Monday, August 11, 2014

Breaking It Down

Dancers might be the only people who like breakdowns. (Or is that "break it down?" I am not, nor will I ever be, a dancer. Just ask my vocal teacher from college when she tried to offer a crash course in choreography before a tryout with K-State Singers. Let's just say it's a good thing K-State Concert Choir didn't require dancing.)

Anyway, "breakdown" is a dirty word on the farm. And, if that's the case, it sure seems we've been doing our fair share of "swearing" lately. It's easier to name the implements that haven't broken down. During harvest, we couldn't keep the trucks going. The combine had an issue or two. Last week, the tractor had a flat tire. At various times, we've had the baler and two different tractors in the shop. I even had my desktop computer break down. It qualifies as a farm tool, right?

The swather has had multiple breakdowns all summer, and last week was no exception. Randy was swathing sudan for a neighbor. It's a slow job anyway. The plants are taller and thicker than alfalfa, so it takes awhile to put it down. One evening, Randy had me bring an extra belt to the field because the other one was slipping. 

I offered to "hold something." But, since I'm about as good at implement repair as I am at dancing, my offer was kindly declined. (I do make a mean sandwich, which gave Randy the energy to tackle the job. Every little bit helps, right?)
Even though I wasn't much help (other than moral support and cheerleading), Randy wanted me to stick around in case he needed to send me for other tools or parts since we were several miles from home. So, while he was trying to get his body contorted inside the baler, I enjoyed the view.
It was nearing the golden hour of dusk, that time when diffused sunlight makes everything pretty. Even though I'm sure this particular sudan hybrid wasn't around when settlers came to Kansas, I imagined the tall grasses of the prairie during pioneer days as the breeze blew and the plants rustled and the cover wagons circled in for the night. 
I used the swather as a picture frame.
I admired the jet streams crisscrossing the sky. 
I compared just-swathed sudan's color to some that had been swathed a different day.

Just for the record, I did keep offering to help in between my wandering around. Randy got the old belt removed and the new one installed and rode off into the setting sun, just like the hero on the old westerns.
I should have brought my book and just stayed there. By the time I'd gotten home on the back roads (due to resurfacing the blacktop road), it was about time to turn around and come back to pick up Randy for the night. 

We probably saw 20 deer on the way home. Thankfully, I didn't hit any of them: We didn't need another breakdown or repair bill!

He started raking the sudan on Saturday, but then got about 0.50" of rain on it. He'll start the raking process again this afternoon. 
Once it's cured (or dry enough), he'll bale it. Hopefully, the baling can be done without another breakdown to report.  

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  1. Oh breakdowns a farmers curse and I was dealing with that myself this weekend but all is well again. LOVE your pics they are so beautiful. We finished our first cut this weekend now to relax a bit till the next go round, and repair what had trouble during this one:) Take care hope the weather cooperates. Hug B

    1. Thanks, Buttons! I'm glad you are getting a break, but I imagine that the "break" is filled with wedding plans. Good luck with all of that. I can't wait to hear more about it.