A Year in a Lane – Week 16

It is always quite flattering to live somewhere that people want to come for a holiday or a just a day out in the countryside. Although there are still some that complain about tourists, by far the majority are welcoming – I’ve lost track of the number of times I’ve been stopped and asked about the history of the tower in the field next door. So it’s not unusual to see ramblers up and down the lane – this is the back end of a large group of about 50 who were passing by.


On the other hand, some prefer a walk on their own, often drawn by the folly and this picture gives some idea of the scale and size of this locally iconic building. I don’t think this solo walker brought their own sheep however despite the photo.


Further along the field, there’s time for a bit of sunbathing. You can just see a number on the back of the sheep at the top of the picture – all the adult sheep are numbered presumably for identification purposes, they certainly all look alike to me and I guess the farmer has the same problem 🙂 .


Last week I showed some of the House Martins’ nests on the eaves of the house. Across the field, you can see the rooks nests high up in the trees – most of these seem to survive the winter winds and soon they will disappear out of sight as foliage continues to grow.


More blossom is appearing as Spring finally starts to change the appearance of the lane from green and brown to a plethora of differing colours -all of which to feature here now doubt!


A Year in a Lane – Week 15

April brings about a mix of weather, including some lovely misty mornings following chilly nights. The Sun gradually burns through (assuming we get some on any given day) but there is something rather haunting about a misty morning across the fields. This is a view across next door’s fields to the lane beyond.

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Blossom is starting to come out on the trees in many places and here is a cherry tree at the end of the driveway adjacent to bushes where the winter berries are beginning to drop off. A good example of the transition across the seasons. Oh and someone decided you might like a dog in the picture too!


The other stables in the lane are where locals (and some others from quite some way away including Bournemouth) keep their horses. They come out most days to feed and poo-pick and then ride at weekends or in the longer evenings which are already stretching out towards 9.00 pm.


Security round here tends to involve four-legged security alarms as much as more traditional ones. Lottie usually picks up on someone approaching from the end of the driveway and is most vocal if anyone should dare to use the footpath across the neighbouring farm :-). These two handsome chaps below do a similar job for the racehorse yard as well as acting as Lottie’s early warning system and vice-versa.


And having mentioned horse riding, here are some riders taking out their horses one pleasant spring evening, just heading off the end of the lane onto tarmac towards the village.

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A Year in a Lane – Week 14

Unbelievably we are just over a quarter of the year gone and we are moving rapidly into Spring proper. The lambs are now growing visibly which is probably not ideal for them as in a few weeks they will be off to Tesco – and not to do some shopping!! In the meantime they are enjoying the sunshine and obviously terrified of the hunter dog (not!) as you can see them happily grazing right alongside the fence that is between the farm and me.


Actually, it’s very good that Lottie isn’t interested in the sheep and they are not scared of her as sheep worrying is a rural problem and I’d be rather concerned if Lottie did bark at them.

The trees are starting to leaf now and things are turning green as this large willow in the lane shows.


Although we have had a couple of days with heavy rain showers, generally it has been a fairly dry period and the horses’ field, which I showed a few weeks back as a muddy bog, is gradually drying out and grass is starting to come through, much to enjoyment of Tommy who has now started to wander out further into the field for a bit of a munch.


Speaking of Tommy and munching, I have seen him give Flash very short shrift if the latter has tried to share his food and I certainly wouldn’t interrupt him mid-flow without very good reason. However, Mr. and Mrs. Pheasant have no such fears and joined in tea-time the other day. Tommy did not seem to object and they all ate peacefully together.


Some visitors who we haven’t seen yet but will undoubtedly show up in the next few weeks are the House Martins. We made the mistake once of taking down their nests in the winter, but the mess made when they rebuilt them was unbelievable -so their summer homes remain waiting for them to return from the southern hemisphere. Much more on these guys to come I am sure.


A Year in a Lane – Week 13

April showers are not uncommon of course, but getting two seasons in the same day is always a challenge. Having been out running in shorts and a running vest in the morning, a huge hail storm in the afternoon gave the impression that it might have been winter.


This even left a snowy effect on the thatched roof of the cottage next door:


Back in the sunshine, another one of our regular visitors braves a graze in the paddock – probably aware that the “fearsome” dog may be watching him but from behind a window.


More visitors in the field next door – not sure where they have come from although there are a number of these Canada Geese living on the lake on a golf course about 6 miles away. I suspect there is somewhere nearer where these two might inhabit.

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Sunsets are a feature of the open skies here as I mentioned before – here are two star-crossed lovers enjoying a bit of a kiss and a cuddle in an oak tree as the sun sets on a lovely spring evening.