Sunday, 12 January 2014

While Gavin went round with baler...

 Ralph followed with the wrapper. 
In this photo the first of about four layers is almost complete.

Here, a bale is just in the process of being tipped off. 

Less than five hours from the start of baling, 154 x c750 kg bales stand about the paddocks.

Saturday, 11 January 2014

 Gavin was back this morning with his tedder to ted the hay into rows ready for baling. It is interesting to see how it unfolds itself from the approximate 3.85 metres wide it has to be for road travel to its full 7.1 metres for paddock work - and all without Gavin having to leave his seat.

Four cut rows gathered into one. By midday all the tedding was finished and Gavin's now gone to get the baler to finish the job.

Friday, 10 January 2014

 Gavin arrived this morning and immediately set to work cutting grass in preparation for baling tomorrow. His trusty old tractor has done over 8,000 hours and just keeps on keeping on. The attachment on the front of the tractor is for picking up bales of 'bailage' (spelling appears to be 'bailage' or 'baleage'), which weigh in at about 750 kgs. 

A description of baleage is found here

Baleage is based on the ensiling principle, but in a bale of hay instead of a silo. Baleage is hay that is baled at high moisture (40%-60% — dry hay is baled anywhere from 12% to 18% or maybe, but it is pushing it unless a propionic acid preservative spray is used, 20% or a bit higher) very tightly in a round bale and then wrapped in multiple layers of plastic, at least four layers. The plastic wrap and tightly wrapped bale keep oxygen out of the hay. The lack of oxygen and the high moisture encourages the anaerobic bacteriological (lacto bacilus) fermentation, or pickling, of the hay. The pH of properly made baleage should be below 4.0. The baleage is stable until the plastic wrap is removed. Once removed, the bale will spoil in one to two days in warm weather, but it can last for four or five days in cold weather.
We will see tomorrow how it works.

Harold the Hare decide to vacate the premises while he still had his hair. He had been mustered into the centre of the paddock as the hay was mowed, and almost left it too late to make a bolt for it. The mower passed within a few feet of his hairy little backside before he high-tailed it into the neighbour's paddock.
My better half decided that she needed just one more spud for dinner the other night, so she felt round in the dirt and came up with this. It is propped against a 750 ml bottle for size comparison. It weighed 613 grams, and it took two meals to demolish it. It is a New Zealand bred spud called Purple Heart, and is very high in antioxidants. It is also delicious.

Any resemblance to Richie McCaw is purely coincidental!

Monday, 6 January 2014

A curious tui, spoiled by a constant supply of sugar water (1 cup of sugar to 1 litre water) thought he'd check out my brew of home-made sake. I can say he wasn't impressed. (A gentle reminder; click on the photos for a larger view.)

 "OK. Now what's this?"

 "Boy! That's different!"

 "Is it me, or has that stuff got a kick?"

"Yurrk. Not for me! It does have an unpretentious 'nose', though, and subtle hints of rice and sultanas."

They are a beautiful bird, and can sing like an angel. Contrary to what your eyes inform you, there are apparently no black feathers on them. They are a constant delight in our garden as they come and go.

Thursday, 2 January 2014

Our weather for December, 2013
(Remember to click on any picture to enlarge)

Our weather summary for 2013.