It is just about a week here since the end of weeks with no rain (sorry those of you lower down the country who had weeks of the stuff). We had showers and then one really wet day and the grass responded immediately in kind. After a fortnight of not being cut it has grown at such a rate of knots over the last week that it is long and fully in flower with Birds' Foot Trefoil - such a pretty little flower.
Sitting in the Hairdressers this morning the road outside the window had a long procession of huge silage wagons passing - I counted ten in the space of five minutes (we have some very large farms up here now that the small Dales farms (like ours) have been sold off). Yes, doubtless second silage is well underway and farmers with huge herds will at last be beginning to be assured that they will not be short of feed when the cattle are in over Winter. They will hopefully get Third Silage and even a smaller Fourth. Nothing lives up to the nutrition available for the cattle in First Silage but the more the better as the Winter progresses.
When my taxi came to collect me and bring me home we were chatting - they keep horses(his wife rides for pleasure)- last week their oldest horse - late in his twenties and ailing for a while - sadly had to be put to sleep (they were both very upset). They loved him dearly and have had him for some years. They couldn't bear to have him shot so the Vet came and gently put him to sleep with an injection - they stayed with him until he died and went down and then they brought their other two horses back into their field before the old chap was taken away to be cremated. A pony and another elderly horse walked up to the body and sniffed him all over, then walked away and into the next field and started eating grass. The owners went before the body was pulled into the lorry - they couldn't bear to watch that. Now they have his ashes back and will eventually scatter them on 'his' field. In the meantime the other two -although they sniffed him all over and appeared to have accepted his death - will not go back into that field, preferring to stay in the adjoining field although the grass is now new and lush. The gate has been left open from the field they are in so that the new grass can tempt them whenever they wish to go - but they have not gone. Who knows what goes on in an animals mind. The ashes of their beloved old chap will stay in the container in his stable until such time as the other two seem to have accepted it all.
And how lucky these elderly horses are to have such loving owners when one thinks of the terrible fate so many animals suffer. I have been to Marrakech a few times and walked in the High Atlas Mountains. On Market Days the men from the high villages come down to Market on their mules and I have always thought that the majority of the mules look very well cared for (there is always the exception as there is with animals here in this country) and are very much part of the community in which they live. I once picked up a mule shoe off the track and put it in my pocket. It has for years sat on my kitchen window sill and reminds me daily of those times.
Sorry I have gone on a bit and perhaps strayed away from work on the farm - but that is the way my old mind works - has always worked I'm afraid.( and I apoogise for over-using the dash - I don't know what I would do without it). At school my English teacher, Miss Ryder, had two nicknames for me 'blotter' and 'dasher'. Remember I was at school long before biros were available and we all had pen nibs and inkwells and. tidy as I am, I blotted constantly to avoid inky smudges. As for 'dasher' well pretty self-explanatory I would expect.
Lovely day here in spite of Covid lurking around. And wasn't it lovely to see England win - we really needed something to lift our spirits didn't we?