There is no doubt about it, living - as we do - in the depths of the country, we are so much closer to nature in all its aspects than we would be when living in a town or city - or even in a village. The farmer walks his fields at least twice a day, to keep an eye on things and, even though I can no longer walk all that far, he brings me up to date when he comes in. After all, farming and nature are his passions.
So here are a few of this week's observations:
The ash trees are still not in leaf up here. We are hoping that this will endorse the old saying 'if the oak before the ash, then we're in for just a splash' (rather than the alternative ' if the ash before the oak, then we're in for quite a soak'. I see one from where I stand at the kitchen sink. It is a magnificent specimen and I sincerely hope that it doesn't get ash die-back.
Myxamatosis - that cruel disease of rabbits - is back. Tess caught three baby rabbits this morning; all had mixxy and the farmer put them out of their misery. Being caught by a dog must be terrifying for a baby rabbit, but death from the farmer is swift and anything is better than the slow, lingering death to which they would succumb otherwise.
Sparrows have managed to find their way under the roof in our utility room and seem to have built a nest directly over my tumble drier. For the past two days one baby sparrow has driven us mad with its chirping - never ending cheep, cheep, cheep. When we came back from shopping this morning there was one frantic baby sparrow fluttering around the window. The farmer caught it gently in his hand and put in on the branch of a tree just across the drive. I just hope mum finds it there. It flew off before I could take a photograph, so should be able to look after itself.
The farmer has just gone to get out his grass-cutter and give it a grease as our friend and neighbour A has asked him to cut forage grass tomorrow afternoon. We had threequarters of an inch of rain (and a gale of 70mph) overnight but as it is still blowing a gale this morning the grass should be dry by tomorrow afternoon. Silaging begins in earnest.
This morning, on his morning walk with Tess, the farmer found a young heifer stuck across the top of the fence. She must have been trying to get into the neighbouring field. The farmer helped her off, came back for a fencing rail and mended where she had tried to get over. It is most likely that she has come into season and was trying to get to the cattle i n the neighbouring field - it would have been a bit of a waste of time because they are heifers too!
Enjoy your day.