A spell of warm Summer weather and it is all stations go on the farm here - and throughout the Dales grassland farms.
There is still some silage to get in, so grass is cut, left to wilt, baled up, wrapped, loaded onto a trailer, carted to a barn, or an open area, and stacked for winter. That is a time -consuming job I can tell you.
Also the farmer still likes to make what he calls "a bit of hay", so this week he has also cut the paddock, left it to dry in the hot sun - and a sharp breeze which also helped, rowed it up, baled it, carted it to the barn and stacked it away - and I can tell you on good authority that the farm cats were not amused as they sleep in there.
Added to that they came to shear the ewes. Many of them had already lost a lot of wool - the pasture bushes are festooned with clumps of wool - now that they are shorn they look such ungainly creatures but I am sure they feel better for it. We had the lambs in at the same time (each mother has two lambs) and they were kept back to be drenched and treated for flies - and boy were the mothers annoyed. The yard was full of bleating mums searching for their offspring and the collecting yard was full of calling lambs. Still - all's well that ends well - they are all back together in the barn pastures.
Tess and I had a long walk to get away from all the activity. Now that the fields are cut short it is possible to walk through them again (not only is it hard work when the grass is long but it is also not good for the grass to be trodden down) and we walked along to our neighbour's land and up to his barn to look at his owl box. A barn owl has taken up residence, which is a good sign. We hope that next year he/she will find a mate. Then we walked back along Mill Lane, which for once was not the muddy track it usually is. Wild roses festooned the bushes and climbed up the trees; young fledgelings were being fed on the top of the wall; it was quiet and peaceful and by the time we got back to the farm most of the activity had ended.
P.S. I completely forgot to post the photo of the sheep shearer (and that is after having to persuade him to let me photograph him - so he now has pride of place at the top!)