Hay Bale Decorating

It’s hay bale decorating time again!

Remember last year? I published this post: Halloween Hay Bales, and said I hoped to get in on the action next time around?

Well, turns out, the Town of Pike Road has a hay bale decorating competition every year, and this year 41 different neighborhoods entered their decked out bales!

Here are photos of a few I saw while I was out and about this week:

Hay Bale Decorating Minion Spider Web

Hay Bale Decorating Owl Cat

Hay Bale Decorating Haunted House Lollipop

Our neighbor, Sherry, posted a question on Facebook asking if anyone had ideas for our bale, and of course I couldn’t resist throwing an idea out there! I responded with:

How about we make it look like one of our houses? We could put a tin roof on top, a porch on the front, and use pumpkins and plants all around it!”

I was so excited when Sherry wrote back and said they were going to go for it! I wasn’t around the day everybody was available to work on it, so I put together a rough inspiration photo in Photoshop for them, and here’s what our talented team of volunteers created:

Hay Bale Decorating House

They decided to go for a slightly spooky vibe by adding cob webbing to the side of the bale, and a $1 “Beware” sign from Dollar General to the front door. Neighbor Teri used a Sharpie marker to draw on the (house) number 13…

Hay Bale Decorating 13

…and I added some finishing touches (tiny topiaries, ferns, ornamental lettuce, flowers and pumpkins) a couple days later.

Hay Bale Decorating Porch

(Special thanks to Neighbors David & Ashley for doing all the building this year!)

The Town of Pike Road chose the winners last night, but Kevin and I didn’t get home from Montgomery until after dark, so I didn’t even notice the sign that said our bale won 2nd place! 😀

Here’s the bale that won 3rd place…

Hay Bale Decorating Bat

…and here’s the one that won 1st place:

Hay Bale Decorating Turkey

Hay Bale Decorating Canned Turkey

The Kids Choice award went to this guy at the Rolling Hills VFD:

Hay Bale Decorating Despicable Me

How fun is that? 😀

Next year, I’m going to try to get out and see more of them.

Hay Bale Locations in Pike Road

I had no idea there were so many in the competition every year! (Or that the Town of Pike Road stretched from here to Troy Highway- LOL!)

I photographed a few of the hay bales at the beginning of this post this morning.

It was still dark out when I woke up, and I really had no idea what time it was. Was it 2am…or 6am? I felt fairly rested, so I was guessing the latter. I was so cozy under the covers though, and I didn’t really feel like getting up yet.

Then, boom.

I suddenly felt like I was really supposed to get up and see the sun rise.

But it was chilly-ish, and I was sort of still sleepy, so I tried to ignore the Nudge.

I tugged the blankets up around my shoulders as I tossed from side to side…and side to side.

See the sun…see the sun.

Alright, fine. I’ll get up and see the sun.

I slid off the bed, and stepped over the luggage I still have to unpack from last weekend. I quietly folded up our (temporary) paper shades, and clipped them in place above the window facing east.

No sun. Only clouds.


I turned around and headed back bed, and wondered if I just needed to wait a little longer?

As I crawled back under the blankets, Max stretched out from underneath them and plopped his little head down onto the pillow next to me. There’s something so sweet about the way a dog plops and sighs right before he drifts back to sleep, isn’t there? :-)

I hoped to drift back to sleep with him- but that wasn’t going to happen this morning.


If I had drifted back to sleep, I would’ve missed the mist…

Pike Road Alabama

…and Kev wouldn’t have met these muzzles…

Kevin Palmer

Brown Horse Photo

Hay bale location map in hand, we took our time on back roads we haven’t ever explored. The landscape was so peaceful and pumpkin-y warm, and I don’t think we saw more than three cars the whole time. We must have smiled for an hour straight, and when our tummies started grumbling- we made our way back to town for a sack full of doughnuts from Dunkin. Mmm!

I wanted to save this memory here on my blog today because something really special and exciting happened after we got up this morning! I can’t share the details yet- but one day (hopefully not too far away), I’ll blog all about why I needed to wake up and see the sun…and drive to Dunkin Donuts, too.  :-)

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  1. Leslie d. Brown says

    Oh Layla! You are always such a tease 😉 Beautiful photos you took today. The horses are such beautiful creatures. Anyway, can’t wait to hear what your secret is. Take care, sweetie! Hugs to you and Kev.
    –Leslie from Oregon

  2. says

    Dear Layla, I loved looking at your pictures. So much great ideas. And I just hope your secret is a good one. Because, reading at our last sentence made me doubt … Hope you’re fine.

    • Layla says

      Oh, yes, yes! I’m 100% fine! 😀 Yesterday morning was extraordinary and I’m so thankful for the Nudge to get up and experience it! Your comment had me worried I didn’t articulate that last part right though- so I went back in and edited a little. Thanks for the heads up, and for always being so sweet! 😀

      • Layla says

        Hi Jan! I’m @letteredcottage on Instagram. :-) If you have an iPhone, you’ll just need the Instagram app. If not, you can visit Instagram.com/letteredcottage :-)

  3. Beth says

    I’ve never seen the large hay bales decorated like that. When I was a farmer’s daughter back in the day, we had small individual bales where I had the job of straightening rows with a hay hook.

    I totally think your bale should have won first place, though. Maybe next year!

    • Layla says

      Aw, thank you Beth! And how fun to read about you straightening those bales. Takes me back to the farm I grew up on, too. :-)

  4. Robbie Zeller says

    I love your morning mist picture! This scripture comes to me when I look at it…..”I have swept away your offenses like a cloud, your sins like the morning mist. Return to me, for I have redeemed you.” Isaiah 44:22. Thanks for reminding me today that I am pursued and loved by God.

  5. Hayley says

    I looooved the minion hay bales. Sophie screams every time we drive by. Gray Ridge’s cupcake was also pretty good! Great idea for the Waters. It looks even better in person! I hear Mom and Dad are in charge of it next year and Dad already has the wheels churning! :)

  6. Sherri says

    The first time I saw bales of hay decorated was on a trip to Germany! They had them stacked as gingerbread men and other characters on the side of the road! Thanks for the post; brought back some great memories! And of course, I love the photos!!!! The horse was beautiful! Can’t wait to read about the exciting happenings of that morning!!!

  7. Vara says

    I find that oftentimes those quiet nudges from The Lord are really inconvenient and can stretch us, but ALWAYS, ALWAYS worth it. Reminds me of Jeremiah 29:11….”For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper and not harm, to give you hope and a future!”

  8. says

    Oh, I can’t wait to hear about why you had to see the sunrise today:). I love seeing the Pike Road hay bales! Your cottage bale is adorbs! We put on Witches Walk last weekend in our hometown LeClaire, Iowa & thought about decorating a hay bale for the event, but ran out of time…maybe next year!

  9. says

    You should check out the “Come grow with us” at St James UMC (Vaughn and Ryan), the “Mr Potato Head” across the street (diagonally) from that and the “Jesus loves you a latte” at the church up the street on Ryan Road! These are all SO CUTE!!! I may have to get out and photograph some myself!!!

  10. Kimberly Russell says

    I would love to compete in a hay bale competition!

    Something Exciting huh? Like something you might tell us about in say 12-13 weeks?

  11. Mirinda says

    Until we moved near Troy Hwy we never realized it went all the way down here, either! The country is beautiful. Can’t wait to hear the secret but from the hints, I have my own idea :) So glad to have found your blog!

  12. Jeanna says

    Wonderful ideas for the hay bales, and I can’t wait to hear the rest of your story :)

  13. says

    This is such an awesome idea! I can’t believe someone in my community hasn’t thought of something like this yet! How fun! I hope you don’t mind, but I used the minion firefighter picture in my weekly round up of posts that made me smile. I linked to your blog and this post, but if you’d like me share the link without the photo, let me know and I’ll remove it. I just couldn’t resist sharing!

  14. says

    Your hay bale turned out AWESOME!!! They’re all just so cute! :)
    Can’t wait to hear your secret, way to leave me with a cliff hanger!!! :)

    Happy Halloween!

  15. Cath says

    In PA there are still Regular hay bales (along with the rolled bales) which we use around our fire pit for guests to sit on and roast marshmallows. We are still a large farming state and many have gone to the big round bales but we still manage to find the traditional bales. I had no idea there were decorating contests! It’s definitely a wonderful sign of fall in these parts!
    Love the house bale.

  16. Sunny says

    Your blogs always broaden my horizons..we all get to travel those country roads or wherever with you…can’t wait to hear what that special reason might be..but will.
    Lovely, lovely morning photos :}

  17. Ter'e Crow Lindsay says

    Glorious, just glorious!
    Godwinks for sure, when you get that nudge. I always “listen”.
    Glad you listened and even took pics!!!!!

    Atta girl!!!!! AND…………you little sneaky pete………teasing us like you do………..darn, what’s up????? :-)

  18. says

    The one with the cat was great, and the haunted house! We have huge hay bales at our place for feeding the horses, I never thought to decorate them! Now I have something to look forward to for next Halloween :)

  19. Sharon says

    Thanks for the trip down memory lane. Our time in Pike Road was short (only 10 months) but there are so many things I loved & miss about the area.

  20. Lisa W. says

    Ahhhhhhhh always truly enjoy and LOVE your posts. Man they don’t mess around with hay bales in Alabama do they:) You are a tease…hoping baby news, fingers crossed!!!!

  21. says

    Isn’t it amazing how God nudges us when he has a special message for just you! I love that.. I love HIM! That horse pic is just perfect! Kevin needs to sell his photos for us all to enjoy. I’d love to send that to my daughter in Seattle. She’d love it! Enjoy your weekend!

  22. says

    Love this….the wee hours of the morning part:) Holy spirit nudgings, can’t wait to hear why He had you get up!

  23. says

    Gosh Layla, I’m surprised that there’s an empty lot let in Pike Road. Through your pictures and words (through your eyes), it’s come to be a modern day Mayberry to me and a place I yearn to live. Thanks for sharing all the beauty you enjoy. I’m excited to read the rest of the story (as Paul Harvey would say). Enjoy your blessing.
    Hugs and love…Tracy @ Cotton Pickin Cute