Thursday, 24 June 2010

All is safely gathered in.







The first batch of haymaking is complete. The farmer makes hay for various field-owners in the village so there is more haymaking to come. But at present he has just finished his own little bit of hay. As I said the other day, he doesn't really need hay but he does like to carry on with the old traditions. The farm cats love the hay barn to sleep in. Also we often get callers in winter asking if we have bales of hay to sell - so every year the farmer makes hay.

Here you will see a photograph of a typical hay meadow. It is not our meadow. I took this photograph higher up Wensleydale yesterday. The field was yellow with buttercups but if you looked hard you could see a red haze was overtaking - that red haze is sorrel, which has suddenly grown tall and is taking over as the buttercups die back. Round here the farmers call sorrel 'sour dock'.

So - our hay is cut, baled and stacked in the barn - and I can't describe to you how beautifully it smells. The weather is set to remain fair all weekend with increasing temperatures, so who knows, maybe the farmer will start round 2 of haymaking. Blackie, one of the farm cats,approached the barn with caution, looking suspiciously at the new crop of hay. But no doubt by later tonight they will both be sprawled out there enjoying the warmth as the hay heats up. The barn doors will be left open for a few days for the heat to disperse, otherwise it can overheat and cause a fire.

Further up the dale, where I took the meadow photograph, they will not be making hay for another couple of weeks because they are protected meadows and the wild flowers have to set seed before the farmers are allowed to cut the hay.

15 comments:

maggi21 said...

I can smell that hay from here. Can I join the cats?

mrsnesbitt said...

Oh yes the smell of hay! Normally our village is quiet but the noise of the tractors over the past couple of weeks is a sure sign of the haymaking season!

willow said...

Your meadow is so lovely. I always enjoyed seeing the big round bales of hay when visiting WT's parents' farm in Kansas. There's something quietly satisfying about it.

Heather said...

I can remember my cousins and I hiding from each other in the long grasses of our grandmothers paddock. As it got nearer to cutting time we weren't allowed to do that. When we bought our previous house it came with a small field which a local farmer cut. Soon after we moved in he was making hay and our daughters rushed out to help. Ten minutes later the eldest came back, eyes streaming. In all the excitement she had forgotten she suffered from hayfever!

Reader Wil said...

We used to have those round haystacks covered by a round roof. Your description is si beautiful that it is as if I was really there.

ANGLESEY ALLSORTS said...

Ohhhh how I loved Hay making time - as children,we all use to help load the bales, and stack in the lofts above the cow stalls in the big barn/
As I grew older, worked on a farm, and went to Agriculural College,I learned to use all the equiptment and drive the big tractors, I loved the buzz of it all, that feeling of 'all safely gathered in'.

Vicky x

Teresa said...

So interesting! That last photo is just gorgeous... looks like it belongs on a calendar.

ChrisJ said...

I love to read all your descriptions of farm life, for though I never lived on a farm, we were surrounded by farms. It's interesting to know that hay cannot be cut until the flower seeds have been set. I wonder if that is a new law in our eco- friendly world or just one of the farmers' common sense.

Pondside said...

Most everyone here is managing to get their hay in, although it's been a challenge to stay ahead of the weather. I'll bet your barn smells wonderful!

Helsie said...

We were lucky to be in your lovely part of the world around this time two years ago and your photos bring back happy memories.
I love these farm traditions and I think preserving the wildflower meadows is wonderful.
Cheers
Helen

Dave King said...

Your heading made me think of harvest festivals - and then end of summer. All else I thoroughly enjoyed.

Derrick said...

Hello Weaver,

I was intrigued to learn about leaving the barn doors open to prevent fire. It never would have occurred to me! Lovely pictures as ever.

Golden West said...

What a grand meadow!

The Weaver of Grass said...

Seems we all like the old farming traditions. Thanks for the comments.

BT said...

The farmers around here have all been making hay too Pat. I love the look of the field when it has just been cut - and the smell. The photos of the fields are beautiful.