A Year in a Lane – Week 25

It’s all (well nearly all) about the sky this week, given the time of the year. The moon was hovering over the trees at the end of the paddock early in the week on a clear night.

DSC00469 edSo the longest day of the year has now passed and nights are drawing back in. It would be some comfort if the weather was at least summer-like in nature but it’s  not that warm and still raining every other day. At least it was dry on the longest day and here is a picture of the Lane as the sun was going down – deliberately taken in natural light to try and capture the effect.

DSC00472 edA couple of days later, the clouds provided a great backdrop on one of those rare summer evenings that 2016 has offered up.

DSC00478 I had a visitor the other night in the entrance hall, trying to find his way out through a closed door. I assisted his escape and later found my new friend taking shelter by the drain among the pipework.


Haven’t seen him since but I expect he has legged it (or hopped it) back to the pond at the end of the garden. Another visitor this week was a tree surgeon who is working for the electricity board. He wants to trim two of my trees at the top of the drive right back as they are encroaching on the power lines and, more importantly, getting too close to the junction box which is between the two of them. I don’t really like chopping down trees but needs must as you can see below.


On the plus side, the view down the driveway will be opened up somewhat and I get to keep the wood, which he will log for me, free of charge so that will save a few pounds on winter heating bills.

And finally – what’s wrong with this picture?


Someone appears to have broken through the fence that splits the field that the horses are currently in and gone for the long grass on the other side. We try and limit the amount of grass accessible at any one time to try and prevent any risk of laminitis. However, someone is clearly not impressed.  #evilhorse

A Year in a Lane – Week 24

The horses paddock has now recovered well and in addition to the grass re-growing, daisies and buttercups are providing a splash of colour at the far end.


Talking of the horses, they are getting along famously further down the lane in their summer field. Plenty of grass to eat – although we control it by fencing to stop them eating too much too quickly and risking laminitis. From the upstairs window, through the various shades of green, Tom and Flash can be seen occasionally in the sunshine.


The house martins have been rebuilding their nests and, from some of them, it looks like a little foraging was done while the hay was being taken in the farm next door.

DSC00456 edEggs have been laid and mothers are sitting patiently keeping them warm whilst dads go out to get food.

Here’s Mum with Dad just popping out ……

DSC00457And here is back with some provisions.

DSC00463And as we are on a bird theme this week, at the start of this period it was rather dull and rainy again as can be seen from the picture below. A group of pigeons decided to take a stroll up the lane rather than flying, although one decided to take the more normal method of travel just as I pressed the shutter.

Pigeons 3 ed


A Year in a Lane – Week 23

Last week the farmer started the hay harvesting and we saw the grass being cut and turned to dry. The next part of the process is that it is pulled together into loose piles and then… magic happens!!  The baling machine comes along, swishes the hay into bales and wraps it in cellophane all at one go. I could watch this wonderful piece of equipment for hours.


The baling takes place all day and into the early dusk – which is when this picture was taken and I decided to show the natural light rather than use the flash here. Once the magic machine is done, the field is left with neatly wrapped piles of hay scattered across it.


The next step is to load this onto a trailer and then take it off for storage back down the hill in the main part of the farm where all the outbuildings are.

DSC00444 ed

And off we go….. job done.


The countryside is generally about the cycle of life and death both for animals and plants – however sometimes sadly the natural lifespan is interrupted – especially if you are not looking where you are going and fly head first into a conservatory window!


On a more uplifting note, around an hour before sunset the rooks invariably gather on the power lines for a bit of a social.


At some point they decide it’s time for a bit of a fly around and it can be fairly spectacular as they all take off and swoop through the sky above the farm.


They will then either return to the wires and have another chat or fly off into the copse at the side of the field where they nest for the night.


A Year in a Lane – Week 22

The first days of June brought some very weird weather with a sharp drop in temperature and a strong chilly wind. I managed to resist the temptation to put the heating back on in the evenings, but walking down the track wearing two sweatshirts on top of a T-shirt, it really felt and looked like Autumn – witness the fallen leaves to maintain that impression.


Last week we saw Tom and Flash relocate to their summer field and they are delighted with the amount of grass available! Equally happy to come and say Hello when we walk past their new home.


The other week I showed the farm field next to the house being allowed to grow in order for hay to be taken off. This week that process began with two tractors cutting the grass down – the “wake” of one visible here.


Following the tractor is an attractive pursuit, especially for the local rooks – always on the look-out for some unfortunate worm who has been exposed by the cutters.

DSC00423When the cutting is done the tractor returns to turn the grass over in preparation for the bailing in a few days. This process is always done twice over a couple of days to allow the cut grass to dry fully in the sun.


It is always encouraging to see this activity kick off as you can be fairly sure the farmer knows there is a dry spell coming – and so far he has been proved right.

A Year in a Lane – Week 21

I am always keen to show the different creatures that inhabit the lane but have had real difficulty capturing a squirrel – they move too quickly and almost seem to know if a camera is pointing at them. Finally managed to get one this week, who was too busy chewing on something to notice me hovering nearby.


Everything is in bloom beautifully now and this bush is no exception providing a sparkling display of white as you come down the track.


The horses have managed to chomp their way through the grass in the paddock attached to the house over the last four weeks and so now it is time to move them again. The field they normally live in suffered badly, as we saw earlier in the year, with the winter rains. Thus they are going down the lane to a new field for them, courtesy of the stable yard next door. This will allow their “normal” field more time to recover. This new field has loads of grass in it and is fairly sizeable so we will section it off and allow them access to about a third at a time. The first fencing line is now in place.


And here are the boys being led down the lane by Clare to their summer retreat – followed by Willow and the “nanny” .


Back to things in bloom and the wisteria at the back of the house continues to flower, although it is now nearly at its peak, and crawl across the trellis at the entrance to the garden.