The Current Normal – Round, Round, We Get Around

As we lengthened our bicycle rides, we began seeing more signs of haying. It would seem the hay crop was a little better further East and not only had it cured sufficiently, it was already put up in round bales. These round bales can weigh between 1,100 and 2,200 ponds (500 to 1,000 kg) and vary between 48 and 72 inches (120 to 180 cm) in diameter.

When I was growing up in Southern Alberta in the 1968, I helped my Dad custom stack over 100,000 round and square bales, all of the smaller size, weighing between 40 and 110 pounds in my two months of summer holidays from Garde 9. The 110 pound bales were brutes made by a farmer who was told that if he just tightened the tension on the baler, he could cut his stacking costs in half. Yeah, and kill the custom stackers, too. Then there was the guy who baled a whole field of Scottish thistles. Not sure what the motive was her, as I can not imagine what bovine in their right mind would chew through that crap. All I know is that I wore out two sets of blue jeans and one set of knees in two days. Not my happiest bale stacking experienc.

The larger bales shown in my feature photo, started to become common in the 1970s. We were happy to see these ubiquitous summer prairie icons all along our route.

These photos were taken August 5, 2020.

Gathered and stacked for later pickup
still to be gathered
Winter feed for these horses?
close up
tightly wound
prancing horses
lean pickings in the pastures
shiny on the end
last year’s bales and this year’s hay crop
new mown hay

8 thoughts on “The Current Normal – Round, Round, We Get Around

  1. Getting out into the countryside is always a great opportunity for photographers, especially when the hay bales make an appearance; they are such fantastic photography subjects. They also remind me about my childhood, it was hard work making grass into hay bales and then transporting them to the shed. In Latvia, hay bales always come in square form, and I still remember how heavy they were! Also, getting srached by the hay was no fun either, but those were the days when everyone had to work hard during the summer months. Otherwise livestock would starve and so would we. Thanks for sharing and have a good day 😀 Aiva

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I do not begrudge my time on the farm, but certainly would not rush back, especially to stack bales. My Grade 9 summer vacation was anything but, but my hard work gained me a used motorcycle, so I guess it was worth it. Stay well Aiva and thanks for reading. Allan

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I still like square bales (why they are called square when they are rectangular I’ve never figured out) as they are so much easier to handle. Also love the smell. I think I have the perfect set up – hay outside by front door but we crop share so it’s basically no work to us. Not that we are lazy but we don’t have the equipment.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. And the small round bales were not truly round, more conical. A real jigsaw puzzle to stack. I agree, the small bales were the best to handle and as a kid, you could build a really good bale fort. Nowadays equipment costs a fortune, so don’t blame you for crop share solution. Thanks for reading Bernie. Allan


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