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Thought Number 4 Please Help We Need to Make Hay Part 1

The Dark Sky

It is the wettest June since 1910, which is when records began. The grass is still standing in the fields, we are desperate to have it cut but we have to wait along with everybody else. I guess too that we will be at the end of the chain when it comes to mowing, turning and baling, given that we are dependent on others.

Docks and Thistles are thrusting their way through the grass at a great rate, the penalty for leaving it so long. L is tearing her hair out and has decamped to Manchester for the weekend (she leases a 165 acre organic biodynamic farm down the road). It really is relentless. I went into the sea of green with the intent of beheading some Creeping Thistles and seeding Docks, trying not to crush the trembling top heavy stems of the grasses – Crested Dogstail, Yorkshire Fog, Sweet Vernal, Sheep’s Bit, False Oat, Cock’s Foot – along with Sorrel and Clover. A Meadow Brown butterfly flits around in the damp air as I work.

Ok so it’s not a Snail but you get the idea what we’re dealing with…

At midnight I go to charge B’s buggy and I count 89 snails on the ground in the torchlight on the short journey between the house and the barn. There would have been 90 but it was the crunch underfoot which alerted me to to their abundance. A good year for the molluscs. I go to check the dahlias in the polytunnel and hear a pair of eery owls very close in the huge Sycamore at the bottom of the field.

I woke up the next morning to the sparrows chattering as usual in the holes we’ve made for them in the stonework. I wonder how big the swallow chicks are. We only have one nest this year, though this is an improvement on last year when they deserted us completely. As I wake up I realise it’s actually sunny. Hurrah! finally there is a break in the dismal days of rain – it’s moving east – and leaving dry weather. We begin to hope.

Swallow Fledgings getting ready for First Flight

Two Swallow Fledging with an Encouraging Parent

4 Comments Post a comment
  1. supernova #

    Hello there thinkingcowgirl, I just had to say how impressed I am with your efforts toward biodiversity, a topic I too think is vitally important. The species of insects, birds and wildlife you have attracted onto your land is superb and you deserve many congratulations. Well done indeed! I look forward to reading the rest of your blog and to your future posts, thank you and my best wishes, SN.

    November 28, 2012
    • Thanks very much Supernova. We seem to have made a heaven for sparrows…which I guess is good as they are on the decline. But now we’re worrying that they are putting off other birds! Looking forward to finding out about the Ribble.

      November 29, 2012

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