MB is the home of a thousand lakes... it's not like we've been drought stricken, but it's been dry enough in our area that the yard has only needed mowing 3x this entire summer (rather than the usual every 9 or 10 days), & the high areas are somewhat brown & crunchy. We've had a few sprinkles, & a lot of thunder & lightning action, but not enough moisture to leave any actual puddles.
Until last night, when it rained steadily for several hours. The ground just drank in(!) all that cool rain, but there were even a few small puddles in the barnyard this morning & the wondrous smell of rain lingers in the air.
Now the really cheery part for the 4Shoes...
Conditions the summer of 2017 have finally been perfect to harvest the first hay crop on land that we cleared & seeded years ago!
When the snow had melted, the next step was dragging that field over & over & over again, separating trunks & sticks & roots & rocks from topsoil, and depositing all the debris into yet another enormous burn pile. Straight up - we have had a LOT of bonfires, yo.
|Cannot count the hours invested... but I can count|
the dollars, which have been significant. NO shit.
Mother Nature is a tenacious gal & loathe to let go,
so each succeeding year we had been back in that west field mowing down, ripping out by force, & burning re-appearing baby poplars & willows by the thousands*, while simultaneously gnashing our teeth over low spots sprouting cat tails. Until this year, that is.
|The West Field had LEGIT not been harvested in 34 years.|
Mother Natures' tangles ensured a lot of hard graft for us to
wrestle it away from her. Mother Nature is a greedy, temper-
amental, persistent biotch.
But then, so am I.
The effort has made us very thankful(!) to live in the age of heavy equipment. Especially when we've come in hot & exhausted at the end of hard days, but knowing that we can hardly imagine how much more difficult it was to accomplish these kind of goals in the pioneer days.
|The Barn Field... |
Because on this side of the fence is the barn,
& because super-original names just come
easy to us.
|The Lane Field... |
Because it runs alongside 4Shoes Lane, which
is an actual road allowance that dead ends at
our property. Forever & ever, Amen.
But the 4Shoes is here for the long haul, & progress demands as much of our land as possible be productive so that Mr Shoes & I can continue to live comfortably after Mr Shoes has retired from his lucrative career.
I shall be very careful not to go off on a *rant about the hardships of the small holder, which often as not require at least one dependable outside revenue stream.
*Right now. Later? No promises.
*The 4Shoes has been slowly tamed back into productivity for a decade now. Originally, it had been a thriving farm, but the owner just before us was a self-named alcoholic hermit who just liked living in isolation & so he let the farmed land drift steadily back to bush for 24 years.
Mother Nature can reclaim almost everything in 24 years...
Then the 4Shoes family came along, & she has had to loosen her tight grip... because we just won't quit!
I couldn't even begin to calculate how many man & equipment hours we have logged, but now we often hear admiring words, "Your place is just BEAUTIFUL!", which feels very satisfying, because, who wouldn't enjoy some outside validation for a decade spent planning & executing a dream?
|No actual sheaves were brought in, because sheaves are grain crops, not hay.|
I think, technically, we are bringing in the equivalent of stooks, but I could be wrong.
Go ahead folks, edu-ma-cate me, please!