Around 4 o'clock in the afternoon, the farm shifts in to high gear in preparation for the 6 o'clock milking.
Hay gets put out, the silage wagon goes to work putting out corn silage. The grain wagon follows with a mixed ration formulated for dairy cows.
The babies get fed at this time too so there is lots of mooing and bleating and tractors with smokestacks sending up gray plumes in the air. The vacuum pumps that generate suction in the milking parlor are fired up and add their own percussion to the orchestra of sounds. The hot steam hisses through the pipe lines over head and everywhere there is activity and noise and purpose.
By 6 o'clock, the babies are bedded down for the night, curled up content and quiet. The young stock and the pregnant cows are full and laying down out in the pastures. The milk herd has come in to the barn and the steaming pipes are quiet. The only sound is the rhythmic vacuum pump pulling milk up in to the pipes and down in to the stainless steel tank in the next room.
Bottles are dried and hung upside down. Sinks are clean. Time to go home.
And the view?
We are just at the time of year where the full moon is up in the western sky while the sun blazes one last blast of glorious light across the sky causing the metal building to glows like neon as the moon hangs above in the night sky.