Monday, 8 July 2013

Good and Bad Neighbours.

First of all the good ones.   Yesterday was a pretty hectic day for the farmer.   In the morning he tossed up the grass in his two hay paddocks.   Then he went off with his walking group for his fortnightly walk.   It was so hot that they cut short their walk, so he was home in time to see the end of the marvellous Andy Murray match.  In fact, when he came in I was sitting on the settee in our lovely cool back room, watching the match with tears streaming down my cheeks.   It was the last game - and what a cliff-hanger.

He had a quick cup of tea and then, while I was preparing the salad for tea, he went out, rowed up both fields and baled the hay.  It is surprising what a short job this is as the baler works very efficiently, shunting out bales from the back on to a sledge and every eight bales dropping them in a neat rectangle on the field.

He decided it would be sensible to get the bales into the hay shed before dark, so he went out again while I watched an interesting "Country File" about the Cambrian Mountains in Wales.  He came in to say that his loader had completely broken down and just would not load the bales on to the trailer.   He rang neighbouring farmer G to see if he could borrow G's loader for an hour this morning.   Better than that - G came across immediately and loaded the lot for him and together they got them all into the hay barn - on a Sunday night.   Now if that is not good neighbourliness I don't know what is.  That kind of neighbourliness exists all the time round here and is so refreshing to see and partake in.   I know the farmer would have done the same for him.

Now to the bad neighbours.   These have four legs, long ears and a white bobtail.   For much of the time we coexist on the farm, aahing at the pretty little babies,  feeling sad when myxamatosis strikes.   If we get over-run with rabbits then we ask the shooters to come in and get rid of a few quickly and cleanly, but most of the time we tolerate them.

But yesterday Tess and I went down to the vegetable garden, which is well-protected against rabbits by wire netting all round.   I went for a Cos lettuce for the salad; Tess came along for the walk.  I opened the gate - Tess took off like a rocket, completely missing the fact that the salad leaves, beetroot and parsley seedlings were covered in green netting.   She did a multiple somersault over the netting and made for the cos lettuce row (not protected) where a rabbit sat calmly eating a lettuce leaf.   It shot I know not where.  The farmer has done a recce round the garden today and he can't find a space.  His response to the fact that it was eating my Cos was that if that was all it got then it didn;t really matter as it would be a few less for him to eat (Cos lettuce is not on his favourite menu).

I think it needs to start on his beloved pea rows for him to sit up and take notice.   Meanwhile I continue to tolerate this bad neighbour and hope it keeps out in future.

Incidentally - 108 bales of hay from two small fields - nicely stacked in the hay barn and already commandeered by the two farm cats who can survey the baby swallows from a great height - the yard is full of them and the parents give the cats very short shrift if they venture out anywhere near their babies.

The photograph shows neighbour G collecting the bales in the failing light.


Heather said...

I wish I had the farmer's energy in this heat. I'm not complaining - yet! However, I do find it difficult to operate normally when it is so hot. We just don't get the chance to acclimatize, do we? I hope the rabbits haven't done too much damage in your vegetable garden. I lost an entire row of lovely purple sprouting broccoli to pigeons one year.

angryparsnip said...

awww the photo didn't show up on my feed.
You are indeed lucky to have such wonderful helpful neighbors. I have three very bad neighbors and I am not talking about rabbits.
How sad for your garden but Tess loved the chase I think. What she lives for.
One day I will post what I did in my side yard to keep the critters out. Mostly the packrats ! they are devils. They devour everything.

I watched the Andy Murry match on delay and even though I knew who had won I was still glued to the set watching the match. I loved all the special ball placement shots they showed with the coverage.
I am so happy for you all especially Andy !

cheers, parsnip

Bovey Belle said...

I haven't watched any of the tennis (though I would have quite liked to have watched the finals), but as my darling man loathes it, I went without. Mind you, we have had a busy weekend and I did hear the cheers when the French lass won on Saaturday, as I was at a neighbour's, taking tea with her.

Our top field is cut for haylage by our farmer Next Door. A great relief for me as I wanted the field tidy for when we go back on the market. For once, we have a good forecast for hay/haylage making.

Sorry about the wabbits . . . you need them balanced out by a few foxes . . .

Judy said...

Speaking of bad neighbours, we have a raccoon family in the area. I got some photos on Saturday, and will see about getting them posted... last night, they were calling, and husband was racing outside to yell at them and try to scare them away. I must ask the neighbours (human) if they were at all amused...

Em Parkinson said...

Everywhere smells of hay here at the moment. It's gorgeous and everyone is very relieved. Shame about my hayfever!

Terry and Linda said...

lots of bales in the barn is a good sign...a very good sign!!


Hildred said...

My son was telling me this morning, via Skype, of all the new baby swallows on the Meadow where they live. I asked him if they called the baby swallows 'Sips', but I don't think he appreciated the play on words.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Yes Heather - the farmer does seem to me to have pretty boundless energy considering he is now 70 (a mere chick compared with me) - but then I do feed him well, making sure he has plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables - I am also trying to wean him off cake - not an easy task.
Thanks to everyone for visiting.