Saturday, May 16, 2015

Making Hay

May 2013
     Spring is morphing into summer very quickly around here. The fields are lush and the grass is heavy with seed. Certain meadow birds seem to love the fields this way. We hear them sing from within its depths and answer one another's calls. We have been endlessly entertained watching the them and there is always a new-to-us bird popping up in the yard. This week it was a Northern Flicker, pecking at the ground and looking every bit like a woodpecker. The distinct, black crescent at its neck quickly helped us identify it. It is in fact a type of woodpecker, but one who pecks for bugs on the ground.
     The fields come alive on breezy days when the wind blows the tall grass like ocean waves. Now, with the presence of seed heads, the waves shimmer as they oscillate back and forth with the wind. The movement is hypnotizing to watch and I try to follow the wind's patterns, but it shifts and plays with my eyes every time. I can only enjoy it because I do not suffer with allergies the way poor Tess does. She looks forward to the day when the grass is mowed and she gets a reprieve from her itchy, puffy eyes.
     Speaking of mowing, I finally found someone to cut our small field. Without horses on the field, the grass has come back thick and hearty. The man who used to mow for us has sold his animals and has moved on, so we needed to find someone else willing to come and take the hay. I've always liked the idea of this exchange; we get a nicely mowed field and the farmer gets bales of hay. It's a win-win situation. However, with the cost of diesel fuel and equipment maintenance, it's not really worth it for a farmer to cut a field like ours that only gives a small yield. Also, many farmers have other day jobs and do their farming on the side so, time is tight for them. As is done in the business world, I figured "networking" was the solution to our problem. I started networking by putting word out that we needed our field cut. Most networking might occur in offices, coffee shops and power lunches, but my successful connection was made in the road, literally. On one of my walks, the man from whom we used to by our hay stopped to say hello. When we bought our land fourteen years ago, this man's father was the one cutting the hay. They are kind and gentle neighbors who live on a farm a couple of miles behind our road. I asked him if he had time to cut our hay. I knew he had another job in addition to helping care for his parents' farm and cutting the hay for the people across the road from us with 300+ acres. He said yes and on his word I know he will do it. I am thankful for neighbors like this. It is no small task for him to bother with our few acres when he already has so much to do.
     The land will look entirely different after it is mowed. It never fails to startle me when we drive up to the house one day and see all the grass is gone. Tess will be glad, of course. When the girls were young (and sometimes still) they would jump from the hay bales and have a day or two to play around them. Who needs playground equipment when there are hay bales?! A field dotted with hay bales creates another beautiful landscape of which many an artist has painted. I often grab the camera and photograph the fields in this state. I'm sure most people think they are the most boring pictures ever, but I love them. By the way, the 300+ acre property across the road is for sale. The photo above is a small section of it. For a cool one and a half million dollars, it comes with a house... and beautiful, waving grass.


  1. Wow. I don't think those pictures are boring; they bring back a glimpse of my childhood. My siblings and I could play on hay bales a whole day. Sometimes I feel so bad for my city kids, not to experience some place like yours or like what I knew growing up. But like a little kiss from God, we have discovered a hummingbird nest in the huge eucalyptus tree in our very small front yard this week. It has enchanted all of us as we watch the mother on her eggs. We rarely get to observe such miracles in Phoenix.

    As usual I love your longer post, so very Thoreau. What a great start tom my day! Thanks, Leonora.

  2. thank you for your delightful words

  3. thank you for your delightful words

  4. Such a lovely view! And I commented on this post - I'm certain, but somehow it didn't "take"! It was a good comment, too! Oh well -