Farms are very busy places in the spring, and everyone is anxious to jump up and prepare for our short summer, hoping it is productive and warm. The animals have been grazing on the hay pasture all winter, and their manure is the major source of fertilization for my hay. None of them are too happy to see the tractor dragging the chain harrow show up in the pasture, it is loud and and the harrow make rattling noises.
It is a beautiful spring day, but in the mountains that doesn't necessarily equate with warmth. About 45 degrees with a stiff breeze, I need a coat and gloves and still get a bit chilled when driving into the wind. As you can see the horses leave piles of manure that must be broken up to decompose faster, and harrowing also helps decrease the parasite load for the horses by drying out the manure faster. As I drive around and around I have plenty of time to contemplate the meaning of life. One of my favorite parts of this job is my ipod which keeps me rocking and rolling the whole time. Just as I get cold, "Island Woman" by Pablo Cruise worms me up. As I drive over the graves of favorite horses "Wild Horses" by the Stones help me remember them in their glory. There is something comforting in covering the same ground so many times each year, each familiar bump and ditch. In 3 and 1/2 months I will be cutting, raking, and baling hay, which will require three more rounds over the same ground. But it is a connection I crave, to be close to my land.
As the temperature starts to drop into the thirty's I finish up. There is a great sense of satisfaction in seeing the fields ready to grow, de-thatched and fertilized and waiting for spring rains., but apparently Mick still can't get no satisfaction. The animals have retreated to their corrals and barns, where they won't have to keep moving away from the large noisy red tractor. But all I hear are the refrains of the songs from my past, and all I see is the hay field of my future.