The swallows have finally all gone. I am not surprised when I look out of the window and see the disgusting weather - windy and wet. Their going heralds the return of our car to the garage; we can't put the car in in the Summer as the swallows nest in there and make such a mess of the car.
The cattle are still out in the fields. Silaging is finally finished on all the surrounding farms and there is still plenty of grass, so the cows will stay out as long as possible to eat it off. They seem to prefer to be out in any case. What will finally bring them in is the state of the ground. If there is a lot of rain then the ground gets wet and soggy and they paddle it up.
The hedgehogs don't seem to have gone into hibernation yet. Tess seeks them out when she goes out for her final mooch under the Scot's pines. They seem to take absolutely no notice of her and all she does is bark at them. The ones we have here all seem to be fat and healthy. This is hardly surprising as they eat the food we put out for the farm cats and any apples which are past their best I throw out under the bird table for blackbirds and hedgehogs. When they finally go to bed for the winter it will probably be in the hay barn where it is snug and warm.
The new gates are not fitted yet. The posts are in and the concreting of the gate way is completed. Now the farmer is waiting for it all to set really hard. The hens are therefore having an extended birthday as they can come up every day with no need to fly over the gate. For some reason they seem to find sunflower hearts, niger seed and mixed bird seed preferable to poultry wheat and layers pellets. But then, stolen fruit always was the sweetest.
The farmer is already inside for the day and has just lit the wood-burner - it is that miserable outside. When I questioned how early he was he just informed me that he was not staying out in this weather. It is only 10.24 but he has all yesterday's papers to read and the Grand Prix is on shortly after lunch, so he will be happy.
I am baking our own onions for lunch. I bake them in their skins and we eat the insides at the table - like one would do with potatoes - they have not been taken from the groundn long and are still very sweet. Served with pork chops, apple sauce and mashed potatoes they should make a tasty lunch.
Tomorrow the farmer begins to clean out the loose housing - two feet of manure in there from last Winter. It will all be put in a heap on one of the fields to mature and will then be spread in the Spring. The farm cats will be furious as it is by far the warmest place to spend the day - the heat has built up considerably over the Summer. But it is necessary to clean it out and put in fresh deep straw so that it is ready for the day when those girls have to come inside.