Wednesday, 1 October 2014

At last!

At last the prevailing wind is blowing from the West and the farmer can have a bonfire.   The huge pile of rubbish (being replenished with various  hedge cuttings as I write this) is burning.   For the last few weeks what wind there has been seems to have always been from the North which would have meant that all the smoke would have arrived at the farmhouse - not good.

Now all the 'rubbish' can be burnt before the week-end, when it is forecast there will be rain.  If it had to be left until after then the whole pile would have to dry out again. 

This Summer has been remarkable - at least July and September have been (a bit of a blip in August).  It has brought to mind the Summers of my childhood, when we used to set off on our bikes after breakfast, a pile of sandwiches and a bottle of orange in our bike bags, and go somewhere for the day - fishing with our nets in some little beck somewhere, swimming in the river, blackberrying, gathering mushrooms - we always found something to do.   There was so little traffic in our village so the roads were relatively safe.  And - above all - the weather seemed always to be kind.

There must have been bad Summers, mustn't there?  Perhaps I choose to forget those.

The field opposite, where only a couple of weeks ago they were cutting the corn, has been 'mucked' and then ploughed and resown both together - all in the space of a day.   The field in front of it, alongside the lane and right opposite our farmhouse, has been sprayed off - you will see that the grass is yellowing and dying.  This afternoon they are spreading a thick layer of slurry (thank goodness for that West wind) - soon, says the farmer, it will be ploughed and sown too.   This field has been grass as long as the farmer has lived here.   The farm has recently been sold, so it is all change.

I just went down the yard to have a look at the state of the bonfire after my lunchtime walk with Tess (and a long chat with E, an old farmer friend,)


 and Blackie, ever the opportunist, met me on the lookout for a saucer of milk.  I actually managed to snap him in the middle of a miaow!

14 comments:

The Broad said...

There is nothing like a good long summer to set you up for the rigours of winter. This is the first summer I've spent in England where we could make good use of the long summer evenings with barbecues and weather so pleasant we could sit outside without even a cardigan -- wonderful.

May the wind from the west prevail!

Rachel said...

My brother rings me up and says "the wind is right at last, I am having a fire" just the same. The cat is nice. Most of the drilling is finished around here and next year's wheat is just starting to come up, and the rape is up. The cycle of farming keeps on going and never stops. That is nice too.

Heather said...

I can almost smell the scent of that lovely bonfire. My grandfather loved a good 'blizzy' and would stand and watch it, leaning on a long stick like some ancient Briton.
Blackie is so much like our (late) Hamlet, even down to the little patch of white under his chin.
I don't remember any rainy days in my youth. We obviously didn't have wet summers in those days!

Terry and Linda said...

I always think of marshmallows when we have a rubbish pile to burn....although, I never get out the marshmallows!

Linda
http://coloradofarmlife.wordpress.com/?s=The+Adventures+of+Fuzzy+and+Boomer&submit=Search
http://coloradofarmlife.wordpress.com

angryparsnip said...

Bonfires, that is something I remember from my childhood.
But we are not allowed to have fires in many places. Between air pollution and forest fires they are a big no.

cheers, parsnip

Sarah Head said...

Hi Pat, sorry to be a bother. I emailed you last week and just wanted to check you had received it ok.

Arija said...

I wonder who your new neighbours will be. It would be nice to have real farmers rather than the hobby kind. I hope they are nice people anyway. The autumnal chores on the farm seem to be well in hand. We have just had our first grass fire nearby an well as our first total fire ban day. Summers are taking over our spring and autumn, we just have to learn to cope wit that.

Cro Magnon said...

Your bonfire looks exactly like ours, as yet unlit. I'm waiting for an easterly wind so that the smoke will go into my neighbour's garden, as a thankyou for all the days when his bloody smoke comes into ours. Unfortunately the prevailing wind comes from the west. I may have to wait some while!

Crafty Green Poet said...

the weather has been wonderful hasn't it? Lovely photo of Blackie...

The Weaver of Grass said...

Sarah - I don't recall getting your e mail - can you send it again please? I can't seem to get on to your site to send you an e mail.

Thanks to everyone who called by.

thelma said...

Can see Autumn in your photos of the fields, reminds me of years ago, when here in Essex, they would set light to the fields of stubble. Always looked dramatic in the dark...

Sarah Head said...

I've just sent you the email again, Pat. If you want to email me it's sarah at headology dot co dot uk.

Becca McCallum said...

I love bonfires! When I was little, we always used to go down to the beach and make them with driftwood - but now the council very often removes the driftwood to prevent people doing that, which is a shame, because we were always careful, and made sure to clear up after it had died down. We used to have a chiminea stove in our garden, but since our neighbour has had cavity wall insulation apparently the smoke goes right through the vents. Oh well, just having to stick to the two open fires in the house then!

JoAnn ( Scene Through My Eyes) said...

Growing up in Alaska we never had farm bonfires - and now in Washington state they are not allowed in an effort to keep the air cleaner. We have chipping stations - you can haul all your clippings to the stations and they shred them into mulch - which then is sold to residents to earn money for the chipping stations. All in all a good solution I think. Often on weekends you see many many truck and van loads of branches and shrub clippings on the way to the stations.