Wednesday, July 20, 2011

HEY!! That’s it is..

That time of year again - and the saga continues. I have a personal hay field which has been cut and baled by a neighbor for years. I never know from one season to the next whether or not his services will be available, and it is not as though there is a lot of local competition for the privilege of doing it. The ideal cutting week (3rd week of June) came and went this year - the weather was not terribly cooperative and the person in question was simply not around. I began getting more and more troubled about what to do - it is a six acre field which contributes quite a bit to my annual needs, plus if it weren’t cut, then what? There would be no second cutting (although the bobolinks would be happy - their fledglings would have a rare chance to survive the haying season). Should I just brush hog it? Geez, how wasteful. Plus I had given the town permission to plant sugar maple saplings along the perimeter, to support the initiative of replacing the ancient (and decaying) sugar maples which line the major roads in Plainfield. Not only are they beautiful, but they have long contributed sap to the maple sugar houses in town. Now, however, new trees must be twenty feet back from the road (unlike the originals which are almost IN the road in many cases) so two sides of my field perimeter are dotted with these little trees and their support stakes - kind of an obstacle course for someone trying to cut.

Finally I broke down and begged another neighbor to help. He is among the busier humans on the planet, and I had no great hope that he would be able, but mirabile dictu he agreed, and so it happened. I never saw such a good job in my life. He cut between each little tree so cleanly that it looked like he used scissors, for pete’s sakes. And into the corners. And around the electric pole. It was beautiful to see. He tettered and tettered for several days - and then, the fell clutch of circumstance intervened and an unpredicted tiny micro-burst cell of rain came through. It poured buckets at his house, making puddles and rivulets, and he and his wife were in fits of worry and upset. So much so that they actually drove to my field to assess the damage, the dears, only to find that barely four miles away it had hardly drizzled. Kind of a heavy dew, no more. It was a miracle. The hay was perhaps a touch more brown than it would have been, but it was just fine. The horses (who constitute the acid test) like it very much.

Here’s the pisser. I had gotten (paid for) between six and eight hundred bales off that field for many years. This year - and there is no less hay - I got four hundred....

No comments:

Post a Comment