Tuesday, 3 February 2015

It's that time again.

I've reported it before and it won't be the last time.   Hard frosts mean hard ground, clear skies mean dry weather (cold or no cold) so there is only one thing on the mind of every farmer round here today.   A clue - even if the weather wasn't freezing cold, keep all doors and windows firmly shut.   Muck is on the move.

We house the dry (in calf) cattle for our friend and neighbour every year.   They come in at the end of October and they go out some time in April.   Once during that time they are cleaned out and all the accumulated manure is removed, piled up in one of the fields and left to warm up and rot down for spreading later in the year.  Today's the day.  Later on the farmer will spread new clean straw.

The cows love it because now and again during the process they manage to slip out into the yard and stand with the sun on their backs.   There is no doubt that given the chance they would sooner be out  than in.   The sheep also love it because the muck heap, which grows longer and higher by the hour, soon warms up and provides a

rather nice place to sleep on a cold night.  Apart from which sheep have a philosophy which says ' if there is a hill, climb it'.

As the day progresses, so the sun disappears behind the gathering clouds.   When it is out the sun shines into the front of the farmhouse and makes the rooms lovely and warm.   That warmth has gone now and the cold is closing in.   In the distance the sun is shining on the North York Moors, which are covered in snow.   There is plenty of it still hanging on (waiting for more to come?)

I am putting on some photographs I took on Tess's lunch time walk. The one of the paddock, where there is a little snow left, clearly shows how the snow has delineated the medieval field system, showing up the snow in the furrows while the snow has melted on the ridges.

A strong east wind, direct from Siberia, is forecast for the rest of the week - so  plenty of logs in, slippers by the fire and keep warm is to be my mantra.

13 comments:

Mary said...

Well I must say how much I love seeing the photos of your farm at last - how about one of the farmhouse with the sun shining on those front windows, please Pat!

Interesting about the history of the field system. Those crazy sheep climbing the muck hill to sleep - I guess one follows another - I can just picture it all and it makes me smile!

Yes, keep the logs at the ready - we are doing the same despite no snow, but biting winds and cold nights.
I need new, warmer slippers!
Hugs - Mary

Joanne Noragon said...

It's half over, Pat. Have I said that before? It's half over.

Midlife Roadtripper said...

Winds from Siberia. That sounds rather ominous. Keep warm, Weaver.

I had read a short story yesterday about the manure piles on farms, how they spread after ripening. Good timing to read yours today.

MorningAJ said...

Oh the delicate perfume of muck spreading! That brings back memories of when I lived in the village back home. You could smell it for miles.

Heather said...

Muck spreading - a good healthy smell, even if it does nearly choke you!
That is a very well kept farmyard, there aren't many as clean and tidy looking.
Glad you are managing to keep warm, even down here in the balmy southwest, the wind has a biting edge to it.
Your photos are so good - I love the view over the hedge.

angryparsnip said...

Freezing cold, strong east wind from Siberia, happy sheep climbing muck piles and cows working on their tans, you live in a wonderful place.

cheers, parsnip

Sol said...

Farming sure marks the seasons of the year.

Frances said...

40 years ago we lived for a few months near Ashington, in Northumberland, and I had to wait for a bus to Newcastle for work, on a corner high up above the river and I used to say that the wind was straight from Siberia...ye gods it was cold! I love hearing your little snippets about life on the farm and I love your header . Just want to go for a walk across that field. ( with very warm clothes and boots of course) Keep warm.

Hildred said...

I am fascinated by the medieval fields and the archeology that is being guided by things long covered and well hidden if you don't know what you are looking for. It gives a wonderful feeling of continuity. Happy Scenting, Pat....

Cro Magnon said...

Lots of 'steaming piles' over here. I must try and beg a small pile for myself (for the veg patch).

thelma said...

I like the comment 'it's half over', I always have that feeling in February as well, no matter how many fires are lit, the light is getting stronger and the mind looks forward to spring.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Thanks - we are all looking forward to Spring, that's for sure.

Bovey Belle said...

Good to see the "rig and furrow" of your Medieval fields - something I learned about on my Archaeology degree course. I don't blame those sheep for making for a warm muck heap on a cold night.

It's very cold here so I think we have shades of that Siberian wind although it's not blowing. This - of course - when the doors are left open by the workmen putting in the new central heating boiler. Brrr. Keep warm Pat, and carry on enjoying your reading by the fire. I've been doing family history by the fire :)