Oh Hank, he is a wise one. When we turned the corner and headed towards Day Canyon Hank started pulling back so hard I thought he was going to pull the hames off his collar again. Since I wasn’t 100% positive that all the new adjustments were going to work I turned him around and headed back to the house. Next time we drive forward! This pleased Hank and he stepped into the traces and went to work. Instead of going to the hitching rail I pushed them up the hill and we went straight to the hay field, not what Hank had in mind! It looked like we were having so much fun the cows came running to the fence to greet the boys who were too busy going around and thru the hay bales to give them much attention.
OOPS.. I didn’t see that one until Merlin stopped over it and was resting his hind foot on the small square bale we just ran over….shhhhhhhhh…. don’t tell Jim we ran over one of his hay bales….otay! Wonder if he’ll notice, it’s the only one in the field going the wrong direction…LOL! Now I know for sure this team can go over stuff like that and not panic. Since we were there I let Hank experience the joy of stepping over a hay bale too, why let Merlin have all the fun?
We crossed over into the blue grass field today and witnessed a lot of storm damage. That field has experienced some real gully washes, most of them so bad we had to drive way around them. The former one and two foot gullies we have always be able to drive thru are now four and five foot deep with a couple of feet of water still in them! There is still standing water many places where there shouldn’t be. There are deep tractor tracks where it looks like the farmer buried his tractor more than just a few times when spraying for weeds. It’s still wet and very soft in places; we even had to change directions a few times. It felt good to be back there! Stripping the crop off that field didn’t do it any favors.
Temperatures were a little more moderate this morning. At 5:30 when I went out to harness it was 54 degrees with 67% relative humidity. One hour later it was 62 degrees with 64% relative humidity. At 9:30 when we arrived back home it was 78 degrees with 34 % relative humidity. High today will be in the nineties, maybe triple digits.
Speaking of the heat at 11 am this morning, it was 81 degrees, I was outside when I noticed the boys were out of the shelter and on guard. As I came out to see what they were watching I was almost ran over by a nice doe with her tongue out and panting. Following her was a tiny spotted baby fawn that almost ran up to me. They were headed to the cool shade of the windbreak trees. They will cool off down there, be perfectly safe today and they can enjoy a few early apples. I would say she has been in that windbreak before on a hot summer day.
We had a sweet five mile per hour trot down the road and when it was all said and done we covered 4.5 miles today.
Hank’s adjustments worked great! He went from Quarter Horse sized quarter straps to draft size! After today’s drive I changed him into a draft sized pole strap and lengthened it a few more inches from what the former one was, which may mean I need to tighten the quarter straps, I’ll just have to see. I should have changed those quarter straps long ago! Hank looked a lot more comfortable today!
One more note; driving around the hay bales really improves their turning skills. Some of the big bales and the smaller ones that are grouped together we could do a 360 around them. At the end of the drive it just took a light touch to go whichever direction was desired. It was a huge improvement and it was fun for them.
We drove past a large flock of Canadian Geese at the pond that stayed on the ground and didn’t fly. I was ready in case they decided to honk and make all kinds of noise and spook the donkeys into an early morning hayfield run. We also watched five deer running from us; some came out of our hayfield along Jessup Road, which are just some of the joys of going at daybreak.
On my next scheduled driving day, the weather folks are saying Heavy Rain. Don’t need it…. there is still a lot of hay to be put up! I guess we’ll take what Mother Nature gives us, but I’m sure hoping the weather folks are wrong and I get to drive and the hay gets baled. WOOHOO!