, ran out of hay and had to buy hay out of North Dakota. It was expensive and, while good hay, not as good as what we are, usually, able to harvest. Just a few days ago, our hay was cut, kicked and then tethered prior to being baled into "square" hay bales. It's always called square hay even though it's rectangular in shape.
At day's end, dead dark really, we had 350 PLUS bales of hay! Thank You, God! It's all in our barn where it will cure and be ready to feed out this winter. The horses are given free choice round bale hay because it's not as rich as our square bale alfalfa. As horse people know, the feed has to be carefully regulated in order to prevent what is, essentially, colic in horses. It's much worse than in humans and can, if not caught in time and treated, cause death. A very painful death for the animal and horrible to helplessly watch. Far better to step in and end the suffering.
These photos were taken on baling day and reminded me of Stonehenge, only to my mind, much better. They represent fodder for my sheep and horses, nutrition for the living when the snowballs come...as my Aunt Rena used to say.
While we think of Autumn as a time of harvest, it's really summer's end that brings in the produce and bounty. Our apple trees, Granny Smith and Wolf River, are both laden with apples to be eaten in hand or dried for dried apple pies this winter. There are blackberries and cherries in the freezer that will make delicious cobblers, two kinds of pickles - bread and butter and lime and a few quarts of peaches and many pints of peach topping. I'll need to can some tomatoes, that is if we can stop from eating them as fried green tomatoes. We enjoy fried green tomatoes and I do them up right, even if I do have to say so myself.
Harvest is good and continues to be good, perhaps a portent of a hard and snowy winter. Bumblebees are making their nests in the ground, the nut trees are heavy with nuts, fruit trees are groaning with their offerings...all things point to a harsh winter.
I hope we get lots of snow because we need the slow, deep moisture only a deep snow can provide. The water table is still down and many springs are still dry. People can gripe all they want to about food and food prices but it's lack of water that will take us more quickly than lack of food. Remember the old saying...three minutes without air, three days without water and three weeks without food? That says it all.
Blessings ~ hay! and lots of it ~ rain, which we need ~ pure air ~ clean water ~ good health ~ and knitting in hand ~