We went in the field again for the first time this year - me to wander round and look at things, Tess to sniff for rabbits. We have not ventured into this field before. First there was deep snow, then it was wet; after that the grass began to grow and we left it to grow for silage. Now it has been cut and slurried and the slurry has largely washed in, so today we decided to go there.
One side of the gate sports a large dog rose in full flower and the other side a honeysuckle just coming out; the two scents, both Summer personified, vying with one another for our attention.
Once in the field we begin our walk. Baby rabbits scatter at our approach, many of them would fit into the palm of my hand. It would be a delight to pick on up, but of course they are gone long before we reach them. A stoat runs out of the grass and I speculate that we may well have saved the babies from a horrible death at the fangs of the stoat - although Mr Stoat is quite capable of going down a rabbit hole should he so desire.
We reach the old barn which once we dreamed of as a home for our retirement but which the Planning Authority turned down as being too small for an extension. It is falling into disrepair and I push open the door with some trepidation. The last time I looked in there was a body on the floor - a man curled up, not dead as I at first thought but merely drunk and sleeping it off. That was quite a scare I can tell you.
Much of the field is bordered by ancient hedges which have been there for hundreds of years - hawthorn, blackthorn, field maple, ash saplings, elder, blackberry briars: then a moss-covered stone wall appears, then a mixture of the two. I love those mossy stones. So does Tess as many of the rabbits make their homes in the wall.
White umbellifers scatter along the field margin - in full bloom, their young blooms in a deep pink. Purple vetch stretches up through the deep grass margin towards the light. It is strikingly attractive against the mossy gold of the the stone wall.
The heifers in the next field come to investigate us, with the curiosity of cattle everywhere. And in the field beyond that the grass is cut. The sun is hot and there is a breeze blowing - perfect haytiming weather for the first time in many years. The warm smell of drying grass permeates the air.
We make our way back home. My head is full of the sights, smells and sounds of the field. Tess's head is full of rabbits.