Saturday, August 01, 2009


I love hay season. As I drive to work in the summer the transition is magical. One day there's a field of tall yellowing grass waving in the breeze, the next day the field is short and green, and there are rows of drying grass. Soon the field is patterned with bales or rounds. And then they disappear. It is a giant living art work created in the country by hard-working farmers.

My cousin is a farmer in central Washington, where they grow alfalfa instead of grass. He sent me these great pictures, capturing the art in process.

Rows of newly cut alfalfa, left to dry to the perfect point - knowing when to bale is part of the art of farming.

The magical step that turns rows of drying vegetation into lovely solid bales of hay.

Food for the winter still sitting in the field, waiting to be collected and shipped or stored.

In the heat of summer winter's food supply is prepared. Farming necessitates a long view of life, an understanding of cycles, preparing for the future. In cities we separate ourselves from nature, and lose the wonderful connection to and knowledge of weather, land, crops, life, regeneration. And miss the beauty.

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