Thursday, 28 July 2011

Hay ho!

We began to harvest the hay early yesterday and worked right through until the last (the maiden bale) was made at shortly before 10pm.

It was a gloriously hot day and after a final couple of wuffles, we managed to make excellent hay.

Above is the small, rather old wuffler. We use it on the Davy Brown but the heat was so strong and the clegs so bad that open air work on the cabless tractor was out of the question.

The bigger, more modern wuffler was repaired and the hay turned a final time before 'rowing'. (Gathering the hay into lines for bailing).

Then hours and hours of driving up and down the field collecting hay into the bailer.

Inevitably, something goes wrong with the bailer, this time the mechanism which goes from cab to bailer so the machine stopped wrapping. In an ideal world, you press a button, deftly, and all goes to plan. In the real world, I had to push the damn thing with both thumbs and all my weight only to watch the wrapping mechanism sulk.
The Farmer managed ok as he has thumbs the size of mushrooms but he got it going again with a scoosh of WD40 and a bash with a hammer.

The last field was the scary one, the one on a steep hill. This photo does not do the steepness of the slope any justice but the horizon line is the angle which is true.

Prayers and swears were made in profusion.
Even worse was a monster mole heap right on the bad bit which meant an unexpected jolt just to give you even More Fear, if that was possible.

By 10pm and the last bale, the Maiden (a tradition which is dying out but one we keep) was bailed with care and placed to the side of the field entrance. Time to go home, hot baths, painkillers (I was starting to feel every mole hill and bump), filthy clothes to gather and wash.

The children had played on the bales all day under the watchful eye of their big brother. PieDog had chased rabbits and found all sorts of things to roll in.

We tidied up the toys and I thought this was so sweet:

Our youngest son had been 'practicing' wuffling and said that he would do it next year....

We had an unsettled sleep; it was so hot that we switched the fan on and threw off the covers (very daring during a Scottish summer). My body felt as if I had stepped off a boat then fallen on to concrete with clegs on it.

It rained heavily early this morning.

The Farmer is delighted that we managed to gather the hay when we did and he shyly gave me some roses and lilies as a thank you.

We are hoping to go to a wool evening tonight, in Blair Atholl. There will be shearing demonstrations as well as spinning and 'waulking' - the practice of curing spun tweed by women who sing special Gaelic waulking songs. I want the children to see how wool is processed and how wool had such a strong place in the community.

Anyway, it will be good to have a night off.


  1. Hope you enjoyed your night off. Well deserved by the sounds of it. x

  2. It was a lovely night off, thank you.

    Batteries are almost fully charged up now, aches and bumps healing nicely.