Autumn Rural

Driving home on 17 April, nearly there and just on sunset. I asked Nigel to pull over because I’ve been wanting to get a few photos of this large field of round bales – they’re either hay or straw. Behind them (which is east) are the locally iconic Blue Mountains located right behind our town of Tapanui. West Otago, New Zealand.

Click on any photo to enlarge.


The next pic is taken further to the left …

swinging back in the opposite direction (to the right of the first pic) …

pulling back and getting the tree …

and further right again, you can see our car parked on the highway verge.

These young cows watched my every move from t’other side of the road!


Text and photos by Liz; Exploring Colour (2021)

8 thoughts on “Autumn Rural

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  1. Take away the mountains, and that could be much of Texas. Even the highway verges often get baled that way. Occasionally, some bales are moved beneath the roof of a pole shed, but (depending on the crop) they generally stay outside. They’re just gathered, covered, and left in a corner of the field. Some crops ‘wrap’ more tightly than others, and shed water better. Cotton’s often covered in the same way, except that crop ends up in rectangles. I’ve seen them covered in white, pink, and yellow. What I don’t yet know is whether the different colors are a code of some sort.

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    1. Interesting Linda! Verges sometimes get baled here too. Silage wrap comes in many different colours here – the ones you mentioned but many others too. Nigel and I both think that the choice of colour in some situations may be determined by the level of heat needed to be transmitted to the contents. Other times it may be for charity e.g. pink bale wrap is for donating to breast cancer treatment, and blue for donations to prostate cancer treatment. Most hay or straw here is harvested into big round bales but occasionally into large rectangular bales. Sometimes we see a farmer on a vintage tractor towing a vintage baler and doing the old small rectangle bales – which is how everyone did hay when I was in primary school!

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      1. Well, I found the answer — at least for cotton growers and hay balers in Texas. A nice lady at one of our cotton gins laughed and said there’s no deep significance to the different colors. It depends on what they can get the best price on!

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      2. I remember the rectangular bales well. Once I played with schoolfriends in a farm barn where we built tunnels from them – probably not all that safe! And they were used for making jumps for horses too. But they’re long-gone now.

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        1. Handy seating too! A 2nd-cousin of mine had her wedding reception at the family home years ago, and the seating was the old-style rectangular hay bales – the normal bale then 🙂

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  2. I bet farmers are glad to roll the hay that way and no more back breaking work heaving them up into a barn loft as they get wrapped and stored in white plastic making the field look like a marshmallow farm. 🙂

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    1. These will get left as they are, they’re already in a wrap of some kind. I assume they’ll get put into a shed via machinery. I love the ‘marshmallow farm’ allusion! The white-wrapped silage bales do look like giant marshmallows and some get wrapped in pink too so there’s always a chance that a “marshmallow farm” could have white and pink blobs 😀

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