In the afternoon yesterday I had 152 bales of good hay on the hay racks. Our John is working right up in Chicago these days and is always late home.  For the first time in ages I was going to have to load the hay alone.

So I put a chicken in a big pot, fed the pigs, read the weather forecast again with horror   (there was an enormous storm coming – the radar looked terrifying, so there would be no procrastinating) and began to unload one of the racks into the West Barn.

Work like this is satisfying but heavy and by the end of the first hay rack I was reaching the end of my endurance. I thought. img_3895

But then John arrived home and we finished that load and after a short break transferred to the other barn and began the other rack full of hay.  He threw each bale up onto the clatter box.  I took it off up in the loft and stacked it messily and tiredly along with the others. Three or four people are better for loading hay. One to unload the hay rack, one to throw it up onto the clatter box, one to take it off and one to stack it in the barn. Two makes it double work for each person. But both of us methodically and relentlessly heaved each bale up and across, twice,  our heads down without stopping. We had both worked a full day so there was no point complaining about tiredness. Surprisingly by 7pm we had everything loaded into the barns and my arms were still attached to my body.

Thank goodness it was only a small load. 152 bales of good alfalfa hay.

I made dinner then went outside in the dark to finish the chores (hence the rather grainy image of the night with the lightning and the red lights of the windmills) then showered and crawled into bed. Shortly thereafter the rain began. Lots of thunder and lightning. Inches of rain. The dogs are nowhere to be found this morning. And it is still raining. I think we have had about eight hours of steady rain and no sign of it letting up so I will be doing chores in my New Zealand long oilskin coat passed down from my father.

I am so glad we pushed on and got all the hay into the barn.

And I am so grateful for this real soaking rain. It is like a reward.

Today I will work in the barns, organizing the messy piles of hay into their tidy stacks back in the corners of the barns and clearing the floors.  I hope Molly has her babies under cover. the last few nights she has had them sleeping outside.

I better get busy with my chores.

Have a lovely day.


WEATHER: Wet and warm. Good pasture growing weather!

Wednesday 08/29 60% / 0.3 in
Scattered thunderstorms this morning with a few showers possible during the afternoon. Cooler. High 78F. Winds NW at 10 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 60%.

Wednesday Night 08/29 10% / 0 in
Some clouds. Low 56F. Winds NNE at 5 to 10 mph.

6:16 AM 7:30 PM


Waning Gibbous, 91% visible 9:25 PM 9:10 AM


39 Comments on “AND THEN IT RAINED

  1. I’m in Iowa, and we got the storm a few hours before you did. Boy was it a doosie! The wind picked up and the sky turned black, and I was really glad I wasn’t stuck out in it! Thank goodness you got your hay in. Hope you’re not too sore this morning and everyone turns up safe and sound.

      • And you are a small person! I can’t imagine the fellow next to me on a long haul economy flight. He was enormous and even spilled over into my space. So glad you got the hay in. xx

  2. So satisfying when hard work pays off. I’m so glad the hay was managed in time. Hay strikes me as one the riskiest and most necessary parts of farming. So many factors can make it all go to hell.

  3. So my Rain Rain go away worked. Holler anytime and I’ll try it again. 🙂 Did you sleep good? There are times when I work that hard and then can’t sleep due to the adrenaline that is flowing then other times – I sleep like a dog on a hot summer day.

  4. Those “put the head down, don’t think, just heave” days can be exhausting — especially once they’re over. Glad you beat the rain!

  5. Thank goodness for Teamwork! And that Our John arrived home to join you for the second load! How wonderful to have barns full of hay for the winter! xo

  6. Ah…such bliss when its all done! But reading your post I really did feel so sorry for you is such hard work..but then as long as I have known you always manage to come up with the was hard work but you achieved what you set out to do..mission accomplished and VERY WELL DONE. We had some welcome rain yesterday, not a lot but it did cool the air a bit…summer is lovely but I hate the heat…Autumn and Spring are my best times,,Not winter..dont like the snow! I am sure that wherever Molly is she will be taking good care of those little piglies…she is a good mum…. I hope that your rain will bring on your growth that you need …but not drown you out…lots of love BG

  7. Good news all round, though I’m sure you could have done without the stress in between. Great timing!

  8. That is amazing! So glad you were done before the rain. Hope the piglets are fine. And that that the dogs are too.

  9. It’s the measure of a true farmer, I think, to heave and haul and work to exhaustion, sit a bit, and then go back out and finish the chores. Not one of us doubts your farmer credentials, and I suspect not one of us could put in a day like you just did. I think we all wish we could lend a hand with the chores. I can cook and wash up and feed chooks and put them to bed. I doubt I could shift even one of those bales…..

  10. It’s a great feeling to hear the rain start, and know your hay is in the barn. Hard work though, I know I couldn’t have moved that many bales.

  11. Pretty hay. We got 405 bales of Sumrall Horse Heaven Bermuda on Saturday off our small 4 acre hay field. The son-in-law came to help the hubby. I fractured my back last September and am now waiting to have ankle surgery for torn tendons on both sides of my ankle. The only thing I could do was drive the Mule around for them to pick up the bales. I hate not being able to help.

    Our neighbors are going to round bale our next cutting.

    I love a nice gentle rain. Not one that destroys everything.

    Happy week.

  12. Relief all round to have the hay in the mows (sp) and hopefully Molly and the plonkers are all fine too. Laura

  13. Sometimes, we have no idea what we are capable of until we put in hot water. You certainly rose to the occasion. Hope the dogs and piglets are safe too. I do NOT like lightning. Scares the bejezzus out of me. We get almost none here in Portland which is why I’ll never leave. I’ll be you have some sore muscles today from pushing them so hard ever though you are exceptionally strong anyway.

  14. I have fond memories of riding the hay truck into the barn as the first drops of rain fell. What elation to finish just before the storm!

  15. Reminds me of the old song Muscle in the Arm. Good job. And the days keep rolling on. I hope you continue your skillful navigation around all these farming events. You make us so much more aware of where our food is coming from and at what cost. Thank you.

  16. Thank goodness you got that hay into the barns just in time.

    This is the kind of day when you know that being a farmer is a labour of love (unlike a 9 to 5 office job) … though the feeling of accomplishment is well deserved. Nature is ruthless and waits for no man (or woman) to get their hay loaded. And then there are today’s chores to get done. Congratulations.

  17. A “hard push” sort of day for you and your John. Here it was getting brand new unfinished kitchen cabinets here and inside before the rain, which was done by my spouse and the building owner, they finished all of about fifteen minutes before it started pouring rain. Smoky spent the night jammed next to the commode shaking like a leaf (he’s terrified of the thunder and lightning) and very leary of coming out this morning. I can’t help at all with things like that anymore and I miss just pitching in and getting it done. You earned a bit of a breather today.

  18. We had a huge storm yesterday evening and night too, 3 for sure, possibly 3 more tornadoes sighted within 10 miles of us and the power out for close to 24 hours. Not fun at all. I believe in the last 8 to 10 days we’ve gotten more than 10″ of rain. Thankfully I didn’t have any hay to get in!

  19. The racing horse farm I worked at had an enormous barn. A full size American tractor trailer could pull right in! Our hay guy was in his late 60’s best guess, my boss mid 50’s, me just 30. Hay guy stood on top of the bales and threw them up, and with both of working to stack we couldn’t keep up with him! Always exhausted and sweaty and covered in hay-bites by the end of the unloading. 17 years later I bet that fella is still outpacing people decades his junior!

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