Tuesday, 2 December 2008
Deck the halls..............
Walked round the fields in the snow with Tess this afternoon. There was a biting North West wind; one of those winds that is a constant blow rather than being gusty. There was no need to wonder which direction it came from - all I had to do was to look where the sheep were huddled in the hedgeback shelter. On the moor the snow lay thickly and the sky above looked full of it, and all coming this way.
Tess loves the outdoors whatever the weather and spent the hour chasing rabbits. At one point she jumped over the beck. It was full and black and flowing swiftly but luckily she cleared it and scampered off in her search for more rabbits.
A fortnight ago the hedges were thick with hawthorn berries, the hazels had plenty of hazelnuts and the blackthorn still had its sloes. Now they are all gone. All the leaves are gone too and the trees and hedges are bare and black.
There are no cattle out now but the sheep have the free run of the farm as all the gates are open. This doesn't altogether stop them from breaking out but it is a help when they are free to wander. There is a stillness about the fields and I feel that there may be snow coming.
On the way back Tess and I walked along the holly hedge which borders our vegetable garden and there - in the middle of the hedge - is a holly tree and it is still covered with berries! I photograph it and wonder whether to get the step ladder and collect a few branches and keep them in the shed to decorate up at Christmas. But then I catch sight of a flock of maybe five hundred fieldfares and redwings and I decide that their need is greater than ours, so I leave the berries to their fate. They will make a good meal for the birds tomorrow. My guess is that by the end of the week all the berries will be gone and it will be greenery only for Christmas!
The local huntsman called to say they will be hunting around our area on Saturday. I have very mixed feelings about hunting as I love foxes - but they have hunted these fields for generations and the members of the hunt are well-known to David. He enjoys the sight of the horses and hounds in full flight, so I keep quiet and keep my fingers crossed that all the foxes are well out of the way when they come.
I will try and catch sight of them for my blog if they get this far.