Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Hot Summer On The Farm

It's been hot indeed, but I guess we up here in the north country haven't gotten nearly as hot as most other places in the country. On the other hand, few folks up here have air conditioning. I had my tractor parked by the apple trees, waiting for the next load of hay bales to arrive. The chickens pecked around, looking for some tasty bugs to eat:

In the end, I had purchased 61 bales. The chickens looked to see if the new arrivals might have included something edible:

Yellow Wood Sorrel grows commonly in lots of places, but I've been seeing it this year, miniaturized in the lawn. It's so very small that I didn't even recognize it at first:

The purple Tall Garden Phlox began to bloom. The pink ones will soon follow:

The chickens run inside the barn at every opportunity. It's cooler in there and they find spilled grain to eat:

Our recent rains and all the composted manure in the soil by the barn have produced a lovely crop of elegant, translucent mushrooms:

The immature form of the above mushroom, just springing up out of the earth:

The corn is growing wildly now, at least in carefully tended fields. This corn was bordered by Black-Eyed Susans and was particularly attractive:

I purchased two 20X40 tarps to protect the hay bales. The first step was to spread them out in the field beside the rows of bales. Then I tied them together with clothesline:

The neighbors came over to help me put the tarp on top of the hay. It covered three rows, but not the fourth. I'll use the uncovered row first this winter:

But there was a catch. After the first heavy rain, I discovered water puddling atop the tarp, between the bales, and pulling so hard on the grommets that they were ripping out. Unable to think of any other way to solve the problem, I climbed up on the top and shot a .22 into the center of every puddle. That put a hole at the lowest spot, draining it, and always between the bales. I've had to fix the puddle problem two more times, but used a kitchen knife tied to the end of a rake handle. Next year I'll know to stack the bales differently:

I have a pair of Kingbirds nesting in one of the apple trees and they were not happy when I was working with the hay bales. They both dive-bombed me, coming within feet of my head and clacking their beaks loudly and menacingly:

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