Montana–Day One


Wednesday was my first full day at my parents place and getting a load of hay was at the top of the “To Do” list.


The ranch where we went to get it was down the road about seven miles.

This particular ranch while they do regular square bales, does predominately pancake or bread loaf stacking.


Due to the sloping tops of the bread loaf stacks folks out this way are able to successfully store their hay outside in this fashion.


The top layer forms kind of a dense crust and rain or melting snow sheds right off.

But we weren’t after bread loaves, just normal bales.


I would have taken this sweet stock dog with me but she was pretty attached to her job as ranch manager so we just took hay.



Ranch Manager seen here counting bales as they get loaded on to the trailer.


This is the way the hay was loaded, in groups of ten bales by a set of hay grabbers.  These are a lot like the ones we use back in Michigan to load hay off the fields and stack in the barns.


And just like my life in Michigan, when it concerns handling bales, I don’t have to lift a finger here either.

I’m pretty spoiled now but…

Dover Ranch Haying1

there was a day when we did it differently.

That was a long time ago and maybe a post for another time.


I wouldn’t have wanted to do this load by hand.  Not only because even forty pound bales would leave this girl with days of whining about sore muscles but these bales were just over a hundred pounds each.

Can you say “Work” ?

I can’t.

Happily hanging out, pain-free and remembering the good old days,



12 thoughts on “Montana–Day One

  1. You have a wonderful way of seeing the world from a different perspective and showing that world to your readers. Well done!


  2. Great post. I will have to share this with my husband. At our farm we use square bales which are stored in the barn and round bales that are scattered throughout the pastures. He will enjoy this and find it very interesting. Thank you for taking me out west.
    PS My mother’s stepfather was from Helena; her mother remarried years later after her dad died when she was 15.


  3. Beautiful pictures! I have never seen the bread loaf hay stacks like that. They look European in origin. I like driving through Minnesota and Wisconsin and seeing the round hay bales wrapped up in white plastic — they just look like giant marshmallows out in the field.


  4. hi there. came over from dianna’s site to say congrats on the versatile blogger award she gave you! looks like you’re enjoying some time in montana! and northern michigan? are you in U.P.? my oldest sis lives up there about an hour from iron mountain, but she’s in woods, not wet farm fields… i hope you can get your fields planted when you return!


  5. Dee,
    Haven’t seen bread loaf stacking in a long time. My uncle use to do this on his farm (a long time ago). I remember trying to slide down the stack only to end up with manure on my butt. Maybe he didn’t do the stacking correctly???

    Have a great time in your favorite part of the world.


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