Friday, August 06, 2004

I'm sure both of mine loyal readers are sick of

hearing about hay, but I admit I am just a wee bit preoccupied with hay right now.

I have mowed a little over 50 acres this week, which may not seem like much, but it is in seven widely scattered fields, so I've got a fair amount of travel time involved. I'm also still working on the catalog-from-hell and I had to get sweetie situated so that she could drive up to Des Moines. Yes, I am batchin' at the moment (I had two candy bars and some beef jerky for dinner). And I'm also trying to do some side jobs for a Photography studio too. Anyway, now you know why I have been spewing less drivel than normal.

Our web guy asked me a couple of weeks ago how was it that a farm boy became a Photoshop guru? My reply to that was how does a Photoshop guru become a farm boy?

Ok, that was a location joke (you had to be there) I thought it was funny. Shows how smart I am.

I had one very odd thing happen today that has never, ever happened to me before.

I started square baling today. Actually I started baling two days ago, but I broke a belt on the round baler, so I'm back to square baling until I get that fixed. Anyway, I'm chugging along on the Ford and I saw something odd in the windrow. Just as it went into the pickup I realized what it was...

A hornets nest. I'm talking great big round thingamajig that they usually build waaaay up on trees or houses. For a brief moment, I figured it was empty and the wind had blown it there. Then the swarm came boiling out of every nook and cranny on the baler. Those little bastards were PISSED.

You cannot outrun bees, wasps, or yellowjackets on a tractor. I know because I've tried. You damn sure can't outrun them when they're swarming something attached to the tractor.

Over the past hundred years (since we began using mechanized equipment) there has been many a tractor, bulldozer, log skidder or whatever left running wide-ass open in a field or in the woods on account of various stinging critters. I myself have abandoned a moving trackloader after hitting a yellowjacket nest.

So, what did I do? Why, I ran the rpms up and upshifted from second to third gear and baled 'em up and shot them out the back of the baler.

I got to the end of the windrow and started down the next one thinking I was lucky to get out without getting stung when, lo and behold, I sucked another, BIGGER nest up into the baler.

This bunch was even more pissed, if that's possible. A few of 'em started flying my way, so I pulled the same trick again... which was working really well until I jammed the pickup with too much hay. I pulled waaaaay over to the far side of the field and commenced to pulling all the hay out of the pickup (by hand) all the while cringing at the thought of reaching up in there and pulling out that damn nest. Fortunately, It had already went into the bale chamber, but it still took me thirty minutes to get the silly thing cleaned out because I was so jumpy.

Later on, as I was walking around with two cans of wasp and hornet killer in hand, I came upon a THIRD nest that I had somehow ran through without even noticing it.

So what's up with the damn hornets? When did they start building nests in the middle of a field? Or is this merely some fiendish plot by Mother Nature to get back at me for threatened herbicide use?