June is the month for silaging - for gathering in that all-important first crop nutritious grass and wrapping it and storing it for Winter eatage. There is always a dichotomy amongst farmers about when to make that first cut - do you wait until the grass is really long (and some of that nutrition has been leached out) or do you go for the really nutritious stuff, regardless of length, which will boost the Winter milk yield?
Some farmers around us took the second option. As you drive round the Dale you see patchworks of yellow and green - the yellow is where the grass has already been cut.
Now it has rained all week. Those farmers who have cut will be pleased because the rain will encourage new growth on the cut fields and the second crop silage will be made all the sooner (some farmers manage three crops in a Summer). Those farmers (like us) who have not yet cut are also pleased for the rain because the grass was so parched that it was growing slowly. Most of it has already gone to seed but it is not really thick - this rain should thicken the grass up no end.###
Of course, the weather is never just right for farmers. Today the barometer has gone up considerably but the Dales weather has not caught on yet and it is still cool, windy (North east) and raining outside my window. The forecast says 'improving' - so we live in hopes.
In the meantime the farmer opposite is feeding silage to his Limousin heifers and nuts to his sheep because they have eaten off all the grass. I saw him doing this as I passed the landing window an hour ago and took a photograph - it is of necessity far away and a bit faint - but I was deshabille and it is raining, so couldn't get any nearer.
I took one of my garden from the same spot - so am putting that one on too. The self-sown aquelegia are a picture this year and have so far withstood the effects of the wind.
This is not the blog I intended to put on today - so I may well put another one on later if I find the time. Incidentally - thank you all for your good wishes - I am well on the way to recovery.
### It is worth mentioning that if you do not have a dairy herd then that really nutritious crop of first Spring grass is not needed because suckler herds and growers (animals being fattened for beef) are better not having the really nutritious stuff. Sorry - I really think I have overdone the word 'nutritious' in this post!