We made our final cutting of alfalfa on Sunday. My eldest son and I took a few pictures as dad was cutting the hay. It was neat to see the swallows swooping in and grabbing bugs behind the mower. There were also quite a few dragonflies out. Most of the dragonflies and swallows are already on their way out. Dad noticed the barn swallows started leaving about 10 days earlier than normal this year.
Watch for the swallows catching bugs in this video:
Yesterday we got the materials lined up so we could rebuild the wagon. Today, after a long, hard day we got the wagon back together.
The kids were all there helping grandpa while I was at work. I came home in the afternoon and we got it wrapped up just in time to bale up the alfalfa. The wagon isn’t really finished, we just did enough to use it to haul hay. It was originally grain-tight with side walls but those will have to wait. We were running short on time so we just threw together a headache rack out of scrap material. We have plans for something more permanent.
Then off to the field. We had a couple of hiccups with the baler but the bales are tight and heavy.
Dad drives the baler, I catch, carry and stack the bales. It was a little breezy and about 75 degrees. I wish all baling weather was as nice.
Here’s the rebuilt wagon loaded with hay.
We have quite a bit of metal to put on to hold the sides in place…once we build new sides. But it’s not an impossible project.
The icing on the cake was the ant colony that had moved into the hay elevator motor. The motor burned up so we couldn’t unload the wagons. Oh well.
Like the guy who gets up early to make the doughnuts, I get up early to make the chickens happy. Every morning they get clean sheets, fresh water and a nice breakfast of fresh greens and feed. For reference, here is tomorrow’s alfalfa:
This is the alfalfa minutes after I moved the tractor. See how much is stepped on and eaten?
This is the alfalfa they just left behind. Can you see where the waterer was? How about the edge of the tractor?
You can see where the tractor has been over the last few days. You can also see where the chickens sleep.
Intense disturbance followed by rest should make a similarly visible positive difference when the plants fully recover.
I should also point out that the waterers need nearly constant attention. I keep a toilet brush with the tractors so I can scrub out the bell waterers several times/day.