When I first put it down, it has a straw-like color that I do not care for (it's really not that bad). However, after a couple of weeks, it becomes a much darker brown (soil-like color). The mulch near the sidewalk in this photo was applied a month ago. The mulch farther back was applied a couple of days ago.
Alfalfa hay is basically a horse fodder. It is available locally wherever horses reside. I am just outside of Ann Arbor, Michigan. It is plentiful. I found a local farmer that delivered 25 bales for $100. I have used a dozen so far. However, my brother-in-law in El Paso, TX, told me that alfalfa in El Paso is somewhat pricey. It's probably hard to grow in the desert.:) At any rate, I like alfalfa because I can buy it from local farmers. Side note: One of my neighbors saw the alfalfa in front of my garage and asked whether I had bought a horse. Giddyup!
I mulched a small bed just off the driveway today. My supervisor inspected. The bed is around 20x5 feet and I used less than one bale (bales are usually 2x2x4 feet, farmers call it a square bale). In photo #2, what's left of the bale I used today is to the left of the plastic bowl. A full square is visible on the top.