A Year in a Lane – Week 20

Although the sun (particularly with occasional showery days) encourages growth this time of year, it is not always in the right places. Having a gravel driveway is very nice but weed killing and pulling is an essential process in spring and summer.


Some of the visiting birds can be remarkably tame – especially the robins, who like to hang around the horses hoping for titbits that remain once they have finished their buckets. This feathered friend is just whiling away the time between the farm and the verges of my driveway hoping for a worm or two no doubt!


Talking of birds, the house martins are busy examining the nests that remain on the house carrying out repairs where necessary and even building anew.


It’s not always as quiet as people imagine in the countryside, although standing outside on a summer’s evening listening to “nothing” can be quite amazing. Apart from the occasional night time squawks and occasional screams as something gets murdered by a fox (nice!). during the daytime there are occasional aircraft passing over to nearby airports. Normally these are lighter craft heading for Compton Abbas or, in this case, Bournemouth.

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As shown a little in the robin photograph above and more clearly below by the footpath style at the end of the driveway, following the departure of the sheep the farmer is allowing the big field next door to grow. This will now almost certainly be left and one or two lots of hay taken off later in the year.


Finally another lovely sunset to watch during the week.


A Year in a Lane – Week 19

The weather continues to be warm and largely dry which causes changes to the natural view and also how the animals behave and react to the heat – and yes it has actually been very warm. The weather men are predicting that the next two months could be very hot – although these are the same people that predicted a barbeque summer a couple of years ago when it rained pretty much every day. We wait and see. In the meantime the animals enjoy grazing (Tommy) and lazing (Lottie, who else) in the sun.

DSC00366The horses, as shown last week, have come up to the paddock for a few weeks. Their winter field is resting and will eventually be dragged. It is already noticeable how much more grass there is and how dry it has become compared to the mud bath it was earlier in the year.


The apple tree above has blossomed beautifully as well. Everything is growing at a rate of knots – including the weeds unfortunately. The view from the back of the house across the paddock, which used to show the fields beyond, is now a vista of green trees.


We have some more creatures in the lane now as the hens from the stable yard halfway down have decided to wander about a bit more and see what they can find to eat beyond the yard itself. Here they are almost at the top of the lane, just short of my driveway.

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At least they also help to slow any traffic down should any delivery drivers or visitors come up the lane a little quicker than they should. Talking of which, I encountered this mobile speed hump coming back during the week. Tommy was returning home from a ride with a local young lady who helps keep him fit by riding out occasionally.

IMG_1027 edNot a bad way to spend a summer’s evening!

A Year in a Lane – Week 18

It’s all (well nearly all) about horses this week. The paddock has finally fully recovered from the monsoon season formally known as winter! And below you can see that it is looking pretty lush and ready for the horses to come home for a few weeks. (By the way, it is on a slope and it isn’t that I wasn’t holding the camera straight 🙂 ). Oh and look, there’s a posing dog in the corner.


Here comes Tom, led by Sonia who helps look after the boys, on his way back and thinking longingly about the feast of grass he is about to have.

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Every few months the horses’ feet need to be filed or washed or shoed or something (not really an expert on this sort of thing as you can tell!). Anyway, a nice farrier called Guy comes up and sorts them out. Here he is working on one of Tom’s front feet watched by Willow, who is looking fascinated by the whole process, and Clare. Oh and there’s Lottie again!


As you can see from the pictures, summer arrived at last this week and, even if the sun doesn’t last all the time, at least the temperature has risen to something quite normal for this time of year. The clue to the change in the weather actually came on Sunday when the first house martins appeared and by the middle of the week there were many more around. They have been starting to examine the old nests and repairing where necessary to prepare for the breeding season.


More of these little guys to come – however as they arrived the sheep in the field next door disappeared. Not sure where to – maybe another field or maybe …..

Here they are being herded off the field by a motorised buggy on one side and a sheep dog, just visible as a small black dot the horizon, on the other side.

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Bye Bye sheep!

A Year in a Lane – Week 17

I have previously mentioned the lovely sunsets that we get that are always helped by the open vista to the west from the house position on the hill. Here was another great example from this week.


A couple of weeks ago I showed the willow trees starting to leaf up as the weather warmed and in the fortnight it seems that everything has suddenly come on apace – the view down the lane has suddenly transformed into a beautiful array of green hues.


This next picture is a pile of poo – literally! The manure and sawdust from the racehorses is collected in this side yard and eventually taken away by a large lorry. Our boys add their own little contribution as we take the wheelbarrow over daily with the “pickings” from their field.


It is still chilly, especially at night, even ‘tho’ we are nearly in May – in fact we have had as many frosts at the end of April as in the whole of January and February, but at least it has been relatively dry. The next door horses are still wearing their coats to keep warm even during the day.


The field above the house is well managed by the farm and this week they have been flattening the ground down – the sheep are blissfully unmoved by the presence of the tractor and roller.