Hay raking


The hay is raked in the west meadow waiting for the baler to arrive this evening. 40°C in the shade; it should dry out quickly.

hay raked3.jpg

hot air whines with

insect wings and the pounding

pulse in my ears

throbs with each solar flare flash

each belch of fiery magma


There is still about an acre of bottom land uncut, too irregular for a tractor and full of ditches and willow trees.


green air brushed

with fox tails and meadow grass

hangs still and frog-cool

in cricket silence

trickle of birdsong

Published by

Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

21 thoughts on “Hay raking”

  1. I’ve seen hay baled on farms around here, but I never thought of the process. I suppose it’s different, too, when it’s not a wild (ish) meadow like this.
    I particularly like the second poem and photo. 🙂

    1. I think the scale is probably what’s most different. Very few of the farmers here own a hay baler. The owner of a baler does a tour of the hay fields. They come to some kind of arrangement. But the farms are so small, the machinery is small, and doing a five acre plot is normal.

      1. Someone once made a comment about a ‘small’ family farm in the USA and it was over 300 acres. Here, more than half the farms are smaller than 50 acres and the biggest are not much more than twice that.

      2. I have no idea what an average size farm is around here. So much of the land has been sold. The wineries I go to around here–some of them were originally family farms, so now they grow fruit for their wine, and it stays in the family. OK–just looked it up– 🙂 average NJ farm is 71 acres

      3. Much the same. You can’t compete with Iowa 🙂 When I think of the demography of the US I imagine the east coast as akin to Europe, with a fringe of home grown American progressives on the west coast, and all the rest is off the scale huge and unknown.

      4. Hahaha. I suspect that’s what a lot of Americans think, too–especially those of us who live on the coasts. Even if it’s not exactly true. 😉

      1. No, only joking. A glass is enough. I don’t know if you’ve noticed but all wine has increased in alcoholic content by at least 1° over the last few years. It’s too much. What was wrong with 12.5°?

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