Dec 10-04

Past-E-Mail: Cam Notes - 2004: December: Dec 10-04
Hay is done    ...scroll down to share comments
Photo by Jim Drew

Mary Drew, on the farm on Friday, December 10, 2004 - 07:00 am:

When the snow arrives on the farm, it's a quieter time for the farm crews and equipment too. That's an old hay rake, taking a break until next season, which my hubby, Jim Drew captured in this shot. Winter is a time when farmers can take a bit of a breather from the raking, baling, combining and harvesting of crops. For those of you not familiar with farming terms, here's a short explanation of combining. It's the modern form of threshing, (which was a machine spotted here on Tuesday's Cam) with the added step of mowing the crop, combined with threshing the grain from the stalk, thus the name combine! Ok, back to the picture, which gives us a visual idea of the sense of calm on the farm, once winter settles in and all the summer chores are complete. Quite a peaceful scene to look out your window and see each evening.

By Margaret, Amarillo TX on Friday, December 10, 2004 - 07:04 am:

I love this picture--almost Christmas like.

By smf in troll land on Friday, December 10, 2004 - 07:04 am:

You're right - it's a very peaceful scene. Wish I were there!

By Gary,New Jersey on Friday, December 10, 2004 - 07:24 am:

Reminds me of the days I spent at Gibbs Lake park in Southern WI getting ready for the Birke. Now I'm glad there is no snow here in the NYC area.

By J.R, Royal Oak on Friday, December 10, 2004 - 07:37 am:

Most all the pictures posted on this site brings a sense of calmness to the soul. I am counting down the time I have left to work in the city. I need the sense of calmness to heal the stress that city has brought on to my soul. Thank you for helping to keep our soul at peace.

By PSmitSC on Friday, December 10, 2004 - 08:11 am:

I enjopy the pictures immensely however I have yet to understand why a farmer will leave a piece of valuable equipment out in the weather. I recall very well the times my grandfather admonished me for not having put a hoe or shovel back in the proper storage space out of the weather.

By Down State Dave on Friday, December 10, 2004 - 08:42 am:

Jim Drew -- nice picture!

Mary your title on the picture reminds me of the words that go with "Taps", the haunting bugle call played at military funerals. The words fit this picture rather well I think.

Day is done, gone the sun.
From the earth, from the hills, from the sky.
All is well, safely rest, God is nigh.

By Tom, Wisc on Friday, December 10, 2004 - 09:03 am:

For some of you too young to remember, that hay rake in today's picture really is a horse rake. Meaning it was designed to pulled by a horse. Not like the more modern day equipment which is pulled by tractors. These old hay rakes are sort of antiques and many people display them in their yards here in there both in the UP and northern Wisconsin. And on some small acreages I'll bet some are still functional.

By Chris, MI on Friday, December 10, 2004 - 09:06 am:

Are you guys up there a little behind in the snow fall this year? Seems strange to see so much growth on the ground, coming up from the little snow that has falled. I'm I off in thinking there should be more snow on the ground by now?

By Alex Tiensivu, Georgia on Friday, December 10, 2004 - 11:04 am:

I could set up a tent there... and STAY there... How peaceful looking!

By Vicki Rae in Mi. on Friday, December 10, 2004 - 11:07 am:

A lovely picture! Those of us who grew up in the UP shiver just looking at it! UP lovers out there, show this picture to all of your friends and start to mention how bad the black flies are in the summer. This will help keep newcomers from discovering the UP and moving there!

By Yooper in Indiana on Friday, December 10, 2004 - 11:23 am:

the rakes are still used here in the middle of Amish Country!

By misplaced Michigander, NJ on Friday, December 10, 2004 - 11:25 am:

Thank you, Jim Drew. That photo is not only a superb composition, but as I looked at it I took a (rare) truly deep breath and could feel the tension recede. I could hear the stillness, and smell the air. It's good to know that you "UP-ers" appreciate the beauty with which you live. In this area, anything which smacks of nature is quickly demolished.

By BT,TC on Friday, December 10, 2004 - 11:44 am:

Reminds me of the family farm out in Bootjack...thanks for the memory this holiday season!

By Audrey, San Jose, CA on Friday, December 10, 2004 - 12:02 pm:

Beautiful picture today. Will make it my wallpaper so I can gaze and dream!

By Candy, CA on Friday, December 10, 2004 - 12:29 pm:

Chris, I was thinking the same thing. My sister in Green Bay says her husband will have to cut the grass again soon -- no snow -- and the Tech webcam on Ripley looks downright sad. (

I was thinking we were having a weird start to winter here in California, with lots of rain and chilly temps, but now I think we're just copying what's going on back home!

By Greg, OR on Friday, December 10, 2004 - 12:58 pm:

Speaking of Bootjack, does anybody know how it got its name? Thanks.

By Gus LL on Friday, December 10, 2004 - 01:15 pm:

We always called a rake like in the pic a dump rake. Looks like the rake in the above pic has a modified hitch to be towed by a tractor. We had one on our farm years ago. My dad would drive the tractor and I would sit on the rake and operate the dump pedal. The tines on the rake would be lifted by the power of the rotating wheels. Besides the foot pedal it also had a manual lift lever. The hay was dumped into wind rows to dry and picked up by several other machines later, one of which was the trusty old pitchfork and hay rack. Later in the coming years the side rake came into use. It had rotating tines and would rotate the hay into windrows.There was also a rake called a sweep rake. Hey hey.

By Norma in Midland on Friday, December 10, 2004 - 01:30 pm:

Hey BT,TC it's nice to see you on line. I'll have to tell Aunt Norma and Uncle Rudy you were on here. Have a great weekend!

By PSmit SC on Friday, December 10, 2004 - 01:43 pm:

Gus- When I was about thirteen years old, in 1938, my grandfather introduced me to the horse drawn hayrake, using a team of horses. The fields had many large rocks in them which we had to maneuver around to avoid getting the tynes caught and broke. My biggest fear was that of the horse stepping into a hornets nest which they did from time to time. That could resuslt in a wild ride if you were not paying close attention and kept the horses under control. I never got thrown off.
The next big job was pitching the hay onto the wagon and then unloading it in the barn. Some different from today's airconditioned automated farm equipment.

By Jon H, WI, from Bootjack on Friday, December 10, 2004 - 01:52 pm:

Greg, The name came from the shape of the road. If you look at a good map you'll see the outline of a boot-jack.

By Alice, Ventura, CA on Friday, December 10, 2004 - 01:54 pm:

It made me think of a Western Big Sky Montana country. That is what I first thought when I saw today's picture.

By Ron in Ky. on Friday, December 10, 2004 - 03:00 pm:

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

By Florida on Friday, December 10, 2004 - 03:56 pm:

I really miss the U.P.!! I live just north of Tampa and seeing pictures from up north really brings back childhood memories. Thank you for sharing! Happy Holidays!

By CP, LB on Friday, December 10, 2004 - 04:05 pm:

Hey Norma, I remember when you were at the bootjack farm, and lost your shoe in chicken dooooo! Gramma A. wouldn't let you back in the house.

By Norma in Midland on Friday, December 10, 2004 - 04:11 pm:

CP, LB you were not suppose to remember those days!! Oh well, it was fun going to Gramma A's farm and feeding the chickens and the fresh eggs OH MY!! You must be home now. Hope you had a great trip in Marquette.

By Marta on Friday, December 10, 2004 - 04:49 pm:

Chris, MI
We are just a little behind in snow. It has been unseasonably warm this fall and early winter so far. Some of us are enjoying it as long as it will last. That probably won't be too much longer.

By Mary, MI on Friday, December 10, 2004 - 04:53 pm:

PSmith SC
Even with today's modern farm machinery with air conditioning. It just doesn't work right over half the time with the sun hitting in the cab of the tractor or With the tractor running hot the air conditioning just don't do it like it does in a car or a truck.

By WALTER P. TAMPA on Friday, December 10, 2004 - 07:39 pm:


By Amber. Lake County on Friday, December 10, 2004 - 09:32 pm:

Jon H, WI from Bootjack
What is a boot-jack?

By sno pro 13 on Friday, December 10, 2004 - 10:21 pm:

need more sno then could picture f-7 going across it tearing it up

By Tom, IN on Friday, December 10, 2004 - 11:21 pm:

A bootjack is a device to get your boot off. As my grandfather explained to my brother and me while driving there and us asking why is it named Bootjack, because a very bad man who was a robber or something got caught and hanged from a tree (grandfather pointing to the tree in question) and his boot fell off, and so the name Bootjack. We believed him.

By Mary Lou on Saturday, December 11, 2004 - 06:00 am:

A boot-jack was used by lumberjacks to help get their high top boots off. It is approximately a foot and half long, 6 inches wide and about an inch thick......there is a V cut on one end and a small piece of wood under the V to lift the V.......they would jam the heel of their boot into the V after unlacing the boot (holding the back of the jack with the other foot)............this is how it was explained to me..we had one on a shelf at our cottage at Bootjack.......

By Ken ja Mimi from da UP on Saturday, December 11, 2004 - 10:42 pm:

A boot-jack was very useful after doing the barn chores, also. :o)
I remember working with a dump rake when I was much younger. Push the pedal down and pull the handle back. The harder part came with the pitchfork. Load the hay rack and then spread it out in the mow.

By Mary LaFountain, NY on Monday, February 21, 2005 - 09:28 pm:

So glad I saw this photo. I'm in the process of writing up memories of my grandmother's farm. As a small child, I road on one of thes rakes with my father. I imagine it was a short ride. The memories are sweet.Thank you for sharing.

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