From Pipi’s Pasture: It’s haying season
It has just been a couple of months ago — when we had rainy, cool weather — that ranchers were making predictions about haying season. Some thought that the 2016 haying season would be unusually wet; others predicted that the grasshoppers might be bad. The thing about ranching and farming is that a person never knows. Suddenly, however, haying season is here.
You know that it’s haying season when…
• it starts to rain.
• the wind comes up.
• every field you pass by has cut hay waiting to be baled or bales ready to be picked up.
• machinery in a partially cut or baled field looks as if it’s just “waiting” for somebody to run it — probably someone working at an away-from-the-farm job.
• the cows are looking over the fence, “savoring” the idea of eating freshly baled hay, even though they’re standing in tall grass.
• round bales have been gathered together, ready to be loaded on the trailer, hauled to a stackyard or shed, and stacked.
• a cooler of water is setting in the shade of a pickup truck in the hay field.
• somebody is off the tractor, working on a baler or other piece of haying machinery.
• a pickup truck is “waiting” in the field, loaded with a tool box and extra gas storage tank.
• birds are flying up in the hay field, landing on hay to pick up bugs or perhaps a snake.
• stacks of round or small bales are starting to grow.
• haying is what you hear ranchers talking about at the feed store, grocery store — almost anywhere.
• there’s plenty of activity around the implement dealerships.
• semi trucks, loaded with every size and shape of baled hay, run all directions on the highways.
• lights from farm machinery can be seen in hay fields at night, as ranchers take advantage of dry weather to get haying done.
• clouds of pollen can be seen flying up from fields of uncut hay.
• you see a rancher out in a field, checking to see if the hay is ready to be cut — if the bloom is at the right stage or if it isn’t too green.
• more than one person can be seen in the hay field as they cut, rake, and bale hay — a family affair.
• all eyes are on the sky, hoping to get haying done before the weather changes.
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