View from the Hill 24th July 2014
→ click on pictures to enlarge
The sunset picture above shows a buzzard perched on top of a pile of pine logs, a long and powerful lens would have helped to get a great shot, and would have allowed some enlargement, however the opportunity lasted only a few moments as the sun went down, and the phone camera was all I had.
Phew what a scorcher; harvest has been in full swing for nearly two weeks and we have already cleared all our barley and oilseed rape. The spring barley and earliest wheat fields are looking very nearly fit to cut, and we may find we have to go straight on without the customary gap in the middle. The hot weather has brought the season well forward, we started cutting on July 11th, the earliest start here since 2003. Last year nothing was ready until August 1st, quite a contrast. Yields have been a mixed bag, the Maris Otter malting barley was a bit disappointing, but the feed barley and oilseed rape have been a little better than average so far, howver harvesting conditions have been excellent, with very little need for drying the grain as the weather has been so helpful.Whilst we have been getting on with the early crops, the poppies have now had their final spray and are heading for cutting in about two weeks time with any luck. They have looked fantastic this year, and continue to stand like two hundred acres of mini terracotta warriors. In the last four weeks they have gone from this:
The fine weather has enabled us to get on with hauling timber out of the woods, and to get on and process logs, for the trade we hope will materialize when the weather cools off a bit. Our split bundles are now being fed through a rotary saw which makes short work of the metre long billets. Hopefully I will get some pictures of this into the online edition shortly.
We have a keen team of helpers on the farm, and at harvest time everybody pitches in to do their best:
The beautiful weather has encouraged a lovely long flowering period in all the uncropped areas, the field margins and bird food plots are a riot of colour, and many insects, butterflies and moths can be found feasting
This month’s edition wouldn’t be complete without a calf and lamb picture, our calf is being weaned this week, but that hasn’t reduced his desire to suck anything he can reach, even the poor lambs’ ears when they carelessly wave them around under his nose.