"Martha, look at that there peaceful pastoral scene" said Freddy
"Yes, dear it sure is peaceful in a pastoral sense" said Martha
What they don't see is the behind the scenes drama that sadly can take lives. Farming is one of the most dangerous jobs (number 4 in the top 10) in the US. I was always the nag hag of the family, running after Keith and the boys when they did
But vehicular related accidents on the farm are just part of the risks.
Hay, can be a bigger threat. A couple of year ago, a distant neighbor of ours was crushed, and died, when large hay bales fell on him. He was in his 30's. We use the same type of large square bale and after that particular accident I was the shreiking mama who put the big kaposh on climbing on the hay bales. It made me unpopular with the teens in our family who would climb up top for some private time away from the adults.
Then last week, I saw these bales of hay Keith pulled out of our barn.
At first I thought mold, but a quick feel (I'm too tired for anything more than that lately) revealed dry and crackly. Sure enough this black stuff is burn marks. Put away on the moist side, the hay heated up and started to burn. Fortunately for us, this happened at the farmers barn where we buy our hay. By the time it was shipped to us it was cold and no longer a threat.
But seeing it sitting out there has reminded me how dangerous our job is, how fortunate our farmer friend was and how we all need to remain vigilant when it comes to farm safety. So if you see me walking around our machine shed or large livestock barn with my nose up in the air please assume I am just checking for heat in the hay, not being a stuck-up Midlife Farmwife.