Sunday, 3 October 2010
Getting ready for winter.
Day-to-day farming goes on apace here as all the farmers get ready to batten down the hatches for Winter. All the corn is safely gathered in and last week the fields of beans were harvested. All that remains is one or two fields of wholecrop maize and they will disappear any day. Following that the fields will be ploughed and many of them sown with wheat or barley for next year.
One of the few good things about the stormy wet days we have been having has been the absolutely stunning sunsets - of which I show you just one in the photographs above. But the fields are now very wet which means that the cattle which have been out all summer are paddling up every gate area so that walking round the fields without wellington boots is impossible.
Not that Tess minds the weather. While there are rabbit holes there will be rabbits and Tess will disappear as far as possible down every available rabbit hole. I am sure the occupants of the burrow hold their tummies with laughter as they sense her at the entrance, as she has absolutely not chance whatsoever of getting a rabbit (and would hardly know what to do with it if she did.)
Here on our farm some of the ewes for over-Wintering have arrived. They were decanted from the trailer into the field and before I could focus my camera they were dispersed far and wide and all eating merrily. The heifers, who have been in that field all summer were determind to get in on the act and came to see what was happening. You can tell from the farmer's garb what sort of a day it was when they arrived!
One field has been ploughed and resown with grass, which is just beginning to show green, so an urgent job has been to put up a new fence where the hedge is very thin. The sheep will soon need to go into this field and we must keep them off the ploughed field and the new tiny green shoots to give it a chance to grow and take hold. In the photograph the farmer is using the bucket on his tractor, filled with concrete blocks, to hammer in the stakes. Tomorrow he will be stretching the pig wire between the stakes and stapling it securely.
It has been another dreadful wet day here today but as I write the watery sun has come through. We have had friends for lunch and they have just left to go home to Windermere - about an hour and a half from here. It remains to be seen whether or not we get another spectacular sunset.