Hot, hot and hotter

Well, folks, it has been hotter than the hubs of Hades up here in the out-backs of Markdale.

For seven days in a row it just got hot, hotter and hotter, with no sign of rain. I am not noted for having an exceptionally good memory, other than the fact that I have not forgotten anything that I remembered, but I can’t for the life of me remember other summers that were quite so hot.

No rain and hot sunny weather has made the haying season for most quite favourable. Though late in planting during the wet spring, the grain fields have made surprising progress. Though shorter in stock they have headed out well and it looks like there will be some bumper crops there as well this year.

It has been a long, long time since I helped our family haying. That was back when most mowers were of five foot width and horse drawn.

When dried by the sun, it was raked into long rows by a single horse dump rake, coiled by hand with a pitch fork into neat little head-high piles, then, after curing for a week, loaded on the wagon with the same fork, and pitched, one to the other up into the high stair stepped mows of the ancient towering wooden barns. Not so today; big machinery has replaced the muscle of man.

This past week has been an interesting one for me. Though age has relegated my position to a comfortable chair in the shade where I can watch what is going on, it has not limited me from assisting in many of the little clean-up jobs.

That I enjoy doing as it keeps me active and allows me the liberty of “talking to the animals.” That leaves a much better impression than talking to one’s self.

Because we mulched with aged manure heavily, well prior to planting, our new garden area has not yet been affected by the lack of rain. The corn is now shoulder high, and the tomatoes and potatoes are in full bloom, which is a strong indication that we will be munching them for lunch within a couple of weeks. I don’t think there is a food that I like more than new potatoes.

In the meantime, in my canary castle, during the hour each day that it takes to clean feed and water them, I get to peek into the new woven nests of the individually caged pairs of birds. Some are setting on eggs, usually five in number, which hatch in two weeks. Some are feeding their fast growing young, which fledge, fully feathered and grown in less than three weeks, at which time their parents kick them out and start nesting again.

As I write, the radio weatherman makes no promise of lower temperatures or rain on the way, so you’ll find me, if you happen to wander this way, ‘neath the shade of the nearest big tree.

Take care, cause we care.        




Barrie Hopkins