Friday, 28 August 2015

That time of year.

I will not mention ****** because my son said to me the other day,
'you haven't mentioned ****** yet Mum, what's happened, you have usually mentioned it by now!'.

But I have just been for a walk down the lane with Tess - a very short walk I might add as it began to rain after we had gone a hundred yards or so.   Two things struck me.   The first is that the air is full of the noise of crows - mostly rooks I suspect.   They are beginning to congregate together as they do every year once the breeding season is past.   The field opposite had whole crop barley in it and has been cut.   As I went out of the gate it was black over with rooks but when I pointed my camera at them they rose as one before I had time to click.  It is always good to see them there as as well as picking up any corn that has been left their sharp beaks also dig deep for crane fly larva.

The other sight was of swallows gathered on the line in the yard.  It has not been a good year here for swallows.   We usually  have a dozen or more nests and this year we have had only three.   How many babies have been reared it is difficult to say but certainly the numbers gathering on the wires is far less than other years.  I understand also that because this is a poor year for voles (this happens every four years or so) not many barn owl chicks have survived.

The good news is that the farmer is away baling up that hay as I write.   It is not first (or even second) class stuff having been rained on every day for almost a fortnight, but it has to be baled in order to move it off the grass before the grass grows through it.   The bad news is that on the last row of rowing up his hay bob broke beyond repair, cracking straight down the middle.   Luckily this is his last lot of haymaking this year so he doesn't have to think about a replacement for now - particular so when I think of the state of his knee and his hip, both candidates for replacement soon.

 It is our August Bank Holiday week-end in the UK and today is a lovely day with just the occasional shower.    As it is our Wensleydale Show tomorrow (just up the road from the farm) we are keeping our fingers crossed that it will be a good day too.

I don't any longer attend as I am not mobile enough to walk all that way, but I have persuaded the farmer to take my camera, so watch this space.


Maureen @ Josephina Ballerina said...

Then I shall not mention ******, either.
Too bad the hay was not first class this year.
Oh, for some rain on the west coast of the US.
Or even Puerto Rico in the Carribbean. The island
is in a dire water crisis for lack of rain.
The rain of the hurricaine will help, certainly,
but at what cost? Eek, man.
Annual mammogram today. Here's to a good result!
Happy weekend!
xo, m & jb

Maureen @ Josephina Ballerina said...

P. S. I have no idea what I am not mentioning. Still, I won't mention it.-but I cannot speak for jb!
;) m

Rachel Phillips said...

You mentioned it three weeks ago. Your son hasn't been reading closely enough.

angryparsnip said...

What a sight that must have been, a field of black suddenly rising as one.
Hope the weather stays nice and can not wait to see the photos.
I am not sure what we are not mentioning but I am happy not to mention it !

cheers, parsnip

Hildred said...

Observant son - I have one in the Chilcotin who proof reads and points out (gently) any errors in grammar or spelling or even wee typos! A perfectionist...of the first order!

Gwil W said...

I hope you are able to photograph the crows or rooks as they rise en masse before they depart for good. I think of Van Gogh's famous painting. His last one before he shot himself I think,

Joanne Noragon said...

We have barn swallows here and I never see them group up and leave for the year. At my friend's house in Wisconsin, when I am there the last week of July, they are beginning to congregate on her wires. Ann tells me they reach a tipping point one day and are gone the next.

Terry and Linda said...

Yep ...fall has arrived!


Midlife Roadtripper said...

I won't tell either. Glad The Farmer got the hay in even though it isn't very good. Interesting that I just learned about the quality of hay as a friend of my husband has a farm and he has had to sell his for much less this year. Apparently the rain we had in May allowed too many weeds to grow into it and that is a marker in the quality. Big difference in price.

Always so much to learn.

Heather said...

So pleased you didn't mention 'you know what' - it's far too soon and I am still hoping for a bit more summer though there are signs of autumn everywhere. We probably had ours in April and foolishly dreamed of all the lovely weeks to follow! The weather is still very changeable down here and I have my fingers crossed for your country show this weekend. Glad the farmer managed to salvage some of the hay and that the machinery didn't break down too soon. Take care of yourselves.

thelma said...

Given the coming and going of farm machinery on the road, and ignoring a season which fits the asteriks, what about Harvest Festival Sunday, what date is that, or doesn't it matter and should we not be pleased that the harvest is gathered in safely, except for some hay on the farm ;)

Rachel Phillips said...

The harvest is not gathered in safety yet Thelma, there are hundreds of acres of wheat still standing in the fields waiting to be cut in Norfolk and I expect the rest of southern England. We have had rather a lot of rain you know..........

Midmarsh John said...

I noticed a large flock (?) of about fifty noise crows / rooks which split in two directions over the village yesterday. Also a grand sight of about twenty geese first thing this morning flying overhead just above roof level.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Thelma mentions harvest festivals. My goodness, how important they were a hundred years ago, when all being safely gathered in meant the difference between feast and almost famine. Now with everything bought in tins or frozen nobody cares all that much.
Thanks for not actually mentioning the word!