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Sunday, July 5, 2009

Llamas, Hay, Freedom, and Other Ramblings on a Sunday Morning

Well it’s that time around here finally.

The weather broke for real, and the first loads of hay are hauled. Moved 10+ tons into storage and the good news was prices are definitely down from last year. Not as far as I would have like to see from our hay guy, but that’s ok. Still holding at 200 a ton. I even found some amazing stuff locally in mid May from the feed store that was about that same price.

I’m nursing a few interesting friction blisters and some muscles I didn’t know existed much less could hurt [even more than there were last year], but it’s always a comfort having the barn full. I even had to pull my wedding band off, had a blister UNDER it. Yeah I know, wear gloves, but some old dogs just really never learn.

Here’s hoping the prices hold, and we get a bit of rain off and on for a while. It’s been 8 weeks without any measurable precipitation, and while us PNW folks complain about the weather as a rule regardless of what it is, upper 80’s and low 90’s on this side of the hills is bit disquieting for June and July. Our hay guy irrigates, and of course the more he has to irrigate, the greater the risk of prices going up.

The boys pastures are pretty much cooked out right now, and though it’s essentially standing hay, it won’t be long before I’ll have to start throwing hay at them as more than just dry matter if we stay as dry as we are.

The girls’ fans are on timers, the boys roof sprinklers are up and running, and almost everyone who has to be sheared has been sheared. That’s part of today’s projects.

They claim today will be the last of the comparatively hot weather for us for a week, but they aren’t talking about rain, just temps back to what we consider survival mode. Tipper [16] and Buckskin LOVE the heat, and as usual scare the daylight out of me on a regular basis. Tipper is eastern Oregon born and raised, and still thinks 90 degree summers and 2 feet of snow in the winter is cause for celebration. Buckskin is Montana born and raised and thrives on those extremes.

We survived the fireworks torment and terrors that come with the fourth of July. We had to bring Gracie [Pyr] in the house at dusk; she does not do fireworks or thunder. Then around 10 last night Yogi and Luna had had enough of the torment and were freaking out with Gracie gone, so they came in for the night. Made for a very crowded gathering in the house.

Usually folks around here are relatively intelligent about fireworks and dry land issues, but this year seemed worse than ever. I always tend to stay outside during the fireworks hours with tractor ready to blow and go and cut firebreaks if needed. This year it was so bad, you could literally see and smell the burnt powder from people setting stuff off hanging the air, and it was a crystal clear night with almost a full moon.

I enjoy the moment July 4th provides to celebrate the power of the freedoms we enjoy; just wish there was another way to celebrate without letting idiots playing with matches and gunpowder.

Just some early morning ramblings from a guy who obviously just keeps getting older and grumpier with each passing year before I head out to do some more shearing.

1 comment:

  1. Lovely read. Just so glad fire works in private hands are banned here. I can just smell it if it took off. They have been doing our autumn back burns and the hills are smoked out. We were lucky this summer gone. The year before was a disaster.

    (Liz Vic Australia)


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