Earlier in the summer, my sister guessed Aug. 4. She was only one day off. Harvey Lippert's big swather, with hay harvester extraordinaire Lori Jasman at the helm, rolled into the driveway about 4 p.m. yesterday.
It took about an hour for Lori to knock down our two small fields of hay. Then, she was on her way, probably over to my sisters' fields.
During a brief stop as she headed out the driveway, I asked her how the hay looked.
"Good," she said.
After dinner Foster and I took off down the lane to see for ourselves.
Yes, it looks pretty darned good. We were worried that this year's crop might be overripe, but the wind rows are green. The hay looks lush and lovely.
We're also guessing (and hoping) that there's substantially more than the 50-some bales we put in the barn last year.
Harvey fertilized the fields this year, and, with continual moisture throughout the summer, which actually caused hay harvesting to be later than usual in some cases, I'm estimating that we may even take in double the amount that was harvested last year.
As far as little Foster is concerned, the newly mown hay smells good, and the wind rows make nice obstacles to jump while racing across the field.
When the bales are in the barns, horses will have another good supply of winter feed, and the dogs will have a new and much larger area for playing.
Plus, I have a new area in which to walk after I've done my chores every morning. On this Thursday, I've already given it a try. During this morning's stroll, I listened to roosters crowing, dogs barking and cows mooing throughout the neighorhood.
A slight mist in the air and a layer of dew on the ground provided an extra sense of freshness in the air as well as a reminder that it may take a couple of days before the hay is dry enough to bale.
Twas a pleasant way to start the day, walking in areas I have avoided since the hay began to grow this past spring. Nice to be back in that field of gentle rolling hills and lovely rural views at any turn.
All is good. Glad to see the hay down and warm weather ahead for finishing the harvest.