It is always a good feeling to get hay season under way. But because the weather in the Pacific Northwest can change easily and without a lot a warning, we make hay in small parcels. That way, if the clouds roll in and we get an unexpected thunderstorm with an inch of rain, only a small amount of hay would be affected.
Last weeks forecast was for a long stretch of clear, dry weather up to 10 days of good hay-drying conditions even calling mid-90 degree temps. From the moment that Mike started mowing the first field, the forecasting had started to change from 10 days of 80 to 90 degree weather, to 7 days. Then to 6 days with 70 to 80 degree weather, to morning clouds several mornings for 5 days before light showers for several days.
Mike hedged his bets and only mowed the first half of the first field. As of last night at 8pm, we had all the hay harvested and stacking into the barn. Now I can take a moment to reflect on a small portion of the hay season that is complete and revel in the fact that the hay is high quality while I watch for rain clouds to move in.
It doesn’t take but a moment or two before I realize that this first portion of hay season was by far the easiest field. It is the closest to the barn, no fences to open/close/break. This field is the flattest and most square piece of property on the farm, the rest of the fields follow the meandering river and hillsides with steep slopes, ditches and sink holes from gigantic ancient tree roots disintegrating far beneath the surface. We are currently only about 1/9th of the way through hay season.
I just went from being real happy about the current situation to come crashing down to reality in a hurry, but it still does not keep me from enjoying the daily farm activities and this life in Rural Oregon.