Ideally, we would mow the field and then leave it for a day or two before raking and stacking the hay. The weather this year has messed up our system and, according to the forecasts, we are not going to have any rain-free days next week but we can't wait too much longer before we release the sheep into the big field.
Today the field is warm and dry and there has been some breezy weather so the grass is actually quite dry and the grasses are just right for haymaking (e.g. not too "stalky"). Peter and Stefan took turns mowing with the tractor but one of us had to walk ahead looking for rocks, branches, dog bones and anything else that could damage the machine.
Later on, Peter and Thomas used the new raker to make "windows" (long mounds of piled up hay) ready for stacking. It works brillantly: a great (second-hand) buy.
In the evening, just before the boys were due to leave, we set up the poles and started stacking the hay. By midnight we had stacked about half the field but then we ran out of poles. We have 10 small haystacks but enough hay to make as many again.