Wednesday, July 4, 2012

A Hay Story, Constantly Interrupted by a Cat

Prologue: The cat in these photos is available to a good home.  She just showed up.  You know how they do that.  Her temporary name is "Burdock," because, as the pictures below attest, she sticks to you and you cannot get her off.  Farmers think our little hay baler and little round hay bales are cute, so I wanted to show them to you, but I could NOT get a shot without the cat in it.  She is totally sweet, absolutely the best cat I ever met.  We just don't do cats up here, because I like birds, reptiles and amphibians better.  No offense to the cat people out there, especially the one of you who will take her home!  And now, on to the main post:

Here on the hill we have been running our selves ragged.   We baled around 1000 of our cute little round bales and crammed them in our one-and-a-half-sided barn, dislocating the horses.  This was not the plan.  The plan was to have a second pole barn in place by July 1, so we could merrily stuff it with hay.

Trying to show you our cute bales and cute baler.  Spot the cat.
However, we took longer than expected to give the barn building contractor the “go ahead,” and his schedule filled up while we were deciding on things, and he declared he would not be able to build our barn until after August.

Another bad shot, but spot the cat.
This is a repeat cycle for us.  Last year, we were waiting for a different contractor to make our barn area a well-drained, dry place for the horses and the equipment, and so we couldn’t store hay in the barn before he did his work, which occurred after hay baling season.  This year, we are, once again, waiting on a contractor and, once again, it’s impacting our hay storage.  At least we can store hay in the existing barn, but it’s a one-and-a-half-sided barn, which is not ideal for keeping weather out.

Didn't I tell you?  She is a total stick-tight.
And actually, for full disclosure, we already had 700 bales that needed storing before July 1, so we would have been in this situation even if the contractor had been able to meet our initial deadline.  This summer just started delivering long periods of sunny, dry weather unusually early, so the haying was underway early on many farms, including ours.

When I think of how we were teaching ourselves to bale hay in last year’s sopping-wet, can’t-string-three-days-of-sun-together weather, well, let's just say this has an awesomely perfect summer for hay.

But, back to the barn.  To fit in all the hay we baled, and anticipating the 400 bales we have still standing, I crunched the horses’ stable area down to a barely acceptable size and started using the little run-in in the lower pasture, as well.
As you could probably anticipate, at this time, we are starting to side our existing barn.  I took the dually into the wilds of Armenia Mountain to pick up about a ton of freshly cut board and batten, and my hubby started nailing last night.

With all the good hay, and two, fully-sided barns, I’m anticipating a snug winter up here on the windy hill.  I’m just hoping by then, I have a place to store the horses!

Doing her catty best to win me over.

And since this IS a horse blog, here are the horses.


  1. Excellent post, awesome cat!

  2. Thanks. She would fit in so well at Foxwin!