After all that hedge chopping and tidying up, the time has come for the farmer to get rid of all the debris. Today was the perfect day to begin the clear up.
I don't know what it has been like where you live, but here it has been a perfect Spring day with wall-to-wall sunshine from dawn 'til dusk, only a slight breeze (just enough to dry my washing outside, which made it smell beautifully when I brought it in - fresh air and Spring smells up on the airer as I write.)
Just the day to collect all that chopped off holly and hawthorn in our new field, pile it all into a huge heap and get ready to have a bonfire. I love bonfires - we have a license to have a bonfire in our fields for the burning of stuff like this. I have now made the farmer promise that he won't have the bonfire in the morning, when I am at my exercise class. You can see from the photograph that there is quite a pile of it.
I also managed to capture a rare photograph of the farmer himself - he tried to hide behind the tractor but I was too quick for him!
Tess was singularly uninterested in the proceedings and spent the time poking her nose down rabbit holes, presumably smelling baby rabbits. Incidentally - on that subject - did you know that the mother rabbit covers the entrance to the hole when the babies are born, in an effort to stop predators like stoats and weasels getting in while the young are so vulnerable?
Coming back up the field I photographed one of the lovely old, gnarled hawthorn trees. They have certainly been there as long as the farmer can remember. They at one time formed a whole hedge across the pasture (it was originally three fields) (this kind of hedge is called a 'cam' up here in the Dales), but one by one- over the years- gales bring them down and he saws them up for the woodburner - hawthorn makes super logs for burning.
The tree called to mind one in a field when we were children - it was so full of ivy that the ivy formed a kind of platform which held our weight, so we used to carry a picnic up into the tree and watch the world go by. Those were the days.
All around on the moors they are burning the heather (grouse moors) - it is the first time this year that the weather has been dry enough to get on with the job. The horizon is full of smoke spires and there is a smell of burning heather in the air. Yes, folks, Spring certainly seems to be winning as far as today is concerned. (famous last words.)