Friday, 26 June 2009

All Stations Go!





































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!)

34 comments:

clmm8899 said...
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clmm8899 said...
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Heather said...

Your picture of the shearer at work reminded me of one of the TV adverts for Specsavers! I love country lanes with grass growing in the middle. Glad the haymaking and silage is safely done - it is pouring with rain here today. I have often lain in bed on a summer night listening to the sounds of farm machinery still hard at work. The countryside is so beautiful just now but I don't suppose that those who work in it have much time to notice. It is thrilling that a barn owl has taken up residence in your neighbours barn.

Rowan said...

It's a busy time on the farm, I'm glad the Farmer still makes some hay even if the cats aren't quite so thrilled about it:) Also glad that the owl box has an occupant, let's hope that next year there are two plus some chicks.

steven said...

hello weaver, look at the owl box! i love the design - it's the first one i've ever seen. why is it "a good sign" that an owl has taken up residence? steven

greg rappleye said...

Your tractor is bigger than my tractor.

Although mine is also red.

Cathy said...

There's nothing like that beautiful smell while baling the hay. I'm sure the "ladies" are feeling better with their new hair cuts.

Derrick said...

Hello Weaver,

I think you had the best idea, removing yourself from the hurly burly!

BTW, you could also remove the first two spam comments from your list, if you wished.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Heather - wish you lived near enough to walk down that lane with me.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Rowan - barn owls are quite rare round here but we are hoping that the owl pairs up for next year too.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Steven - barn owls are quite rare round here and all the farmers are trying to encourage their return. For several years boxes have been up by no owl has taken up residence - so it is good news that at last one is occupied.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Greg - I do love your sense of humour!

The Weaver of Grass said...

They are Cathy!

The Weaver of Grass said...

Thanks for the reminder re spam - without your telling me I probably would not have known what to do.

mrsnesbitt said...

And then rain stopped play!

Reader Wil said...

Again a very pleasant tour at your farm, as if I really was there. Thank you! The sheep shearer looks great!

Leenie said...

It is so interesting to see the activites on your farm! The sheep being sheered still has horns. Do you ever remove their horns when the lambs are young? Does the black bag hold grass to become silage or is that wool? Best wishes on the future of the owl.

Cloudia said...

As I walk along Waikiki, my mind is ranging over the English countryside through your gem-like little posts like this one. I can here the sheep-mums bleating for their young....MMMMMM, Smell the cut grass!

Aloha-

Comfort Spiral

Woman in a Window said...

Ha, that sheep doesn't look too happy but I bet the aftermath had it jumping for joy.

I'd love to see a picture of the owl if you find a chance.

BT said...

Oh I do hope the owl finds a mate, that would be perfect. I think I'll have to get Coaster to make one for our barn. A great post, loved it.

Penny said...

Your silage and hay making looks much like ours was, but we did put our silage in long sausages and have finally gone back to heaps, Our hay is usually in large rolls, 400+ cows and the ponies need more than we can produce these days. Your shearing is the same but not the same! Ours are huge flocks, not that we have any any more, and huge shearing sheds.
Lovely to see it all.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Denise - we had rain here too but luckily all was done before it arrived.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Thanks reader wil. Our Dutch friends return to their hoe today - we have so enjoyed their visit.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Leenie - the Swaledale sheep is a horned breed - their horns are never removed. The only time they are "altered" is if the horn begins to grow into the headm, then they are cut off so that the sheep is not harmed. The rams have absolutely enormous horns!

The Weaver of Grass said...

Cloudia - I don't think our two environments could be more different, do you?

The Weaver of Grass said...

Woman in a window - I do see a barn owl occasionally but usually when it is just getting dark and the owl is beginning to hunt. Can't imagine I will ever be lucky enough to get a photograph.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Thanks for all your replies BT - hope you have caught up now!

The Weaver of Grass said...

Penny - some people still use the clamp method here - particularly if they have a dairy herd - so that the cows can feed at will along the edge of the heap. We find it easier to stack ours in bales but they have to be brought in rapidly because the rooks peck holes in them - very bad this year.

Dave King said...

You have a real talent for the picture that will convey the place or the occasion. I am full of admiration.

Leilani Lee said...

When I was a kid, my aunt took us to a huge old barn where there was a barn owl in residence. Some of us were in the loft to get a better look. The owl pooped and almost hit a couple of the cousins who were on the ground level. It was hilarious. We never forgot it.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Thank you for the compliment Dave - coming from one of my favourite bloggers I am pleased to receive it!

The Weaver of Grass said...

Leilani Lee - funny how little incidents like that stay with one for ever.

Mistlethrush said...

That's some busy day - I was exhausted just reading it and imaging all the noise!
Thanks for all these posts - very enlightening.

Welcome To Wilmoth Farms said...

WOW...looks like you were here at our place! LOL
Again loved the sheep shearer! I love it when you post about the sheep!