Rain on the hay – my language could be stronger…

This year, every time we cut the hay it rained. This time it rained then it snowed then it dried beautifully. My friend and I walked out to the hay makers field before lunch yesterday. She had come down to help me with the winterizing.  Lunch would  be pumpkin soup made with pears and lemon accompanied by a lively white wine. With pizza bianca and pastrami (more on that tomorrow) and lettuce from my little patch.   I said,  as we walked, the man is coming to bale the hay this afternoon.  We stood in the field and leaned down to gather fragrant barely dried handfuls of green cow food goodness. Look at that, I said, as it broke perfectly but still holding its leaves.  I threw it in the air and it floated gently to the ground.


I smiled and said the bad word. Perfect.  As I spoke she looked at me and jumped slightly, startled, blinking her eye. I felt a rain drop, she said. No. I said. I spoke looking skyward. Light grey clouds, sitting like a lid but no rainclouds, no rain in the forecast.


And as I looked up and around, dragging her eyes up with me, it rained. No. I whispered. Not again.  But yes. We gathered ourselves together, tucking our chins in, arms folded, heads slightly bent to keep the rain from our eyelashes and scuttled back to the house.

It was a good shower.  It was still raining as we sat down to lunch and then drizzling  as we took the bottle and a couple of glasses to the fire place. And tailing off as we called the dogs in. And though the rain came down and the day darkened and the last of the leaves fell outside and the dogs collapsed in heaps by the fire,  I was happy to enjoy a blissful afternoon, a break with a friend,  a rare few hours sitting by the fire, our legs curled beneath us in big orange  chairs, our glasses almost  but not quite forgotten and our conversation dancing like butterflies on ether with the power of flowers, from this to that and back to this other thing. Girl talk.  Intelligent, well read, girl talk. The hay would be worried over later. The wringing of hands could wait.


The hay man came in the night and baled the wet hay into round bales. He will take them away and feed them immediately to his own cows. He has a big crew to feed. It would be mouldy before Daisy and Queenie has even begun.  At least this way it will not be wasted.


He will give me some of his dry bales as a fair exchange. But I hated to see it go. It had been a perfect crop until that miserable bloody shower.  Failed again. Foiled again. Foibles.  Smoibles. Toy bells.  Ah well. My friend and I had a lovely day regardless.

Today I am going to go to the barn to diligently scoop and clean. Then I will write 5,000 words. 5,000 legible words that is.  Piper paying time.

Have a lovely day.

your friend on the farm,


48 Comments on “Rain on the hay – my language could be stronger…

  1. Gorgeous photos. That usually happens to us but with traffic! No sooner are the words “it’s not so bad today” trailing in the air do we see the red brake lights all around us. Murphy’s law.

  2. Sorry about the hay that is such bad luck. But what good luck that the hay man will take your wet hay and replace it with dry. Love the first picture, the light is wonderful.

    • This time of year every field is a different shade, I am endlessly trying to get a good shot of it. Sometimes i would like to be suspended by a crane above the landscape so that I could get the angle of an angel. c

      • If I was closer you could climb on top of our combine! LOL Or! You could climb to the top of our tallest grain bin!!! I’d wait on the ground if you don’t mind! 😉

  3. Or, four loads of laundry on the line. Check the sky: clear, blue, innocent of clouds. Jump in the car to do something in town. Once there, the heavens open. The laundry is drenched, fallen off the line, dirty again by the time you get back. Rain has a way of drastically affecting our language, and not for the better, usually.

  4. Foibles, smoilbels and toy bells..such language ….I could think of other words that I would have said…..there goes that saying again…never rains but it pours….

  5. The light and vista in that first image are stunning. Spoken by a true prairie girl, you know.

    As for the rain falling upon the alfalfa, weather is one thing you cannot control in farming, which, of course, you know. Not all is lost given that bale exchange.

  6. Isn’t time with girlfriends just wonderful?! So glad you both could enjoy the day, even with the rain coming down on the hay. And wonderful you can switch it for some dry bales. xoxoxo

  7. The rain is such a fickle ally. Good for you, putting it all aside to have a good afternoon. I hope those 5000 words did as they were told at least and marched right out on to the page .

  8. I am so happy you and your friend were able to enjoy each other. What would a woman do without a friend or two to have smart conversation and reflections on the state of life? I don’t have many close friends but I cherish the ones I have 🙂

  9. yes….yes….
    i watch the local farmers’ fields. i watch the weather. i think [i PRAY] …. all those who count on the hay….

  10. What lovely prose, Celi. My heart ached for you as I read this piece. The life of farm folks isn’t an easy life without troubles and disappointments. Mother nature goes about her business of rain, sleet, snow, wind, and temperature variances, and the farmer endures it all without question. Some years present much heartache and still, the farmer presses on, in hope that next year will be one to marvel at and give prosper. I love your passion, my friend. You are a beautiful soul…

  11. “Bad hay day”–perfect! Your images today are so lovely. Every single one of them.

  12. Oh dear, foiled again by mother nature. She can be a sneaky moo can’t she LOL. Never mind, I am sure there are places around that where dancing with joy at those rain drops, I for one was so glad it rained during the night, my winter greens really needed it and as I have put all the hoses away due to the cold nights I was dreading dragging one out again to give them a drink.
    Hope the writing is going well for you – I could write 5,000 words quite easily but they would all be spelled wrong and make very little sense to anyone but me!!

  13. That’s the life of the farmer…sigh… That fickle Mother Nature!!! I never cussed in my life til I married my farmer! Oh you should hear me now! Yikes! Curls my own hair sometimes! LOL
    So sorry about your hay, but at least you got a fair trade! That was a very nice neighbor! 🙂
    What a lovely way to chase away the worries and fates! That’s what good friends do for each other! Raise the glasses and laugh away with good girl talk! Soothes the soul and you don’t notice the rain outside the windows! Comfy cozy! 😀
    Today is nasty and the weatherman says you have more bad weather to come. I hope he doesn’t know what he is talking about!!!!
    Momma and babies are doing well and momma is eating! Yay!
    Better let you pay that piper! (((hugs))) Muah! 😀

  14. Cherish your girlfriend. I seem to have outlived all my old friends. The ones who shared childhood memories; the ones I grew up with. We all hold our breaths during haying season. Around here we get one cutting……in July. Usually no rain in the high desert, but there is always the exception, isn’t there? Usually a gullywasher of a thunderstorm, drenching everything to the bone. Your pictures are just beautifully wonderful. The light is magic.

    • Because I am very new to this country I also have very few friends and so this kind of afternoon is a sweet joy for me.. c

      • It doesn’t matter if you are new or old to a place, really good friends are few and far between. You are right to cherish the time with yours and leave the hand wringing for later. X

      • One of the drawbacks of being reclusive is finding other recluses to be friends with. Kind of an oxymoron, eh? A gathering of recluses here on your blog. Makes me smile.

  15. I just recently found your blog. Although I’m not a New Zealand native, I am a Central IL native who very much wants a life of full-time homesteading.

    I am very much enjoying your blog and already learning much.

    • Lovely to meet you Deb. Working full time for myself on a little farm is a deeply satisfying lifestyle, especially when I get to feed people good food.. thank you so much for letting me know you are out there.. reading.. take great care..c

  16. Hmmm, so much for the red sky at night sailors delight thing… Drats. Foiled again.
    Bugger.. and Bugger again.

  17. Ah lovely description of a lovely afternoon spent with a lovely friend! I’m so sorry you had to see your beautiful grass hay go but at least it wasn’t a total loss. Your neighbor’s cows will probably enjoy your sweeter hay than theirs! 🙂

  18. For some reason I have always enjoyed lunches [especially with a glass or three!] more than dinners. Something hedonistic in taking time out during the day especially if the conversation is as good as the food!! So happy that just for once you could partake . . .Happy also about the reciprocity as far as the hay is concerned: you are a bit low at the moment to get you thru’ winter methinks . . .And I absolutely love that last photo: that is exactly the moment that is called ‘eha’ in my birth language 😀 !!

    • I love the soind of your name too. U suspect that like me you might like champagne at breakfast on very special occassions. this is also one of my favourites! I add a strawberry for nourishment. c

  19. So glad to hear that your hay man will make an exchange. Our hay season was not great here in Maine this year either, at least on the coast. Wonderful that you had a chance to spend time with a friend as well.

  20. Celi,

    Please excuse me if y’all already know about this, but I just got a “heads up” from the “Texas Storm Chasers” about some pretty serious weather in your neck of the prairie tomorrow. Here’s their site with the info:


    I live on a ranch in Texas and I know how much the weather impacts *everything*.

    I love your blog… it usually starts my day, but sometimes the horses and braying miniature donkey get to me first. We just got in our last round bales… bring on winter! OK, just kidding.

    Have a safe Sunday.


    • I have heard that there may be sever winds, I will check out the site too, I may need to add more concrete blocks to the big doors on the barns, thank you for the warning, as you know i don’t have tv or even a radio except in the car but I do check the weather on the computer sometimes. so feel free to tell me anything.. I am always all ears.. thank you Virginia.. c

  21. Hey C.sorry to hear of your final cut gettin rained out on ya . mine did too but like yours it didn’t go to waist mine went to ground cover, about hundred bales be a blessing mike

  22. Dear C. Me again…I know you don’t have tv but didn’t know you didn’t have a radio…how do you listen to music? Or don’t you? I can live without tv but not without music. I know farmers that even have soft music playing in their barns for their animals 🙂 I wonder if they really like it. Hmm….

    • I know, sometimes I listen to music in johns ipad, but generally I listen to books, so my poor animals have to listen to books in the barn too. I have very literary cows. and i write in absolute quiet, I used to listen to music all the time, in fact I used to run a big band venue but the radio stations I can get here are just AWFUL. And my music collection is dispersed in NZ.. so I just sing.. or listen to books.. Good question though chris.. got me thinking..

  23. Oh dear, I’m so sorry. Haymaking is such a precarious endeavour. But at least your hay man gave you a fair exchange (I know, it’s not like your own wonderful product, but still . . . )

  24. I’m sorry about your hay, but glad you had a friend there to sit by the fire and talk. What a wonderful way to spend time on a rainy day, Celi!

  25. Dry cleaned hay, wonderful idea! ‘Foibles, smoilbels and toy bells’ how musical. It certainly beats my normal string of words that should be known or used by young ladies! I may well adopt them!

  26. Love the picture a lot… brings memories when we lived on a small farm in Indiana – getting in the hay …

  27. I can’t believe it rained on your hay again! So glad you have an arrangement with the hay baler.

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