Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Hay bales and haystacks

With our ever-changing weather here in northern Illinois, one finds it hard to know whether to wear sweats or shorts... and yesterday's shorts may not be enough for today's cold.
Still, it has been dry enough to get our hay cut.  I love the smell, I love the "cut grass" look the hay field has when the work is done.
It didn't take long for the hay to dry either, about 36-48 hours and it was ready to bale.  I grew up with my grandfather baling hay with the rectangular baler--or what I have called "square bales." The E. brothers traded their square baler last year and now only use the round baler.
 At first I was bummed.   Round bales just seem like cheating; after all, I have memories of jumping around in Grampa's hay mow with my brother, Matt and cousin, Cindy, when we weren't supposed to be up there...
But then, there are less hands available to load the hay wagon as the bales come out and the round bales work best to feed the cattle in the winter and early spring.

The evening after the baling was finished, the sunset was amazing.  As I took pictures I had to smile.  The round bales reminded me of Monet's Haystacks.  He painted a series of haystacks during different seasons and they have such a tranquility to them.  A sense of "job well done" even in the way they stand in the painting.
The series hangs in Chicago's Art Institute.  Every time I am there I spend a large amount of time in front of each painting, blocking out the sounds and trying to imagine the smells and the air and the complete experience of each one.
So, here are my haystacks... I hope you find your place of peace, quiet, and a job well done.

Sending love and sweet hay kisses from the farm. oxox

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