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Friday, 14 September 2018

The scythe

It’s curious how an object can take you back in life. The scythe was hung in the shed at Doucet House in Rustico, Prince Edward Island. It is in rough shape now, not having been used or maintained in years. 





My grandfather owned and used a scythe to mow the hay for the animals. This time of the year, he worked hard to provide for the coming year. Granda died in 1972, a few hours after having mowed hay. Working to his last day, he died as he would have wanted.


The days of the scythe are long gone as machinery has taken over the family farm and industrialized farming has taken its place. The horse and cart my grandfather used to transport the hay are part of the history books, part of the fond memories from my youth. The smell of the hay, clothes and hair covered in the dried grass, are etched in my sense memory.


It may be part of the reason that at every opportunity, I pause to look at and photograph bales of hay and straw on fields today on Prince Edward Island. Beginning every summer and continuing into the fall, bales sit on the fields ready for collection.


The view near French River, shows signs of the fishery in the foreground, a golf green and bales on a field. 





At the National Park at Cavendish, bales sit in cottage country.





Near the park at Brackley Beach, the back and forth rows made by the harvesting machinery make what looks likes tracks for the bales.





On a friend’s field one evening at dusk, I had the chance to see the straw bales at field level





and up close.





From the Confederation Trail, the fields are bordered with trees and wildflowers.





The trees on the Trail provide a frame for a lone bale.





Last fall, the colours of autumn added another dimension to the common scene near Bonshaw Park.





Finally, the Confederation Bridge is the backdrop for the bales, a scene which changes every year with the crops on the field.





These views from our island home are some of my favourite farm scenes.

37 comments:

  1. Nothing says "rural life" like bales of hay or straw.

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  2. I have much country around me, and bales and bales of hay on view. My dad used a scythe, to clear the weeds on the hill, then to "mow" the grass he substituted.

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  3. This brought back memories for me also, many many years ago in Central Africa, they were used for cutting grass and wheat. Beautiful rural images here Marie. Happy weekend ✨

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    1. Thank you Grace. Rural images are among my favourite, though I love your city photos of Perth!

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  4. LOve those photos. Lots of those here. As we drive by my grandkids all yell "Look fields of slow sheep" and then they all laugh like crazy.

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    1. Lol. Grandkids are the best company, Celia.

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  5. I was used to seeing them in the farm fields along the country roads where I grew up, even across the road from our house.

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  6. Lots of memories for me too. The old men on the farm could remember fields being harvested using scythes when they were children. One of them used to cut his "lawn" using a scythe!

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    1. Granda did the front garden with a scythe too, John. Hard work!

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  7. Beautiful memories. And photos. Growing up, hay bales were always rectangular. Ours are round bales now too.

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    1. I see rectangular bales sometimes, though rarely, EC.

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  8. Love the bale photos!!
    Amazing how quickly things deteriorate when unused or cared for.

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    1. I admire every field we see, Jenn. Granda’s scythe was well cared for.

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  9. You see them here to. It looks like the invasion of the hay bales taking over your island. :)

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  10. Hay bales are quite photogenic, but I've only taken a few. Lack of opportunity, I suppose. Incidentally, my grandfather also dies hours after cutting grass.

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    1. Stay away from grass cutting when you’re a senior is the take away here, AC.

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  11. so pretty...the bales of hay looking out to the sea! And your nature pics are so nice and the fisheries are neat. Now I know the name of the orange wildflowers we have here also...jewelweed, thanks to your picture! Andrea

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    1. That jewelweed has a few names, Andrea. This was the one I like best.

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  12. That was a lot of fun, looking at all those bales in different settings. And that scythe still looks a little scary to me! :-)

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    1. I always notice the bales and the setting, Jan. It’s a “thing” with me.

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  13. What splendid views, Marie, of these hay bales, also from my youth (though in rectangular shapes back then). We saw loads of them while recently in England. I suppose if we drove out into our Dutch polder right now, we'd find them here as well. I love the seasonal feel to these bales, against whatever backdrop. Great nostalgic post!

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    1. Imagine those bales in a field near your windmills, Ginnie.

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  14. And with climate change all of these crops are going to change.

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    1. Climate change is always in my thoughts too, Tabor.

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  15. it is difficult to imagine that was the tool that was used to cut hay - wow, talk about hard working men!! we don't appreciate farmers enough. what a beautiful bridge, all of your images are pretty but pictures 7 & 8 are gorgeous!!!

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    1. I love those images in 7 and 8 too, Debbie. Looking through the trees is always interesting.

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  16. What beautiful, enchanting scenes. Love those pix.

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  17. When I was growing up, we didn't own a lawn mower. My dad used a scythe on all the grass. I wonder what hapenned to his scythe. I remember him sharpening it with a stone whenever he planned to cut the grass.

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    1. Granda used a stone too and shined that thing, Shammi.

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  18. You did a great job with these hay bale pictures. There are lots of scenes like this near me, and I love them.

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  19. When my ex and I first moved to the country we bought square bales of hay to feed the cows. The next year when our hay came in we hired a bailer to come in and harvest the hay in round bales. Oh what great memories.

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  20. I could smell the hay as I looked at your wonderful photos, Marie! We lived across the road from a farm; my brother helped with the haying each summer. It was hot, dusty, hard work, but he never complained. Jobs were hard to come by in the country.

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