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.


Tramp said...

Hi Weaver
I enjoyed this account of the ups and downs of your outdoor lifestyle.
We had about a week of wet grey weather here but the weekend has at least been dry. We have sandstone under us so with the wind things have dried out fairly well.

Lori at Jarvis House said...

Here on Long Island we are just getting over the worst summer drought that I can remember. It is finally starting to rain, and the suburban lawns are turning green again. I am bringing my tender plants into the house for a few months, until spring. They have enjoyed their vacation and grown very large. Cheers from the Jarvis House Garden

Heather said...

I believe more heavy rain is forecast for the North East Pat - hope it doesn't lead to flooding. The farmer and his colleagues have to be all-weather operators which can make a hard job even harder. The fields and stock look well cared for and that sunset is glorious. We are surrounded by trees and other houses, and hardly see any sky unless we walk up the road!

Totalfeckineejit said...

Beautiful sunset photo.But Weaver I'm sorry winter has been cancelled, I can't stand another one. Spring starts on Monday. Do let The Farmer know.

George said...

With the challenges of winter and rain, it's nice to know there are still wonders like those magnificent sunsets. We have rain here today and the sunsets, such as they are, remain hidden in the mist.

Penny said...

Hi Weaver, thanks for the advice, I have finally got the photo bit working, It looks as if last year was the year to visit your area, even if we didnt make it to an actual face to face visit, we may be back in a year or so, I am dreaming!
Love the photos. Here we have finally had a warm day and sat outside drinking champagne and eating a sea food salad for my birthday, but it will get warm too quickly I fear.

Gwei Mui said...

Fanrtastic pictures, this must be the hardest season in some senese for those that work the land.

ChrisJ said...

Picture #1 is all that I remember about Britain. Rain, cold, wind and lush green fields.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Thanks for replying. Oh how I wish we could do as TFE siggests - I don't think I can stand another bad winter and I did read an article the other day written by a beekeeper - she said that from the way the bees are performing at present she thinks this winter will be worse than last year. We shall see. If it is I shall retire to the fireside for the duration.

MorningAJ said...

It's been very wet round here. The River Derwent was almost over its banks when we went over the boundary bridge on Saturday and it's hardly stopped raining since. The flood plain is probably full by now - but I couldn't see it for fog this morning!
But farming goes on. I think non-farmers often forget that.