Last week the whole of this end of the Dale smelled of new-mown grass as all the farmers cut their first-cut silage in the dry weather, gathered it up and put it into their silage clamps, or into bales for winter feed.
This week the whole of this end of the Dale smells of slurry as those same farmers spread the contents of their slurry lagoons on to the fields in the hope that it will soon rain and wash the slurry in - cheap fertiliser to help the grass grow again for second cut.
It is now obligatory to have a slurry lagoon if you have a dairy herd. In the winter, when the cattle are inside, all the manure that didn't soak into the straw they were bedded down with drained out into an old-fashioned midden. We still have one of these left over from years ago and I must say that this year, without its murky dampness (it is quite small) the swallows and house-martins would have had great difficulty in building and repairing their nests. But for dairy herds that midden has now disappeared and been replaced by a lagoon.
Of course it doesn't stop filling up in the summer when the cattle are out because the milking parlour has to be swilled out twice a day after milking and nobody has yet trained cows to hold on to their poo until they get back into the field.
Still, it is not too unpleasant a smell - just a smell of the working countryside and one which would disappear overnight if we could get some desperately needed rain.