I had the opportunity last evening to do something I've never done before, which made me feel closer to the land than I've ever been. The moon was full, looking like a giant peach, and hanging low in the sky. I was driving an antique John Deere tractor pulling an even older hay rack through a field, while another pioneer-type loaded small square bales on the rack. By the time we finished, the rack was loaded with over a hundred bales, the sky was black as coal, but that beautiful moon was still watching over us.
It took a long time to perform this task, the old tractor slowly putt-putting through the field, stopping here and there. But I can imagine that 70 years ago, this was an incredible marvel that greatly increased feed production. What excitement it must have caused! Today, combines and tractors cruise through the fields with computers, A/C, stereo systems, and GPS to guide them. I think the farmers are losing their touch with the land with this technological separation.
But I got in touch with it last night on a wonderful, satisfying moonlit ride that I will never forget. I now appreciate those bales of hay more than ever, because a lot of sweat and hard work went into each one. And I got to help.
My newest love is a handsome guy, a little on the short side, but sweet and a gentleman. I've named him Prince Norbert as he needed a regal name. He's a 4-year-old Hackney and he's broke to ride and drive. He's lean and muscular, almost all black except for the white socks on his rear legs and a white smudge on his nose. It looks like he got all dressed up for a night on the town, but forgot his dress socks.
Next to our Belgians he looks like a toy, but he'll pull the antique buggy and sleigh we have with no problems. He has a fancy gait, it looks like he's dancing when he walks. He'll do very well in the parades next year and I'm very pleased that he found and adopted us.
Welcome to our family, Prince Norbert, we will treat you like royalty. And it will be a pleasure to feed you some of that full-moon-harvested hay.