Today is the Summer Solstice and the Longest Day. Up here in the North of England it really hardly gets dark this time of year. It is still light at eleven o'clock and by two in the morning the sky is beginning to lighten. By three o'clock in the morning the birds are singing.
For once the Solstice is accompanied by gloriously sunny weather and a slight breeze - just the weather for haymaking, which since nine o'clock this morning has been well underway.
Those buttercups which shone out so bravely in the paddock last week are cut down and lie fading on the ground. The farmer makes hay for various people around here and they are coming out of the woodwork like flies this morning so he is off here and there cutting fields to make hay. It is good to see him because he loves it - he loves the whole process of making hay. In these days of silage few farmers bother with hay but he loves the smell of the cut grass and he loves stacking the sweet smelling bales into the hay barn. In addition - that is where the farm cats sleep and they love a bed of hay bales to sleep on - those cats can twist the farmer round their little claws.
An update on the curlew's nest in the silage field - although the nest is quite vulnerable as the grass is cut all round, Mrs Curlew is sitting tight. I walked quietly up to the nest after lunch and she took off - the four eggs look as thought they might be chipping. If so there will soon be baby curlew. Once they are hatched they leave the nest and never return. I shall keep my eye on things and let you know how things go. Keep our fingers crossed.
The weather forecast says this weather is set to last all week, so everything should be fine for haymakers and curlews alike. Have a nice day!