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Rural Roots - Rural Roots is a column by Fred Jones
2012-06-29 at 15:14

Faeries, follies and friends

Ah, at last, sunny, warm weather. I’ve been praying for it so that the hay fields will produce good grasses for our horses.  We’ve had enough rain, thank you very much; now we need heat.

The rain has come in such quantity that I haven’t needed to water the veggie garden. The lawns have rings and rings of Faerie mushrooms popping up all over the place. 

I’d like to believe that our property has been blessed with the wee folk. After all, for three nights now, upon exiting the barn after turfing the horses into their paddocks, now that the really bad biting bugs have gone to bed, I’ve seen lots of blinking lights drifting through the night air. 
Aren’t fireflies a type of faerie?

Non-believers would argue all the rain has caused the proliferation of the toadstools.  

How boring. 

I mentioned in an earlier column that my hay suppliers had told me two weeks ago they weren’t going to begin cutting hay for two weeks.  I drove by Rudy’s farm and sure enough, there was a field cut and the hay raked into neat rows. 

Now the tricky part about haying, the gamble, is the weather. In spring you require wet from both a healthy snow fall and runoff to saturate the ground and rain to maintain good levels of moisture. 

Then, you need heat to encourage the hay shoots to grow rich with protein and minerals that makes for healthy horses or, if you run a diary operation, good milk. 

Two weeks ago, the farmers were concerned that the temperature was cold and that the fields were saturated with all the rain we recently received making it difficult to get onto those fields.

Now this is the part where my pleas for rain throughout early spring brought forth rain abundantly, in fact, way more rain than we needed. Or, at least that is what I was told last week when I chanced to meet another Fred whose wit I’ve had the occasion to record in this column before. 

He blamed me for all the rain since I had repeatedly implored the Rain God to make sure that we wouldn’t be on the drought list. 

“Stop asking for rain! We’ve got plenty!  We don‘t need more!” urged Fred. 

Right.  It is already on my list to ask for sun and heat.

This past weekend, my wife, Laura, and I were at a wedding anniversary of some close friends who also happen to be friends with the aforementioned Fred and his wife. 

As soon as he saw me he bellowed his remonstrance again for the assembled to hear.  I challenged him by pointing to the sky and asking if the day had not been glorious just like the previous one and that the forecast was for more glorious sun and heat to come, so there. 

Everyone laughed including me because Fred is a good and very funny guy and because occasionally I need Socratic gadflies like Fred to give me material for this column. I answered that I would be duly writing an appeal for heat and sun in my next column (this one) and a chorus of the assembled told me that they would be expecting to read about it. 

So, guys and gals, have I acquitted myself? 

Are you happy now? 

I am because the proof is on the field.  The farmers say that this summer will be yielding a very good hay crop and soon, very soon, our equines will be gaily munching on brand new, richly green hay. 

In the words of another friend, Al: “Boy, hope there’s lots!” 

Me too.

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