Delightful June

Each season on the farm has it’s own “specialness” (spell check doesn’t like that word!) and delight.  June is very photogenic and once again with my camera in hand I tried to capture the uniqueness of the season.

This June has been especially nice with cooler temperatures and plenty of rain.  And yes, a storm or two thrown in.  We are in full swing of haymaking-in between the rain days.  Gene only has about 200 acres of hay to make in between everything else he has to do.  He has several weather channels he logs into and I think he is better able to discern the weather than the meteorologist!  He looks at the temperature, direction of wind, the weather patterns and the high and low pressure systems. He seldom misses his window of “hay opportunity”!

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You may wonder why he pulled across the windrow like that.  I stopped to look and I soon found out but I was so busy watching I didn’t get a picture of what happened.  Actually a movie would have been better!  The hill is steeper than it looks on the picture and when he dropped the bale it went rolling like a rubber ball down the hill.  He was placing it just right to roll where it needed to roll and not roll into his tractor and baler, pond or fence.

The neighbor across the fence was not so lucky!

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I know the Bible says, “Those that compare themselves among themselves are not wise”  (II Corinthians 10:12b) but we just couldn’t help but notice the farmer across the fence.  Two different men, two different balers, both seasoned farmers.

A closeup of the difference.

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Sometimes there is trouble in the field.  For some reason the latch on the lift gate did not close properly.  His monitor failed to show it. It wasn’t long before Gene had a bale he could not spit out of the baler.  The wrap will not spin onto the bale if the gate is up. When the wrap is not on, the bale will not come out.  I had gone out to the field at 7 PM on Saturday evening to check on him and this is what I found.

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Gene was trying to pull the hay out but it was not going well. Handful by handful on a tightly rolled bale is not good!!!  It was time to quit for the night.  This morning he was up and out early with a solution to his problem.  He took a solid fiberglass pole-probably 1-2 inch diameter and he sharpened one end to a point  and drove it through the bale. He then hooked chains to it-one on each side and pulled it out with the tractor.  We do not normally farm on Sundays but with last evenings foulup he went back to the hayfield after church and finished baling the hay. It is calling for rain tomorrow.

 (Note: This morning, Monday, we woke up to a nice drizzly rain.  We knew he had made the right decision. Hay that is already raked into a windrow is very difficult to work with and save if it gets rained on. If it is freshly cut you can usually salvage it.)

If you look around, the hay field can be a good place to take pictures.

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Buzzards love to peer over a freshly mowed field as there is often a rabbit, rat, or turkey that didn’t survive the mowing for them to eat.

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The neighbor’s tractor and rake.

Back at home sitting on my deck and drinking a cup of coffee I found some other critters to photograph.

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I had to take pictures of my flowers.

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The Dogwood Tree

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Hollyhocks

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The bees look the flowers.

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I love Daisies and used them as my main flower for my wedding 41 years ago.

I’m not sure if a garden is work or fun.  I guess it is really a mix of the two.  I love to garden and sometimes it is a challenge to keep up with. This year I am having a hard time with my lima beans. I planted, went back and filled in the gaps and today hoed up the 3 rows and replanted- again. I am not getting a stand!

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Last week I mowed off my strawberries. They are already sending out runners and really starting to fill back in. Now is the time to make sure ALL the weeds are removed because you can see them.!

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The squash bore is a terrible nuisance.  I started with 4 plants and am done to 2 with this one looking like it is on the way out. I haven’t even had any squash to eat yet. I have kept it dusted-until last night’s rain washed it off. I have not found any good, “bore-proof” solutions. It is frustrating as we love squash.  Any suggestions?  I have an idea I am going to do this evening. Stay posted!!!

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Pole Blue Lake Beans

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Burpless and Pickling Cucmbers-and we are eating!

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Incredible sweet corn pushing tassle and my Blue Lake bush beans.  It wouldn’t be long on the beans. I saw some little beans hanging on!

And so you see, June is simply delightful.

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3 Comments »

  1. Wade Johnson Said:

    Our squash and zucchini are doing great. I’ve never had any problems with it and we only live a about 2 miles from you. All this rain though is not doing my tomatoes any favors. Many of the lower branches have been knocked down onto the ground and are getting some sort of black spotted blight. I’ve sprayed them with fungicide but of course the rain yesterday washed it all off I’m sure. We too had some holes in our bush bean rows but the pole beans are going great guns. We don’t raise sweet corn any more. After years of losing most of it to the worms and crows, it just isn’t worth it. Besides, I’m diabetic and don’t need sweet corn. Instead of starting our broccoli inside in trays, we tried to direct sow them this year. Utter failure. The few that came up are so scrawny they are embarrassing and I just kicked them over and added them to the compost pile. We’ll try again in the Fall maybe. We still have frozen brocolli in the freezer from last year. Had to spray the potatoes with Sevin as the little orange bugs were starting to munch away. This is the first year I’ve had a problem bad enough to use Sevin. The sweet potato slips you sold us are looking very healthy. Last year we planted 2 dozen slips and got about 250 lbs! We planted half that this year as we still have sweet potatoes under the house but they are now going bad. I agree with you that sometimes gardening is a chore but the rewards make it fun……I think. 🙂
    Wade Johnson

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  2. Ruth Hochstetler Said:

    Gardening was getting too hard for us to manage, at our age and condition. We had raised beds, and some of the timbers were rotting, and the black snakes and other critters found them to be a good hiding place. Our sons came and tore out the timbers and graded the soil, and now we have a nice lawn that can be mowed. When we were cleaning up, I found a root ball about 6 inches around. I wasn’t sure what it was, but I thought it looked interesting, so I stuck it in a planter filled with soil. It didn’t take long for the leaves to begin to grow, and I soon recognized them as hollyhocks. It will be a while before it will produce flowers, but I look forward to them. I think they will be black, which is a very, very dark maroon. I bought my first black hollyhock from Monticello.

    All this to tell you that I love your hollyhocks. I like the old fashioned varieties with the single blooms, rather than the newer ones with double flowers.

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    • Pat Said:

      Thanks for your comments, Ruth. I would love to have some black hollyhocks. If you by chance get some seeds I would love to have a few. Hollyhocks are truly an old-fashion flower that brings back many memories for people of grandma’s house. I sure do love them.

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