The unofficial last day of summer has finally arrived. Our summer heat wave finally broke this weekend and the weather is bearable. All of my friends and acquaintances have said the same thing I have: we feel as though we lost the whole summer. No projects were finished. No opportunities to go trail riding at the lake. The hay crop was miserable and prices for hay - when you can find it - are outrageous. We are all glad autumn is imminent. By the grace of God, we will get through this.
Our neighbor usually cuts and bales our field into round bales, but we haven't heard from him and there may not be enough out there to make it worth his diesel fuel to cut it.
So, hubby and I are working in the hayfield nearly every evening. (Not during fair week, but we will again once it's over.) We're cutting the grass along the edges of the field, where our neighbor's tractor can't go, and feeding it to the horses and goats. We've thankfully had just enough rain just often enough to have some green growth to cut. It's not lush, it's not thick, and it's not tall, but it'll do.
One of the farm dogs accompanies us. He seems worried that we're so far out there and are working in the treeline along the edge of the deep ravine. I'm thankful that he goes with us, and I tell him so every night.
Remember our escape horse, who spent much of the summer in the hayfield? I know where he spent the heat of the day: in the shade of the trees where we're working. Here's the evidence:
My grandfather called these "horse apples". There are a multitude of them out there under the trees, proof that the horse spent a LOT of time out there.
Something else I've seen a lot of: cactus. When we first moved here there were several patches of prickly pear at the top of the hill, but the horses have stomped them into oblivion. (Do goats eat cactus? I wouldn't be surprised. There was a patch just outside the goats' pen, within reach if they stuck their heads through the fence, that no longer exists too.)
When the cold front came through, the wind kicked up and the breeze has the feeling of autumn. It's not cold, but I can feel the difference. We had 88% humidity on Sunday morning, compared to 15% on Friday. The sun is definitely setting earlier now. Autumn is in the air.
I found this bird's nest in the hayfield; it was blown out of a tree by the wind.
Later this morning we will be picking up a load of hay; we bought a load earlier from this neighbor and made arrangements to buy another load if he had enough later in the season. Thankfully he did get enough. We'll continue cutting hay in our field for our current needs, and save the bales we've managed to gather for winter.