Saturday 11 January 2014
Today the weather is glorious - bright sunshine, strong chilly breeze and wonderful for a walk if you wrap up well.
It is a long time since I walked round the fields as my bad ankle makes walking so difficult, but I couldn't resist giving it a go this afternoon with the farmer in attendance - and it was absolutely lovely.
I have taken a few photographs just to show you the farm in Winter. As we set out, the farmer opened the door of the loose housing so that I could photograph the in-calf cows and heifers snug and warm and well-fed.
We passed the hen house and it was empty; instead the cockerel and all the hens were huddled in the chilly tractor shed looking thoroughly miserable. I will never understand the mind of a hen (can you enlighten me here, John?) - why stand huddled in a cold, draughty shed when you could be in a snug, warm, strawed hen hut with plenty of food on hand?
Once in the pasture there was certainly a lot of water but on the whole it was not as wet as I expected it to be. I took a long vista for you to where the sheep are grazing in the big Mill lane field and also a photograph of our beck, which is very high and fast-flowing, although nowhere near the top of the bank.
The wood was still and devoid of life of any kind and looked a cold, uninviting place, although I am sure there are plenty of rabbits over-wintering in there somewhere.
Half way up the big pasture we came to a long line of crab apple trees. The wind has blown all the apples off and the water has washed them all into the gulley by the hedge. They are indescribably sour, but if really cold weather comes then the hungry fieldfares and redwings will come in and finish them off, along with the dotting of solitary holly berries here and there. Almost all of the Winter food has long gone - rosehips remain, but they are always the last to go.
**Sorry - blogger is not coming out to play today and I just can't show you my photographs - maybe tomorrow. Thank you blogger - I managed to put these on effortlessly at eight o'clock this morning.