Back to the old haunts today with the dog. But things have changed somewhat!
There is a footpath in here somewhere:
And the bracken is now over my head in places:
The calves have grown, they are no longer babies and are now out on their in a herd, no mums around:
Everything is terribly dry as despite a few odd days of rain we have not had the usual amount and the grass is looking golden instead of green.
Even the trough on the lane is just mud now, all the water has gone and not even a drip is coming from the spring:
We have stone troughs like this in all the fields and along all the lanes to water the stock and the horses which used to pull the machines in the old days. In our garden wall we also have one with water for humans: our hillsides are riddled with springs which feed these troughs since the stone here is a kind of sandstone, and holds lots of water. But now all has dried up: this usually only happens in August after a really long, dry summer.
There were some gorgeous pale cream foxgloves growing amongst the purple ones in the field wall:
But you can see just how yellow the grass is. Husband came in earlier saying that nature was being rather red in tooth and claw: he was walking down the field when he heard a cry and saw a weasel catching a young, but not baby, rabbit. As I was walking I found a small, dead mole which is unusual: you rarely find one on the surface. Whether it died from hunger or from poisoning I could not tell. The mole killer around here used to soak worms in strychnine and then place them down the mole hills into the mole tunnels for them to eat and then die. Not a nice death. But that has been outlawed for a few years now.
I’ve always had a great fondness for moles ever since reading Alison Uttley’s books about Little Grey Rabbit, the Hare, The Squirrel, Fuzzypeg the young hedgehog, the Wicked Weasel and Moldy Warp the Mole with his thick, velvety, black coat. This despite the havoc they wreak in our orchard grass and the death of many plants which have been left with their roots hanging in air pockets in the ground!
So summer is here in full-throated vigour and the pace is fast and furious.
NB Alison Uttley grew up near here and wrote lovely books about her country childhood, the old farm and some historical novels too.
Alison with Little Grey Rabbit, an illustration by Margaret Tempest.