Yesterday was hay day.
Because of exercise and ranch work, my arms are strong. But bucking bales--hoisting, carrying, and stacking 70 pound hay bales--uses muscles in the forearms that free weights, water buckets, shovels, and wheelbarrows don’t touch.
Not only is bucking bales an arduous task, but it always seems to take place on one of the hottest days of summer. The job can’t wait for more pleasant weather because the bales need to get off the field as soon as possible for best regrowth of the grass or alfalfa. And since rain causes the hay to mold, there’s always a push to get the hay in the stack before an afternoon thundershower blows over.
Due to intense exertion under a blazing sun, every sweat gland works overtime. The resulting moisture cools the body but also acts as a glue to which quantities of dirt and chaff stick. We wear long-sleeved shirts and jeans for protection from the scratches and prickles, but still, little bits of hay wind up inside all undergarments!
Despite the material discomforts, I love hay days. It’s fun to work hard, especially with nice people, and so gratifying to see stacks of hay stored away in the barn to feed stock and provide great barn cat habitat!
“Ah, Sovereign Lord, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and outstretched arm. Nothing is too hard for you.” –JEREMIAH 32:17 (NIV)