Monday, 10 March 2014

Tidying up.

After all that hedge chopping and tidying up, the time has come for the farmer to get rid of all the debris.  Today was the perfect day to begin the clear  up.

I don't know what it has been like where you live, but here it has been a perfect Spring day with wall-to-wall sunshine from dawn 'til dusk, only a slight breeze (just enough to dry my washing outside, which made it smell beautifully when I brought it in - fresh air and Spring smells up on the airer as I write.)

Just the day to collect all that chopped off holly and hawthorn in our new field, pile it all  into a huge heap and get ready to have a bonfire.   I love bonfires - we have a license to have a bonfire in our fields for the burning of stuff like this.   I have now made the farmer promise that he won't have the bonfire in the morning, when I am at my exercise  class.  You can see from the photograph that there is quite a pile of it.

I also managed to capture a rare photograph of the farmer himself - he tried to hide behind the tractor but I was too quick for him!

Tess was singularly uninterested in the proceedings and spent the time poking her nose down rabbit holes, presumably smelling baby rabbits.  Incidentally - on that subject - did you know that the mother rabbit covers the entrance to the hole when the babies are born, in an effort to stop predators like stoats and weasels getting in while the young are so vulnerable?

 Coming back up the field I photographed one of the lovely old, gnarled hawthorn trees.   They have certainly been there as long as the farmer can remember.   They at one time formed a whole hedge across the pasture (it was originally three fields) (this kind of hedge is called a 'cam' up here in the Dales), but one by one- over the years- gales bring them down and he saws them up for the woodburner - hawthorn makes super logs for burning.

The tree called to mind one in a field when we were children - it was so full of ivy that the ivy formed a kind of platform which held our weight, so we used to carry a picnic up into the tree and watch the world go by.   Those were the days.

All around on the moors they are burning the heather (grouse moors) - it is the first time this year that the weather has been dry enough to get on with the job.  The horizon is full of smoke spires and there is a smell of burning heather in the air.  Yes, folks, Spring certainly seems to be winning as far as today is concerned.  (famous last words.)


MorningAJ said...

Hello Farmer! Nice to see you in here for once.

John Going Gently said...

I was thinking the same as AJ
Btw sorry to hear about Tip

Willow said...

Was great to see your hard working farmer and Tess .
Glad Spring has found someone !

Dartford Warbler said...

I love the gnarled old hawthorn.

I hope the bonfire went well. We need to do the same if this dry spell continues.

jill said...

Lots of hard work there Pat. Hope you are well. Love Jill xx

angryparsnip said...

hahaha Farmer does look a bit surprised.
Love Tess looking for wrabbits !
What a beautiful tree.

cheers, parsnip

Cloudia said...

So glad!

ALOHA from Honolulu
Comfort Spiral

=^..^= <3

Cloudia said...

Aloha Farmer :-)

Arija said...

So nice to see the farm for a change. We have a number of old hawthorns on our place too. I love them in bloom and with their bright berries.
We are waiting for burning bans to be lifted so we can clear up a lot of gorse.
Wonderful to take in line dried washing with that inimitable 'fresh' smell.

Cro Magnon said...

A LICENSE for a bonfire! Are you serious???

mumasu said...

It has been some lovely weather hasn't it :)

Midlife Roadtripper said...

I think you are a little ahead of us. Still a few more days of cold before we can begin. Need to get the gardens composted and ready. However, with the drought of the past years, I've grown very weary in regard to watering. Not quite ready to begin.

Frugal in Derbyshire said...

We are into pruning back too and I am hoping to start a bonfire over the next couple of days. Don't you just love it when all the little jobs that have been waiting for the dry weather get done?
Re. the rabbits, I hadn't thought about the mother covering the hole up, but I guess I should have as my hutch reared rabbits do a similar thing.

Heather said...

This post and your photos take me back to my childhood when any spare time was spent making dens in various hedges. They were 'furnished' with old crates and boxes and as many meals as possible were eaten there. I love the scent of a good bonfire - it always reminds me of my grandfather who was a great fan of bonfires too. We had a glorious weekend here and I got the first of this year's soil under my fingernails! More please.

Elizabeth said...

Such lovely photos!
How springlike.

Linda Metcalf said...

When I was little my dad would burn all the leaves and downed limbs and we roasted wieners and much fun! It's been warm here for a couple of days and I do believe Spring is trying to poke it's head thru...

The Weaver of Grass said...

Yes folks, the farmer is very camera shy - in fact he is very shy full stop (which is probably why he remained single until I snapped him up when he was 50 years old!)

And yes Cro I am serious about a license for a bonfire for all farmers. I think it is an EU regulation - I am referring to large bonfires here of course (and I dare say there is a similar rule governing bonfires in smokeless zones)