Next time you are tasked with the job of cutting your lawn consider the plight of the Austrian farming family
Whenever there are three consecutive hot, sunny, completely dry summer days, the farming community have to cut as much alpine meadow as possible on both the mountain slopes and in the valleys - this makes the precious winter fodder for their cattle. When the weather forecast is right the sounds of mowing in the Alps can be heard echoing around the valleys; on the second day the grass is lifted, turned, thrown in the air and made into furrows; on the third day the now dry alpine hay is gathered in to be safely stored away in barns. There is no shying away from the job, if the weather is right then the task must be done.Depending on the location it is quite a feat to observe. The higher the meadow the harder the task.
This was taken half way up a mountain from a chair lift - it was much steeper than it appears - my camera lens zoomed down from on high
On the second day the hay is drying nicely; on the third very hot day we spent the morning walking but decided to return to the hotel and seek some shade on the balcony with our books. However, not much reading was done as we watch the extraordinary antics of a farmer and his family
A large tarpaulin white sheet was dragged up the mountain slope - mainly hidden from view by the tree
The farmer used a blower and rake to collect the hay together
I couldn't catch the next action as the tree blocked the cameras view - the farmer piled the hay on to the tarpaulin and made a large haystack. To our atonishment he then pulled the tarpaulin complete with haystack down the mountainside backwards - as the load gathered momentum he ran faster and faster, still backwards! - we watched with our hearts in our mouths until he reached safety at the bottom of the mountain - the whole process was repeated several times until all of the meadow grass was safely gathered in.
Job done - at least 6 little truck loads passed beneath our balcony on their way to the storage barns - the aroma of good hay smells sweet which this did.
Some of the village decorative details that I admired