After consulting several five-day weather forecasts, J. decided on Wednesday that a rain-free slot of time would allow him to cut the hay on the home meadows.
I have been enjoying the scent of summer which is present whenever I am outdoors.
It is familiar in its likeness to the country smells of my Grampa Mac's farm and of the place we farmed when our children were young.
Some of the elements are easily defined--swaths of red or white clover and tangles of pink or purple flowered vetch are dominant.
Other scents are more elusive, a faint perfume noticeable as I walk to the mailbox, perhaps the dewy fragrance of the blackberry bramble across the road, or a sun-warmed clump of grasses stirred
by a light wind.
Willis the Cat swishes through the tall grass--hunting--and returns with his tweedy fur delicately scented.
From the neighboring pasture, comes a faint but unmistakable odor of cows--not strong enough to offend, part of the half-nostalgic, half here-and-now country living element.
Red clover predominates in this swath of hay drying in the sun.
Uncut pasture beyond a neighbor's fence.
I have puzzled over this bright yellow flower with its tough stem and fern-like basal leaves.
Comparing it to photos in my Audubon Society wildflower book and to numerous on-line photos and descriptions, I beleive it to be 'Long-bracted Tickseed Sunflower'--which is indeed a weighty designation.
Clumps of Ox-Eye Daisies are a feature of roadside and meadow this year.
It is interesting to note that the differences in springtime weather [early heat, drought, chill, rain] influence which native flowers/weeds predominate.
Common Fleabane took over the fields in March; just now Buttercup, the daisies, and the
A stand of daisies across the road against the backdrop of shrubbery which screens the creek.
An invasive--but handsome--pest, the musk or nodding thistle grows to statuesque heights.
I've read about one plan for control which is to introduce a 'weevil' into areas that are afflicted with spreading stands of thistle.
Close-up of a developing thistle bloom.
Wild Yarrow [Achillea millefolium] is a hardy plant which adapts to many variables of soil and weather.
This plant, growing in a fence corner escaped the mower.
Perfect haying weather prevailed. Sunshine, brilliant blue skies, low humidity and
a light north wind.
I don't usually photograph the old barns from this angle, but had plodded along the southern boundary fence sniffing out flowers.
In this photo taken in 1931 my Dad's older brother, Warren, guides Queen and Girlie as they haul baled hay to the barn.
Neither Daddy nor his brothers continued in farming after their father died.
This photo came to me recently through the generosity of Cousin Tom who is slowly sorting and scanning his mother's collection of vintage photos.
Cousin Tom's great-grandfather Joel Archer used his team of oxen, Buck and Bright, to haul in a wagon load of loose hay.
[This photo, reproduced from glass plates made by Flora Sexton, was used in both editions of "The History of Graphite, New York" written by my great-uncle, Wilford Ross.]
J.'s line-up of tractors and farming implements is ever-changing as he 'wheels and deals.'
Last week he purchased a used 'round-baler' which will eliminate the heavy 'hands-on' loading, stacking and moving of the smaller rectangular bales.
He experienced a rather frustrating 'learning curve' before the machine produced the neatly packed and tied roll of hay he wanted.
His triumph is evident in this photo!
Hay-making tools have become very sophisticated since the days when our grandfathers were gathering in their harvest of winter cattle feed.
I'm not sure why I was required to pose beside the bale after it was removed from the bale 'spear.'
Perhaps to serve as a measurement for its height [?]
I have to say that if a perfumer could capture the scent of new-mown hay, I wouldn't mind making it my signature fragrance!