Thursday, 8 July 2021

Grass

 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?  


26 comments:

Bovey Belle said...

I think only the chap from a Hunt Kennels would shoot (captive bolt) a horse these days - they have been injected for quite a few years now. You are not allowed to bury them so unless you are happy to call in the Knackerman (as I know him) to take the remains off for "rendering", then cremation is the only option - and not cheap, of course.

That horse was lucky to be kept to the end and gently eased out of it. I used to support a charity caring for Egyptian horses used in the Pyramids area. How some of those suffered was beyond belief, thanks to ignorance and desperation (of course, they worked the poor creatures to death, and despite any injuries unless it was a broken leg - when they might be lucky to be abandoned.) I now support the Brooke Hospital which has been doing the most incredible work for equines (now worldwide) ever since the early 1930s.

The farm opposite cut 3 big fields of silage last week and left the (4th) top one to dry for small-bale hay for the sheep. I saw it baled - beautiful soft green June hay at its best. With hay, my old books tell of an "aftermath" crop being made in perhaps September, but it never had the goodness and nutritional value of good June hay.

Heather said...

A lovely post, and no need for apologies. I find myself using too many dashes at times. I have often thought that animals have more sensitivity and intuition that we imagine. We had a very dear labrador who would start to tremble long before we heard any thunder or saw lightening. We had to say goodbye to several cats and dogs after many years of love and companionship. To lose a horse must be even worse.

Debby said...

I like the thought that he drifted off on the fields he has always known, with the people he loved beside him. We should all be so lucky to leave so gently.

thelma said...

I am glad the horse left this world in the company of owners and his horse friends. Cremation seems the 'in thing' these days, with it being advertised all over the television. The lethal injection is so kind to animals but humans are not allowed this final end should they so wish.
We were talking of all the tractors with silage that went through the village yesterday for days on end. I wonder if more farmers contract out? The machinery used must be very expensive.

Marcia LaRue said...

Such a lovely, yet somber, post this Thursday! So beautifully written! Never a need for you to apologize for anything you write ... it's your blog and you can write whatever you feel like and whatever prompts you to relate to your adoring public!
You use the -- dashes! I use the ... ellipses!!

Carol said...

I have 4 horses, all of whom have been with me since they were yearlings. The oldest is 30 this year, and the youngest 21. They are retired, and I've promised all of them that they are with me for life, mine or theirs as it may be. Their endings will be as gentle as I can manage, in return for their lifelong devotion.

Derek Faulkner said...

A lovely post Pat and like Thelma said, what a shame that we can't help humans end their suffering in such a humane way. Surprised that your local farmers are getting that amount of sileage after the dry spell that you have been recording.

CharlotteP said...

I hadn't noticed your dashes...you probably call me Dotter!

The Weaver of Grass said...

Derek - after the long dry spell it rained one day last week for most of the day and my lawn shot up overnight - you could almost watch it growing - I suppose it was because the soil was so warm.

Carruthers said...

Human attitudes to other species always seem strange to me - we either sentimentalise them or slaughter them on an industrial scale.

Frances said...

A lovely but rather sad post Pat. I understand your dashes.....I tend to use a line of dots! And lots of exclamation marks too!
A few years ago I realised that my dots could probably be replaced by a colon or semi colon, but I don't think we were taught that at my grammar school.Otherwise my grammar is quite good I think.

angryparsnip said...

As always your post today was lovely and sad at the same time. I have all my gud dugs ashes that I could save and when I get cremated we all will be mixed up together and spread by the wind.

The bike shed said...

I use dashes a lot too—technically they are called an em dash (yes that's spelt correctly) but most people now use a hyphen that is shorter in length. A hyphen is -
while em dash is — slightly longer, can you see?
The em dash is not on the standard keyboard but requires extra keystrokes. In the UK publishers don't put a space before or after an em dash, but in the US they do.
But you see, I go on too much...

Janie Junebug said...

Dashes make me think of Emily Dickinson. It's sad about the horse but so good he could drift away with dear ones present.

Love,
Janie

The Weaver of Grass said...

Thank you bike shed for that info.
Parsnip - lovely idea.

Carruthers - I don't see anything sentimental about speaking of the death of an anima lyou have had for the whole twenty odd years of its life - and ridden most days.


Thanks everyone.

Joanne Noragon said...

We've had a lovely day of mostly sun with two intense rain showers. No plant watering today.

Cro Magnon said...

My one neighbour who still has a few Cows, only makes his silage in the form of plastic wrapped big round bales. It smells beautiful after a week or so as it matures. We've had two nearby horses die in the past few years. A digger is brought in, a big hole dug, and in goes Dobbin. No doubt this is why I quite regularly find horses teeth in the soil.

Jules said...

The second silage happened here this week. I could smell it as I was cycling to work. X

Tasker Dunham said...

I enjoyed that post. Somehow it's uplifting, despite its sadness.

Tom Stephenson said...

A horse must take a lot of cremation.

Sandy Soto said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
The Weaver of Grass said...

Thanks everyone for your comments - interesting as they always are. As to burying a horse here - I don't think this is allowed.

Derek Faulkner said...

It's definitely not allowed with sheep and cattle and I imagine it'd be the same for horses.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Thanks Derek for that information - I thought it was so.


Thanks to you all, as usual.

Ankit Ron said...

you have a good knowledge of Cricket you Can play daily online ,live cricket games,
cricket online games, best cricket games, play cricket online, cricket game online at best cricket games app for android phones to win real
cash and amount to instant approve in your bank or Paytm wallet.
cricket games online

Terra said...

I love that nickname you had, of Dasher. It gives the idea of lots of energy. How good those elderly horses are cared for so kindly. Your visits to Marakesh reminds me of the award winning book, Our Horses in Egypt, which when I am feeling emotionally strong, I plan to read. It is based on the true situation of the thousands of cavalry horses left in North Africa after the war, and an English lady who traveled there to find her horse.