Saturday and the farmer decides it is time to start clearing up the hedgerows for Winter. The blackberrry briars reach right out into the fields at this time of the year - and the sheep, already wearing their Winter coats, easily get hooked up in them. As it is time for Tess and me to walk round the fields anyway, we decide to go with the farmer after lunch.
Walking down the pasture he informs me that he thinks the bees' nest is empty. In Cow House field hedge-bottom there has been a nest of wild bees all Summer. The nest is a thing of beauty and I would dearly like to bring it back home to have a close look at it. And the farmer happens to have his favourite cutting tool with him anyway - so off we go to have a closer look.
Several very dozy wild bees are crawling around on the outside of the nest. The cold has obviously got to them, but where there are two or three there might just possibly be two or three hundred in the warmer inside of the nest, so we decide to have a good look at it but not interfere.
You can see the photographs above - the nest is built in what must have been a hole - maybe even a rabbit hole - in the hedge bottom. The farmer breaks a bit of the nest off and holds it in his hand for me to photograph. Each layer is paper thin. We leave it behind for another day.
Tess is not even mildly interested in the nest but goodness me, she is very aggressive towards a plastic bag in a heap of dead grass, which the farmer has raked out of the hedge bottom. Her hackles rise, she growls, she barks and will not go anywhere near it.
But, of course, as usual for the rest of the walk she has only one thing on her mind - rabbits!