On the West side of our farmhouse we have a dozen or so Scots Pine trees which have been there since the house was built at the beginning of the twentieth century. They are higher than our roof and really make a good windbreak as our prevailing wind is from the west. They also shelter the drive from the rain very nicely. In Winter they make a splendid roost for pheasant and we usually have twenty or so who fly up into them every night to escape any
marauding foxes. They congregate on the garden wall each night at dusk and are lovely to watch.
They have one great drawback - and that is Pine Needles. At this time of the year on a windy day like today the air rains pin needles as they fly off the trees and cover the lawns, the footpaths, the patio, the gutters around the house. They get everywhere. You can go out with a brush and sweep them away from the back door and go out again ten minutes later and it will be as bad.
Does anyone know a use for pine needles? I wonder if the monks at nearby Jervaulx Abbey stuffed their palliases with them or something. Even on the compost heap they take ages to rot down. So they go on to the bonfire.
The first whole day without rain (although it is looking a bit cloudy at present) so the farmer went to shake up his hay. He says it is looking 'a bit sad' to use his words. But he is still hopeful that he will eventually be able to get some bales out of it.