It hadn’t hit 90 degrees all summer. The day we pulled our hay out of the field, the temperature soared and the hay gods laughed.
We learned from previous years not to call out crew to show up too early. I always thought 9 a.m. was a good time to start, but, in the Coast Range, the dew is still heavy enough in summer to sit on the hay and cause problems if we bale it wet. Teenage boys don’t like showing up at 9 a.m. anyway, so the call was put in for an 11:30 a.m. start.
Considering we had about 21 tons to load in the hayloft, the mood stayed pretty light, hay gods or not. That is what I love about high school kids who get better and stronger every summer since the age of 12. This year, if they weren’t just graduated from school, they were getting ready for football and basketball season, so the bodies were buff and throwing bales of hay looked easy.
We finished the first third of the field and then caught up with the baler. Time for lunch and a nap. Okay,so they admitted it was a bit hot in the hayloft. The crew decided they would prefer to come back when the hay was totally baled and the sun had dropped down. We reconvened at 5 p.m. as my visions of dinner went down the tubes. 600 bales was going to take a bit to haul to the barn, buff boys or not.
I think we finished around 9 p.m. but since it stays light in early July until after 10, it didn’t seem that late. Plenty of times for the boys still to go out. Just enough time for us to take a bath, sit on the couch, and…pass out.
One funny thing happened during the day to demonstrate the minds of our team. When asked about a young woman helping on the farm, I asked the benign question about whether she was hot or not. Think 90+ degrees. Think, “Does she need a glass of water?” Apparently, the young man I asked this of thought I meant the other kind of hot. He babbled a bit. Once we cleared up the confusion, he, at 16, blushed bright red. For my part, I couldn’t decide if it was cute or I felt old. Ah, boys will be boys.
Photos: (top) top of field baled evening before pick-up, facing east;(bottom) finishing up the bales from top of field, headed towards farm stay cabin
All Rights Reserved. Copyright 2010 Scottie Jones