The Start of Haying Season

Few things make my Rancher more happy than sitting in an air conditioned swather cutting good hay. I mentioned last week that J got started cutting Wednesday afternoon; he cut all day Thursday too. Thursday evening J’s folks came home to help hay. They surprised us with visitors, J’s Aunt and Uncle. This is the same Uncle that loves to come help us in November. Uncle was itching to work so J sent him to raking hay.

With J in the hay field and Uncle raking (which is my job) I kept myself busy with skirt work. Hay season means we aren’t in the house or in the yard much and I better have my “ducks in a row.” The house is clean, laundry caught up, odd jobs are tied up and I even got a few goodies made and stashed in the freezer.

July 3

The 4th of July was our first real summer like day. It was breezy, 90* and humid. We don’t get much humidity in western South Dakota so we always notice “sticky” days. The last time it was close to 90* was the Tuesday after Memorial day. We turned the air conditioner turned on for the first time this summer. Monday’s high was back to the low 80’s.

July 3

Sunday afternoon I climbed in the raking tractor, J’s Dad baled and J kept swathing. All was going good. After two hours of raking I broke the rake. Not replace some rake teeth or a spring type simple fixes; I broke the rake. Before I told J how bad I broke the rake I reminded him that our wedding vows included the words “in good times and in bad.” J’s Dad got the rake limped home while I went to get J. It took all four of us to get the rake tore apart. Early Monday morn J headed to North Dakota to see if a mechanistic could get us up and running again.

July 8

J was home by noon with the fixed piece and after dinner we got the rake put back together. While making sure we had things fixed correctly we found a hose leaking. J made a flying trip to small town for a replacement hose. On top of all the rake troubles yesterday was too windy to rake. On extreme windy days raking makes a mess of the hay. At least J’s Dad was able to peck away at baling and make some visible progress.

So goes ranch life, the weather determines what and how we can do our work. Breakdowns determine how efficient we can be and brings out our teamwork and mechanical abilities. Today we are optimistic about getting in a good full days work.

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9 Responses to The Start of Haying Season

  1. Sandra says:

    Busy time, but it is always nice to have hay for the winter!

  2. Julie says:

    Thanks for sharing! Interesting!

  3. Cheri says:

    Ugh! Sorry about the break down! Not like you can just go across the street to get a part.
    That’s awesome J’s Uncle came to help.
    Love the part, for better or worse! Ha! 🙂
    Happy haying.

  4. Myla says:

    I love that you refer to housework, etc. as ‘skirt work’! I’ll be stealing that. 🙂 And reminding husbands of wedding vows is never a bad way to divulge an oops!

  5. Rancher says:

    I tore things up on our ranch this past weekend… It was our mower.
    Glad you got things fixed back up and weren’t down for long.
    Here’s to hoping the weather stays dry and the wind lays down, so you all can finish up.
    Good Luck!
    Rancher Girl

  6. Jen says:

    I love reading about your days. It amazing me how organized and handy you all are. I guess you’d have to be. Company is always nice, company that loves to jump in and help…. even better :).

  7. I’m sorry to hear/read about the setback (broken machinery) in your haying efforts. However, machines do breakdown from time-to-time and weather can either be in your favor or not. I hope the remaining tasks go without incident.

  8. J. Rhoades says:

    We’re in the middle of hay season here too, but it’s running so far behind for us this year – a trade off for the rain and cooler temps I suppose! I just learned how to rake for the very first time this past week, and while I’m rather slow and far from perfect, I went a while by myself in the tractor and didn’t break anything or crash! Yay!

    • Robyn says:

      Way to go, Miss Jamie! Glad you are getting a chance to help on the ranch and that you are getting lots of hay.

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