Friday, 11 September 2015

That;s it!

As Autumn approaches the very last few jobs are being cleared up on the farm, and the last three fields have been silaged today.   The weather forecast is for rain later tonight and the farmer is just bringing the last of the bales in, but the wretched crows have done such a lot of damage to the bales that he is now going to have to patch them all with sticky tape.   Why do they attack the bales I wonder?   I have a theory that they can see themselves in the shiny black plastic and think it is another bird.   Whatever the reason, it is a wretched nuisance - however fast one is bringing the bales in the crows have always got there first.

In the photograph of the field with the bales in you will see a little barn in the corner.   The farmer and I had plans to get this converted into our retirement home, sell the farm and just keep three or four fields around the barn, so that he could 'play at' farming in his retirement.   But sadly the barn was just too small for the Planning Authorities to give us permission for enough extension.   All they would allow was a lean-to kitchen, bathroom and one bedroom - all opening off the sitting room.  This was really not viable.

Tess and I walked round the field where the bales were, taking care as we walked up the lane, to avoid the dead, squashed flat hedgehog which she insists on rolling on each time we pass it.  The blackberries are ripening, as are the rose hips (the birds always seem to leave these until lean times - I assume they are not so tasty).  The hawthorn berries are also ripening but they are not very prolific this year, which always means that the fieldfares and redwings on their journey over from Scandinavia will stay with us only a short time.

There is really something wonderful about every season isn't there?
Spring has the arrival of all the Spring flowers and the hint of warmer days to come; Summer (if we are lucky) has warm days, picnics, children home from school and very colourful gardens; Winter has the beauty of the frost on the leaves, log fires, Christmas;





Autumn has the wonderful smells of rotting leaves as they fall from the trees, the hint of cooler days to come, incredible soft colours in the trees, the departure of our Summer birds.   We are so lucky to have such a varied climate - wouldn't it be boring if the weather was the same every day? 

I apologise for the quality of some of the photographs.   Sometimes I have a severe shake on my hands and today was one of those days.

19 comments:

Terry and Linda said...

You write beautifully! I loved your photos and seeing your farm.

Linda
http://coloradofarmlife.wordpress.com

John "By Stargoose And Hanglands" said...

I think I like Autumn more than any other season. I suspect that your crows are rooks; once one rook experiments in a new way you'll find that all the others copy its behaviour, sometimes doing things that make no sense at all. They mostly feed on worms so it makes some sort of sense to poke their beaks where they see others doing the same. Those plastic-covered bales always look like some kind of modern art installation to me!

Frances said...

I was also noticing all the berries ripening in the hedgerows yesterday on the dog walk. I have never seen so many blackberries as there are this year. I ate a few, but they were not very sweet.

Bovey Belle said...

Those birds are a pain. We have our fruit trees full of the farm Jackdaws here, ruining my apple harvest. i am forever banging on the window at them.

No sloes here this year (or in Brecon area yesterday); blackberries only just ripening - had a good picking round the Shoot's pheasant pens on Thursday and will return as I have an order for mucho Bramble Jelly; Rowan tree by the gate picked clean before they were scarcely ripe; hawthorn harvest very poor. I think the birds will need us feeding them this winter.

Barbara Womack said...

I agree it would be boring if the weather was the same all the time. The arrival of fall is just slightly bittersweet, though. It's nice to slow down some after the push of the summer growing season, but I am not a great fan of the cold, wet weather of winter. (although it is necessary for many things to grow).

Rachel said...

The little barn size sounds ideal, imagine at 95, you wouldn't need any more than that, and a field or two.

Heather said...

It seems to be a good year for blackberries and I must get out and pick some before they can get spoiled by bad weather. Glad to hear the hay is all in - no wonder farmers don't like crows.
I never like the end of summer but by the time autumn has arrived I feel differently and begin to enjoy it's beauty and benefits. As you say, each season has it's pleasures.

Tom Stephenson said...

Yes, I love the seasons - I couldn't live in a country of permanent Summer.

thelma said...

There is something satisfying at the turning of the year, each season bringing different things for us to appreciate. Shame about the little barn, withdrawing into a smaller space is a logical thing to do and you would still have the same scenery about you.

JoAnn ( Scene Through My Eyes) said...

Lovely photos of the farm. Our wild blackberries have come and gone - it wasn't a great season for them as we had no rain while they were ripening and they never grew to a good size, and many never ripened at all - just shriveled on the vine - so sad.

Everywhere we've lived has always had four distinct seasons. When we lived in S. California we often heard from others - oh I'd hate to live where there are not definite seasons - but let me assure you, there definitely are four distinct seasons - though they may not be as wildly extreme as places that have violent winters - they are all different. Spring is early - with flowers and sunshine in February, summer is hot - though not as unpleasant as in some desert areas (the heat is dry and pleasant), autumn brings cooler temperatures, berries ripening and fruit to harvest and winter is most delightful - soft sunshine, warm days and now and then rain - a delightful place to live. Here in the Pacific Northwest we have a rainier winter - but mostly wonderful weather all year also.

Mac n' Janet said...

I love the 4 seasons, it's one of the reasons we moved to the east coast. I just wish our summer was a bit shorter and the 3 other seasons a bit longer.

The Broad said...

I do appreciate the variety of the seasons... we don't really have much of a differentiation in Southport. Now I find myself less and less appreciative of winter. Shame the planners wouldn't give you leave to build a bit bigger.

jinxxxygirl said...

Aaah the Autumn is my favorite time of year... I'm an Autumn girl... Do the crows like to eat whats in there???? Hugs! deb

Frances said...

I think that your idea about the crows seeing their reflections in the shiny wrapping is apt.

How grand to have those fieldfares and redwings stopping off, even if only briefly, on their way from Scandanavia!

I do welcome having the variety that the seasons can give us. Strangely, summer is my least favorite...perhaps because of living in a jostling sort of city atmosphere.

Best wishes.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Yes John, of course they are rooks - we have a huge rookery about a mile below our farm, but up here everyone groups the solitary crow with the gregarious rook and calls them all crows (eve the jackdaws in winter when they join the clan).
Thanks everyone for your comments.

Dawn McHugh said...

I never knew the birds would tear open the plastic how annoying, did you have any pink wrapped bales in your area, I understand they were auctioned off for breast cancer awareness :-)

Cro Magnon said...

Our Blackberries are a bit like yours this year... they never really took off. I thought your barn conversion sounded OK; perfect for avoiding visitors.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Dawn - interesting comment. No we didn't have any pink bales - farmers up here are a bit reticent - I don't think they have even got round to using the word 'breast' yet - so it might be a year or two before they are willing to join in. Things are definitely getting better, but I suppose that before the days of the internet etc. this was quite a cut off area - so we can#t be too judgemental. Good idea though.
Cro - not sure I always want to avoid visitors - although as age creeps up perhaps it is an idea worth thinking about!

The History Anorak said...

Have you considered converting the barn as a holiday cottage? Then you could keep the farm, rent out the cottage and a few of the fields, and still have an income. They call it 'diversifying' and you'd probably even be able to get an EU grant for it!