I can't remember a summer in many, many years where I haven't thrown a few bales of hay. I probably started when I was 15 or 16. I hayed for my grandpa Young for many summers, I hayed with Joel at his parent's house, and with him over at Glen McNeils, and most recently it has been for Shelly's dad, and for my uncle Larry. Domesticated animals come with a price. For most of the year they don't feed themselves, nor can they survive on their own in our environment. Horses, cows and sheep eat an incredible amount.
(Shelly and her mom Gladys.)
The baler read 895 bales. Probably only 6 or so were broken. A bale is about 45 pounds. Most are about three and a quarter feet in length and about a foot and a half wide. Even though I had help in the mow, I touched pretty near all three quarters of the bales. Like shingling it starts easy enough. Now mowing doesn't require the precision of shingling, it requires a bit of engineering so they don't all topple down. After a while it becomes dustier, the bales seem heavier, there is the odd snake in the assortment, and with the afternoon heat it becomes much hotter.
At any rate, we started just after two, and by seven Larry's goal of 900 bales were in the barn.... It is very relieving and satisfying to know that one has sufficient food to feed 4 horses and 20-something sheep through October to April... Well, there is still the second cut. That can be for the sheep. Plus he'll round bale up a few dozen from that supply. I had my camera, I meant to take some photos of the progression, but I didn't. However I am sure there will be another opportunity in the future to document this chore.
Lastly this weekend marked my 38th. July 13th. I hit 38 with a ton more grey hairs on my face, a bit more limp in my running step, and feeling a bit aged. However, here I am. I can't do too much about getting older, so I don't fight it too much.
Not to mention Shelly and I hit 3 terrifically, marvelous years. July 10th was that milestone. We celebrated by getting a babysitter, going out for a fantastic meal, and then we hit up the beer tent in Goderich to enjoy a few cold ones, and listen to The Full Nelsons.