So you do this cool trade, where the whole thing that's as high as an elephant's eye is suddenly mowed down, baled, stacked, and carted off, all for free. Their part is they get to go sell it. Any farmer will tell you they get the sweeter deal but if you don't have any animals to feed, not enough brawn to stack and no hay mows to fill hay is just hay, and there's a lot of it. [That's pronounced maow.]
So every day it was dry we'd hope Mr. Burke was coming, and then he never would. Finally when Ann called again she got his wife who was very very polite but assured us he would come. As in, stop calling us.
Finally, out of the blue on the first dry morning of four days of no rain, up the driveway came a tractor with an umbrella over it!
And: 92-year old Mr. Burke!
First thing he said when I went out to meet him was: Do you want me to do this every year?
He's been mowing here for 50 years but he just wanted to check.
And then he went away.
And the next day he showed up again with another attachment, which turns out is the bailer. This machine is all the more impressive because all around us are farms with giant attachments that bale up the hay and put plastic around it while the driver is watching TV or something. No shade to those farmers but old school doesn't even begin to describe Mr. Burke's operation.
He scoops up the hay, it turns into rectangles, the baling twine whisks around it and out comes a stack, one at a time, chug chug all day until you got many square piles of hay.
|He put them into long piles...|
|...then ran over them with the bailer and magically, they turned into rectangles!|
Shoot, I can't get it to rotate so you'll have to turn your computer... (Dana?!)
Then some strong young men appeared out of nowhere and threw the bundles into piles. Turns out they were his grandsons.
|I kept three of these to put around the firepit. Not too close though.|
|Cat with sunset and mowed field.|
|Two holes, which later spread to three. Then four.|
BeesIn other news, some of you may know that yellow jackets are not bees. They're wasps. And apparently have no real value. They have had a heyday this season and everyone's complaining about them.
In more pangs of guilt I must add that they were right by the door and when we stopped to greet people or say goodbye we were right under them.
|Cowboy hat, balaclava, goggles, long-sleeve shirt and pants in 85-degree heat, snow boots, and gloves.|
The next day they were in my office. Dying. We still don't know how they got in, the window was closed. I spent the day moving slowly, especially when I got up or down, or moved my mouse. It seemed only fair.
The thing about deciding to kill something is you think that's it. But when they don't die you have to kill them again.
I sprayed them every night for four nights. Then, in a salute to their perseverance and the fear of creating radioactive bees (I also tried peppermint and dish soap), I stopped spraying them.
They seem calmer. I prefer to think of them as deciding to share the space quietly with us but they're probably drunk or completely intellectually impaired now.
|More evidence of letting things go: Ektomi (the spider) snared two bees within ten minutes. Around my Buddha statue.|
There are at least four other nests in the ground, which we have allowed to stay.
This morning we found a giant wasp hole that had been unearthed by something. I say anteater, Ann says bear. We have fun here in the country.
|This is about all I saw of them. They said nary a word the whole trip.|
Lessee what else... I cannot seem to get a good sunset but this is pretty good.
I know you're wondering about Bodie so here's a pic. No, he's not dead, just rolling in the grass after taking an illicit mudbath.
The PrideNope, it's not a GLBT thing, it's what they call the WVU Marching Band, of which Ann was a proud member while a student there. She was first trumpet. So we just had to watch them practice.