Thursday, May 04, 2006

Paying Dues

This is one of those days when I wonder if I am *really* cut out to be a farm wife... I love living on the farm, but some days aren't as idyllic as others, and this is work that needs to be done. On the other hand, it was nothing a trip to town and some new paper and ink couldn't help alleviate. ;-) Whether or not to leave and get away from the noise and dust was never the question -- how long to stay away was another issue!

I have been creating like a maniac in my newly cleaned studio, but I can't share pictures of my latest project just yet. It's a surprise... So in the meantime, I'm going to tell you what's been going on here all day, and then you can decide for yourself if the inks and (beautiful, gorgeous, luscious, HAND-MADE) papers were worth the gas for the trip!

Both the north field and the west field were mown yesterday. A dry east wind has been blowing ever since, so a light fluffing was all the grass needed before it was ready to be chopped and packed in the silo. Unfortunately, I didn't think to get out my camera until the "fluffer-nutter" (as I call it) had already left. It is a fascinating machine to watch in action.

Here we are looking into the north field where you can see the chopper (in front) blowing the grass into the truck behind it. This truck will then take the grass to the other side of the farm to the silo for packing. The other truck on the right is waiting to take its place when the first truck is full.

This is the same truck dumping its load of grass in front of the silage pit, all ready for the tractors to push up into a neat, tidy, and well packed-down pile so that it can ferment properly without drying into hay or developing mold. That's Jake in the tractor on the right -- I haven't seen him all day. I wonder if he has had anything to eat yet...

Off it goes to get back in line for another load. And so it goes... and goes... and goes...

They've been at it all afternoon, and, while progress is being made, they won't be done for a while yet. (It's nearly 6:30 p.m. now.) Jake's dinner will be VERY cold by then...

What we go through to feed our cows!

This is the part that makes me nervous. Those tractors are plenty big enough for the job -- at least they look big enough when they are down on the ground where they belong. But look how high up they go!!!

Man was not meant to crawl around like a bug in big machines on top of huge piles of stuff, no matter HOW much fun they're having.

It's not nearly as nerve wracking to watch as when they o corn in the fall, but it still makes me plenty thankful when the grass is all piled up and covered and my man is safely back down on the ground. It's not that I don't trust him to know what he's doing... I just can't bear to watch!

The curse of an over-active imagination!

Julianna the llama and Penny the old pony are sublimely unconcerned.

It is a beautiful evening.


Judi said...

Very cool. Why does the grass have to ferment? Are you trying to get your cows drunk? Just kidding. Why do you ferment grass?

JudiA said...

That's not a silly question! There isn't enough sugar in the grass to form alcohol, but it DOES become an issue with the corn... The fermentation process turns the grass into silage, and keeps it from rotting or composting. Sort of like sauerkraut for cows, if I understand it right.