is an on-going cycle, which goes on from year to year with never a day between jobs really.
At present, the milk cows are all out in the pastures eating their daily strip of grass before going in to be milked twice a day. The first - and in some cases - second cuts of silage have been made and the grass is gently curing to be eaten in Winter.
On arable farms the crops are beginning to ripen - much of the winter barley has now been cut - particularly any which is going into fodder rather than being sold for seed.
And here on the farm preparations begin for winter housing with the arrival today of the first lot of straw for bedding down once the cows are indoors.
As every year it always comes on a windy day so that straw blows all over the yard and it always arrives dead on lunchtime. True to form, we sat down for lunch and the first load arrives. It is the most beautiful, golden colour and reminded me of the line 'fair waved the golden corn' and I just had time to snatch the camera as the tractor drove past the kitchen window. Sorry it is somewhat obscured by my piece of stained glass hanging in the window.
Now that load is safely stored in the straw barn; the second load arrives tomorrow. Next it will be time to hire the enormous trailer and clean the 'muck' out of the loose housing, where it has been steadily maturing since the cows went out to grass in early May. The swallows will miss it as it is handy for a quick repair on their nests in the rafters above; the cats will miss it too because it has warmed up nicely and also houses the odd mouse or two.
Pleasingly, while on the subject of wildlife, more hedgehogs around at evening this year than we have seen for a few years.