Monday, 30 August 2010
Bank Holiday Sunshine???
It is quite rare here in the UK for the words 'Bank Holiday' and 'sunshine' to appear in the same sentence. Bank holiday weather has become a bit of a joke. In 1992 winds reached 77mph - one of the windies days on record for a bank holiday. And in 1986 parts of North Wales had five inches of rain and widespread flooding.
So everyone here is cock-a-hoop that the weather forecasters tell us we are under a strong ridge of high pressure and the weather will be set fair all week. But does that mean we can bask out in the sunshine and enjoy it? On a farm? I think not.
Already the farmer - and our neighbour Geoffrey - are out cutting grass for second-crop silage. By tonight all seven fields earmarked for silage will have the grass down. Geoffrey and the farmer work in conjunction with each other when it comes to silage - the farmer cuts his grass, Geoffrey cuts his grass, Geoffrey bales both lots up into bales and then we get an outside contractor to wrap the lot. It is good to have a few days of high pressure; it does take some of the worry away as there is no need to keep scanning the skies for a coming shower.
Later this morning, when my cleaner has gone, I shall take a flask of coffee out to the farmer. I'll take my camera as well. I am sure you have seen enough photographs of silaging but you never know what turns up.
One of my new hens has gone missing. Rumour has it that there is a fox about. I hope the two are not connected - I'll keep you informed on that score too. Have a lovely day if it is sunny where you live.
Later: Well, here he is,cutting the bottom field - four down three to go. Tess and I had a walk round the hedgerows, me looking for anything unusual, Tess looking for rabbit holes, of which there are plenty. The farmer had seen a bunch of young pheasant with their mother - these will be wild ones reared in one of our fields - always a joy to see after seeing so many reared for shooting parties. All I found was this growth on a wild rose branch; we used to call these 'pincushions' when we were children. I have a feeling they are the homes of gall wasps, but I shall now go over to Stuart Dunlop (Donegal Wildlife) so that he can tell me. Incidentally, Stuart's site always has something interesting on it and he is a mine of information on anything to do with Natural History - pop over and have a read sometime.