Wednesday, 28 April 2010

The Farmer Digs....





































Well, I will try again. Sorry about the blogless heading but sometimes things go slightly wrong. Here we are still tidying up after winter. It was such a bad one that many of the fields were flooded when the thaw set in. The farmers made amental note of where draining was needed and today the farmer began his mission to get the fields drained before next winter.
Tess and I set out to see him in action. As we passed our wood I remembered that the farmer
had told me that ducks had made a nest. In the photograph of the wood above, you will see a fence in the foreground. At the foot of that fence is a huge patch of nettles and a pair of ducks have nested there. 'what a silly place to put a nest,' said the farmer, 'the crows will spot it in no time!' Well, crows might but this old crow tried hard to find it to photograph it for you, but to no avail. This morning there were two eggs, tonight there are three eggs - so they are still laying there. Let's hope we have baby ducklings, but don't bank on it, because - as Beatrix Potter says in Jemima Puddleduck - ducks are bad sitters.
On we went, across the beck. Isn't the water clear? As we crossed the bridge a Grey Heron flew off, tucking his legs neatly back he went about a hundred yards into the field and stood watching us. With the water as clear as that I expect it is easy for him to see the minnows (and probably just as easy for them to see him).
The farmer was off his digger and in the ditch, poking about in the old stone drain. Some of these stone drains are many hundreds of years old and are no longer working.
We left him to it and went along Mill Lane - a track which has existed for at least a thousand years - a track where in the Middle Ages Cistercian Monks would tread, bringing their sheep to graze in the fields.
Then we slipped through a gate and made a detour to the barn to look at the owl box. By the look of it (it is in pristine condition) there is no owl there this year, which is quite disappointing. I understand that many barn owls perished through starvation in the cold winter.
Walking back through the fields Tess was up on her back legs for most of the time, watching various rabbit warrens. Luckily I had her on a long leash, otherwise she would have been off after them.
I see that the cuckoo flowers (locally called milkmaids) are out by the side of the beck. That is always a sign that Spring is well underway. The blackthorn is in full bud and will be out in a couple of days if the weather stays reasonable. As soon as it is fully out I shall take a photograph just to show you how beautiful it looks.
Have a nice evening.

17 comments:

lakeviewer said...

What a charming piece about your neck of the woods.

JC said...

Thanks for taking us along with you on your walk. I have an owl in my woods. I've heard it three times now. Haven't seen it though. I sure hope the ducks that have been visiting my yard didn't lay eyes ...

steven said...

oh weaver your world is very real and then so other-worldly magical with tracks walked by who know who and when? little animals going about their timeless business. the farmer thinking ahead three seasons. lovely. steven

Cloudia said...

You live in history!



Aloha from Waikiki


Comfort Spiral

ChrisJ said...

It is so nice to see everything so green and the stream running at the edge of the field. I will be back to see the blackthorn.

Crafty Green Poet said...

sorry you seem to have lost your owl. Good luck to your future ducklings!

Crafty Green Poet said...

sorry you seem to have lost your owl. Good luck to your future ducklings!

MarmaladeRose said...

Lovely post Weaver. It did cross my mind to pop in as we passed, but I felt it would be a bit cheeky not having phoned first. But I'll know better next time. lol.

Derrick said...

A lovely stroll, Weaver. Amazing to think that all those who might have trod the same path in ages past will have witnessed much the same!

Dave King said...

Thanks for that. Always good to be reminded how the saner (or is it more civilised?) half lives.

Heather said...

Your wood and little beck are so lovely Pat and how marvellous to have an owl box in the barn even if they haven't taken up residence yet. It's fascinating to think of those monks 1,000 years ago walking along your track. Yorkshire wild flowers are rapidly catching up with those further south - we have blackthorn out, oilseed rape, bluebells, red campion, cowslips and cowparsley too. Hope the ducks hatch out their eggs and the babies survive. We know that little pale flower as Lady's Smock or Cuckoo Flower.

Michael said...

Thank you Weaver - could Spring be better than anywhere but in North Yorkshire?

acornmoon said...

It is always a delight to visit you and Tess and the Farmer if only in cyberspace.

Elizabeth said...

I wish I was digging with the farmer.
Nothing I like so much as water and mud.......
Is the wildflower the same one we called Lady's smock?
my memory of such things if fading fast!

maggi said...

What a lovely place to take a walk, especially good to watch someone else working as well.

M.Kate said...

It looks and feel so good to have such land and beauty around. I do wish I have it one day. Happy weekend.

BT said...

That is just lovely - the photos are super and the narrative so engaging too. I love wild flowers, too (referring to the post I've just read) and find it hard to pull them out. Apart from nettles! We have drainage problems to sort out too.