Wednesday, 27 July 2022

Whispering and other tales

 I decided to do half an hour of dead-heading after lunch.   As I have said before - my garden is steep and has several flights of steps which I can no longer negotiate, so I can only manage to dead from the bottom patio.   There are two large clumps of very colourful Gallardia desperately in need of dead-heading but I could only manage those dead heads right at the front.   Plenty of Osteospermum to dead head right back to the bottom of the stalk and a few other bits and bobs - pinks and the like.   As I was quietly doing this I was suddenly aware of a noise like whispering.   I looked around and soon found out what it was!  The farmer who owns the field behind my garden has obviously decided to cut his losses and do a third silage cut, although I have no doubt the grass would be poor as we have had so little rain.   Now that the grass has been collected and carted away from the field, the heifers have been put in to "pike".  (this is a local dialect word for clearing up all the patches of grass in the hedge bottom - nothing is ever wasted by a good farmer).   A heifer was watching me over the stone wall and chewing her cud at the same time.   We had a conversation - well it was a bit one-sided - more of an I talked and she listened sort of thing.

Another lovely animal story out of today's Times - Matthew Parris's Comment article - always one of the first things I turn to on a Wednesday morning.  One night last week he was walking late at night from Stepney Green tube station to Limehouse through the quiet of St Dunstan's churchyard in the silence.   Then he noticed a man on a late-night walk with his dog.   As he watched a fox noticed too and the two animals met in the silence.  They had a good look at each other, a good 'doggy' sniff around each other then 'backed off' and went their separate ways.  All in the silence of the night.Who knows what goes on in the night around us when we are asleep.

See you on the morrow,


26 comments:

Derek Faulkner said...

Very little silage has been cut on Sheppey this year and no hay.
End of July and all crops are harvested and fields all tickled over with discs and now sitting there bone dry and waiting for autumn rains. Earliest I've known the harvest be completed and apparently the yields are not good.

Anonymous said...

Had to giggle at your one sided conversation with the heifer. I’ve taken to having conversations with the blue jays that clack away asking for peanuts while I tell them how beautiful they are.
Your garden must be so beautiful!

Chris said...

One place I lived had heifers in the field behind my house, they were so pretty with long eyelashes, I often stood at the fence and watched them, so calming.

JayCee said...

That heifer was very polite, not to interrupt when someone is talking.

The Weaver of Grass said...

I think yields are down everywhere Derek - not a good year for farmers all round.

The bike shed said...

Just catching up on blogs after a long while away. I too like Mathew Paris - his Saturday column is more political, but always a good read.

Barbara R. said...

Sorry to hear farmers are having a bad season. That, and Ukrainian crops being stalled by Russia, makes for more high prices in the stores, I'm afraid. Or starvation in countries who depended upon their grain.

Heather said...

Two lovely animal stories. I am sure the heifer enjoy her chat with you and admired your garden. Perhaps she'll call on you again one day.

the veg artist said...

At a previous house there were often heifers in the field next to the garden. My little black cat used to sit on the grass on our side, the heifers leaning over the top towards him, and they used to huff and puff at each other for ages. Not a one-off, if they noticed him they would come up to the fence on purpose! So sweet.

Barbara Anne said...

What delightful stories about the heifer enjoying your dead-heading as you conversed with her and the story in the Times. In the evenings here, we often see does with fawns and rarely a buck or several as the young bucks usually travel in a group. It is a wonder what goes on in our neighborhoods as we sleep.

Sweet dreams, Pat!

Hugs!

Marjorie said...

How nice to have a visit with a heifer. I visit with my three orphans twice a day and they try to lick me through their pen walls. Two of them are nuts but the third is very quiet and just stands by his bottle rack. We never make money on orphans but they get to have happy lives as most farmers here just let them die. In fact one of my orphans, an abandoned twin, is bigger than his sibling who his mother kept. I always talk to cattle.

The Furry Gnome said...

Glad you had a good conversation with your heifer!

Susan said...

All the dead-heading you have done will produce more lovely flowers. Well done. The presence of the heifer watching you and enjoying her munch and attentive chat with you sounds like a story out of a children's book. In the darkness of the night, I truly believe there is lots of wildlife activity outside. When my dog sleeps in my bedroom very close against the bed frame I know something is roaming about outside close to my house. Occasionally, the coyotes are stalking and hunting their next meal or the owls are hooting in pursuit of their target.

Debby said...

While I was gone, my husband said that the motion detector light came on at the back door. He got up to see what was going on. He opened the door and a raccoon went scurrying down the driveway.

'Who knows?' indeed!

angryparsnip said...

I love the story of the heifer having a bite to eat while listing to you. Cow are quite wonderful.
The fox and dog story was wonderful.

Cro Magnon said...

On one of my early walks with Billy (in Brighton) we came across a friendly Fox. They just looked at each other from about 20 ft then continued on their ways. I think that Dogs realise that Foxes are not pukka Dogs, and view them with interest/suspicion. Had it been another Dog, they would have greeted each other.

Bovey Belle said...

Across the fields from us, having taken a goodly hay cut, the farmer has turned his cattle out to eat the bits under the hedgerows too. Waste not, want not.

Smiling at the fox and dog meeting up.

I have had a mid-summer tidy in my garden this week and also began tidying in the orchard (a job and a half) and on the bank. It will take quite a while!

Sue in Suffolk said...

Are you counting the heifer chat as one of your 5 a day conversations!

Librarian said...

Love both animal stories! We have had a few sheepish encounters this holiday, with half-grown sheep (probably from this year) coming to the fence, curious but cautious at the same time.
Farmers in Germany are experiencing the same problems. Not enough rain, too much heat.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Thanks everyone. What a lovely lot of animal tales you have to add to my two - almost enough for a book of Childrens' Bedtime Stories.

gz said...

Cattle are so inquisitive! Better so on the other side of a boundary though!!

You would be surprised at what goes through your garden at night..perhaps a wildlife camera might provide some interest?

Anonymous said...

People are poor and yet there is still talk of luxuries like wildlife cameras.

The Weaver of Grass said...

gz - think I would rather not know.

Ruta M. said...

Pre-children, back in the early 1980's I spent a lot of time working on Stepping Stones farm (now Stepney City farm) across the road from St Dunstan's church. I have many happy memories of working on the farm; milking goats, teaching kids to ride on the ponies or creating allotments as the church bells rang for bell-ringing practice. I also used to look after people's horses and the grassy plots next to the church and farm were perfect for schooling.

Brenda said...

Your blogs are so intriguing...they don't always let me respond, but I am kind of used to that...keep writing...

The Weaver of Grass said...

Thanks to you all - my post has generated some fascinating stories.