Sunday, June 21, 2020


Cutting, raking and baling hay on 70 acres in East Texas week 4. 

Some photos first.

Looking south early Wednesday morning.

The workhorse (1987-1997 series)

Raking system raised for towing.

Rakes left set in towing configuration. 

The towing of these rakes set in a V-shape cause them to turn. They are not mechanically nor hydraulically driven. They do an exceptional job of bringing cut rows of hay into a single center row.

First cutting pass around the acreage. The blades are covered so as to minimize dust and debris.

Raking cut hay into single rows.

Running the raked rows with an automatic hay-baler. When the bale is complete, the operator stops and births the bale out the back. A small arm gives the bale an extra push and then pulls back inside the baler. 


I have not yet met the fellow working this acreage single-handed. He has done all mowing, all raking and all of the baling. He is the quintessential Texan and man's man in my book.

I doubt if I ever put in back-to-back days of work like this man has. I have only seen a quick snapshot of his work ethic these past few days. My guess is that what I have witnessed is exactly who and what this man is! He starts his workday day after lunch, after the sun has had time to dry off the evening dew.

I watched the day he started and saw him work the Massey Ferguson till sunset. Then finishing the cutting the next day.  Seventy some acres. Full hot sun. 

I think he took one break and that was to fuel up the tractor. This is an older tractor. Not air-conditioned or will "comfort" ever be used to describe the seat. All gears. No hydraulics for easier driving. Watching the tractor bumping along several of the paths he has worked, indicates a day's rough ride.

From all the mowing to all of the raking. Row after row after row. From the drone photography I have done, this man's skill-sets of getting every blade of hay on either side of the raking system is evident on each pass to include all of the turns and corners. No GPS system or computer screens guiding his paths.  No enclosed air conditioned cab. All seat-of-the pants and placing tractor front wheels, rear wheels and his forward judgements of the rows cut and raked.

Yesterday, he again worked till sunset. I was privy to his last baling pass and run. Shutting off the baler, he towed the rig to the end of the field and simply shut off the engine. His work day here was over. As with all farming, he most likely had chores to get done when he got home.

He picked up a small lunch-pail and paced to his truck. A work truck, single bench seat, simple and functional. This, too, is a piece of farm equipment that tows all of his haying equipment to and from the fields. 

Sound travels here. I was privy to his stopping at the landowners back deck and watching him walk to the stairs going up the deck. The landowner was there and it appeared time for older fellows, who work the Texas lands, to chat. 

Stopping at the bottom of the stairs, the fellow said "Ain't Life Grand?" His official good afternoon to the owner. The owner did not hear him and the fellow repeated, "Ain't Life Grand." 

The words spoken with a slow relaxed conviction.  After so many long, hot, hard riding, dust covering hours, the older gentleman opened with an upbeat take on life and living. If the words alone were not a testimony to Texas living, it was in his Texan delivery spoken from deep in the heart. 


Rethink ordering rare.

We ordered everything plus, mustard, ketchup and mayonnaise. So far the best hamburger in Texas. Tater Tots came piping hot with a salted crunch.

The restaurant was 100% open and food was served with real silverware. 

Note: The restaurant was not quite half-full when we stopped for lunch. The waitresses were busy enough to keep on the move from taking orders, serving and clearing tables. After a short while another waitress came by and asked if everything was ok. It was. With that Texan accent she offered to bring us a few crackers while we waited. "Don't want your tummy to hit your back bone." 

Other Ma's Cafe menu items read: Chicken Fried Rib Eye; Country Gravy Covers the Plate; Grilled Pork Chops; Sothern Cooking at its Best; Garlic Toast; Biscuits and Gravy $4.98; Soda Pop; 4 Large House Breaded Shrimp and more.


Ya'll come back next week, ya hear!!

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