Monday, September 26, 2016

5th Cutting Is Finished...

It's hard to believe we're finally at this end of the summer!

Jim started mowing and baling hay in May...and five cutting later, here we are at the end of September.  He finished up with baling the last two contours here at home this afternoon.  Perhaps just in time, because the weather forecast is now calling for rain over the next few days.

We've finally said goodbye good riddance to the horrible humid heat wave that was summer...and have begun enjoying blue jeans and flannel shirt weather the past two days.  Yeah!  Can you tell I'm happy about that?

Anway...

This load got backed into the barn to be unloaded another day...



Peanut has a "thing" for hay wagons, and promptly found a cozy hole to curl up in.  She's raised several litters of kittens in hay wagons over the years, but there will be NO MORE Peanut babies...


I still don't think she's forgiven us for that, but...

Now we move on to other things...like the West Lampeter Fair.  The hubbub begins tomorrow (for me) as the baked good will be entered for Wednesday's judging, tasting (!!) and bake sale.

Hope to see you there!

Friday, September 16, 2016

Fresh Country Air...

Smell that fresh. country. air.


All that manure that was stored all summer is now being spread on the bare fields for fertilizer.

Even if I couldn't see it, my nose would tell me the corn fields are bare!

Monday, September 12, 2016

Filling Silo 2016...

It's been a busy couple of weeks here, and I haven't taken the time to post much, other than about the puppies.

They're sweet...and growing like crazy!  Two weeks old already...here's a quick  peek from a few days ago...



We've been doing more than playing with puppies though...although that's definitely been the most fun "job"!  Last week we had a return of horrible hot, humid weather.  When it comes in September, it's especially draining.  Both kids had cross country meets on Saturday...one high school and one college...and the heat was not helpful!  We're done with heat and ready for flannel shirt and blue jeans weather.

Anyway...

On Saturday evening they started chopping corn and filling silo here at home. Here's the chopper...ready to go, just waiting for the tractors and silage wagons to come up the road...


I'm always anxious to see this particular field chopped, because then I can see out again.  Some people like to be surrounded by corn fields, but I like to be able to see out!

This morning they came back to finish...

The fields look so different now.  Jim said that he thinks it really starts to feel like fall once you see bare fields appearing...


One of the wagons unloading at the silo...


There was some trouble with the goose neck at the top of the silo this morning, so Jim was at the top working on it for a bit.  I'm not a fan of heights, so I'm sure glad it wasn't my job!


Clean up at the bottom of the silo this morning after the silos were both full...


Deciding when the moisture is just right to chop corn is not an easy thing, so to have this job behind us is very satisfying!

Now it's time to concentrate on fifth cutting of hay.  That starts tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Puppy Love...

Day 11

We just can't help it...




They're eating like little piggies...and growing like weeds...


Look at their tiny, perfect little feet!


We're in love!

Friday, August 26, 2016

...And Then There Were 9...

We have tried numerous times over the past few years to have our black lab Murphy bred, without success.  As a result, although she hasn't been spayed, we were pretty unconcerned about her becoming pregnant on her own.  Well not on her own, but you know...promiscuously!

Over the past several months we have occasionally seen a male German Shorthaired Pointer roaming the neighborhood.  The last time I saw him was July 1st, which would coincide with what happened here last night...


Murphy is now the proud mama to nine adorable puppies!  Three are brown, and six are black.  They look mostly like labs at this stage, but several have some white on their bellies, and we assume they will change their looks as they get a little older.

Let the fun begin!

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Preparing To Fill Silos...2016...

It's that time of year again.

Late August...school has started, the weather is s l o w l y turning cooler, and the silos are quickly getting empty.

Behind these closed doors is the silage room...


We store the feed carts in here and lock the doors so that the cows can't get in them and eat themselves sick!  Yes, they would do that!  (It happened one time, and the cow almost died.  After she recovered, she didn't have much of a desire for corn the rest of her lactation!)

Here also is access to the silos, which are almost completely empty, as you can see.  The unloader is resting on the last few inches of silage in the east silo...


This is looking up into the west silo...


This is the old tile silo at the other farm.  Several years ago, Jim put a plastic liner in the silo to make it airtight.  Each year we have to put another plastic liner over the doors.  That's the black strip that is hanging down from the top.  After the silo is full, Jim will cut the plastic off over each door from the top down, so he can open the door and toss the silage down the chute into the cart below...


This afternoon we walked through the corn field that he plans to chop, cutting samples of stalks throughout the field.  We ran them through the chopper and will have the silage moisture tested to see where we're at.  It's too green right now, we know for sure, but once we have the moisture sample back we'll have a better idea of when we might be able to fill the silos.  It can be a nerve wracking process, because we want a moisture level between 66% and 69%, and it also has to suit the custom chopper's schedule!

We bought one load of silage last week to hold us over until we can chop our own corn.  Every year is different, so we'll see how this one goes!

Thursday, August 18, 2016

4th Cutting...Already...

The summer has just been flying by...but yet the horrible heat and humidity have made it feel like it's dragging on forever!  We don't remember long stretches of weather like this for a while.  The last two days, however, have been a little better, with a breeze and lower humidity.  :) :)

Jim finished up baling fourth cutting alfalfa yesterday afternoon, stopped to help milk, and then finished wrapping around 9 pm.  I never thought about the view from this field before, but it's the highest field on our farm,and you can see for miles in all directions. The moon was gorgeous...but of course the picture doesn't do it justice...




Jim's mode of transportation to and from the field...the trusty 100...


I got to do something new last evening.  It's been so horribly hot, and we like to get the cows out of the barn in the evening as soon as possible.  Jim or Eric have been taking round bales to the meadow for the cows to munch on in the late evening and overnight.  Neither one of them was available to do it last night, so I got the honors.  I've run the skid loader before, but never moved a round bale.  Piece of cake!  I dropped it in place and removed the plastic and netting.  When Jim came by with the wrapper to wrap the hay bales, he stopped and flipped the rack over the bale and it was ready to go...


The cows know just where the rack is when they head out of the barn for the night...


They can't all fit around the rack at once, so the stragglers have to find something else to eat for a while until it's their turn.  There's always plenty, as it lasts for several days.  They come into the barn so much more content in the mornings when they've had a bale put out for them...


We're ready for the fall like weather to come any day now...the heat and humidity have taken their toll...on us and on the cows.  The milk truck driver told us this morning that milk pounds are way down this week.  All the trucks are about 4000-5000 lb down from their normal loads.  The cows hung in there for so long, but finally said "enough".

How's the weather where you are?  Is the summer flying by or dragging on?