Life on a family farm
in the wilds of
Upstate New York
Tuesday, September 29, 2015
Hold on to Summer
This may be the last warm day. Heavy rains tonight with colder temps to follow. It's downright dry, but I can't say I like to see the rain get started. It tends to forget how to stop.
When we went to sleep yesterday local farmers were chopping corn in the dark, headlights on the machinery lighting up the night. I saw a video one area farm shared of the corn shivering and shaking as it was gathered by the corn head to be chopped for silage. It sure took me back. If I chopped all day, watching closely to line up the rows of corn with the openings in the head, come sleepy time I would see corn shaking before my eyes all night.
It always bugged me, but then I didn't chop all that much corn, being more of a hay specialist. Sometimes I went a whole summer and only sheared one or two shear bolts on the chopper. The boss was kind of proud of me. And although it required a bit of concentration to keep track of the tractor engine, the chopper head....feed rolls, little pointy-toothy-pick-up things, the chopping mechanism itself, the direction of the discharge chute, how full the wagon was, and whether all the wheels were still on everything and still turning, I more or less liked chopping hay. After a few years at it I got almost as good as a 13-year-old boy at backing the chopper up to a wagon so I could hook it up myself...and then along came a boy and I didn't need to do it any more. Never had to do any of it in the dark though, although the guys did. However, I can remember at least one time when the kids were small and we lived down in town, packing all three of them up and going up in the fields after ten PM to find the boss who hadn't come home...I was real scared I'll tell you.
He was fixing a forage wagon head by flashlight, so he could get the load off before all the chains were pinned by the weight. He was not in any way a happy man.... Anyhow, on farms around here it's hurry up, hurry up, beat the bad weather and get 'er done. I spent a few minutes on the sitting porch this morning...been too busy for much of that lately...and picked up a year bird-Field Sparrow-but I have a bad case of too restless to sit still.
And you know what that means. Something is up weatherwise. The boss needs to get a load of hay off today. Guess I, or Becky and I, will put it on the elevator because the hay is too high up near the roof to just dump it in. So I guess today will involve hurrying up to hang on to the last vestige of summer before things change.....