Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Decisions and Consequences

Waiting to take my shower until after moving the round bale to the lower field is the best decision I've made today. That gives you an idea of how the rest of my plans have panned out.

Continuing with my desire to be self-sufficient, I didn't ask for help in moving the bale. I've done it before on my own, and while not easy it worked. This bale had no flattened side, so was relatively easy to move, and after all it's all down hill. Indeed.

I got it positioned perfectly. It should roll straight down the east slope, and not run into the south fence. It did. It rolled very well, gathered lots of speed, and hit the east fence hard enough to break the supporting rail off and most of the top welds of the wire. "Ah. Well. I can fix that. Later."

The broken fence. Definitely fixable.

I was also able to push the bale back up away from the fence and turn it to face the south gate. This was not easy, even these small rounds are mighty heavy. I was actually very pleased with myself at this point. I shooed the horses away from both sides of the fence and gate, and was able to get the bale through without any critters changing sides.

That was when the plan went awry.

The bale hovered right where I wanted it. I watched as it inched beyond that, gained speed, and took off down the hill. My thoughts went something like this (as sheep scattered below):

"Oh, this isn't good.
Well, at least it's headed straight for the big stump. The stump will stop it.
Ah, how did it miss the stump? Maybe it will stop at the edge of the pond.
Well, that was a stupid thought.
There's the neighbor's truck firing up, and heading down the lane.
You wanted to be independent. Here you go."

The intended final destination

Really, wouldn't you think one of those stumps would stop the bale?

I closed and latched the gate before walking down the hill to see the damage.

The bale lodged in an inlet, so was mostly out of the water. I gingerly stepped into the pond to see if I could push it out. Yes, I did know better. I have trouble pushing these bales over bumps on flat ground. I did discover that one foot from the edge the pond is deeper than my boots are tall. I stepped back to assess the situation and come up with a solution. I tried pushing it again.

Finally convinced that adding futility to stupidity wasn't clever, I cut the mesh holding the bale together and started peeling off layers, walking them up to high ground. Through the bog.

Lodged neatly in the inlet.

The horses were standing watching me curiously. The sheep had disappeared. Anyone directing round missiles at them, no matter what said missiles are made of, is not to be trusted. And people think sheep are dumb.

I kept trying to push the bale out, seemingly deluded into thinking I would get stronger as I went along. Finally I was able to turn the bale around and then tip it over so it was out of the pond. At least the bulk of it. The remaining layers came out with difficulty, hay being very heavy when it's wet.

On it's way out.

Somewhere along the line I lost the enthusiasm to haul the hay beyond the bog. It is at least mostly out of the water, and the sheep will eat it from there. Maybe later I'll get back to it.

Onto solid, if boggy, ground.

Just this morning I was thinking I needed more aerobic exercise. Having those thoughts is rather like saying "May you live in interesting times."

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