It was after 10 when the moon rose, illuminating long rows of hay bales stretching across a field alongside a quiet country road. And me, stacking the bales in the bed of my truck, country music coming softly from the radio into a night air dominated by the songs of ten thousand crickets.

Around 11, the hay was in barn. Not yet in the loft–its ultimate destination–but close enough at the end of a long day. Time then to shower away the itchiness and settle down for a few minutes, with a book and a glass of wine.