Hay bales in a field in Jutland, Denmark
© Nick Brundle Photography/Getty Image
Hay days. The hay days of autumn
As summer turns to autumn, the hay harvest is at the front of farmers' minds. To mark the occasion, we're ambling through this hayfield full of beautifully rolled bales. This particular patch is in Jutland, the agrarian mainland of Denmark that 'juts' into the North Sea. But in any hayfield at sunset, you can see similar neat rows of dry, amber-tinted grass.
The art of drying nutritious grasses as animal fodder is nearly as old and widespread as Jutland's gently rolling hills. And it's a delicate one, especially in places with four distinct seasons: Those precious few autumn days when the sun is bright, the air is low in moisture and the grass is mature might be a farmer's only chance all year to harvest, dry and bale up the nutrient-rich vegetation. So, the saying 'Make hay while the sun shines' is the golden rule.