A Year in a Lane – Week 34

The dappled light through the trees when the sun is strong creates good photo opportunities in the lane. Here is a departing tractor heading off towards the road and flattening the surface out as it goes – very helpful for the car suspension!

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The farm field continues to be worked on now being ploughed as part of the preparation for re-seeding. You wouldn’t want to be standing too close to some of the equipment in use.


And, having been churned up, our old friend the roller is back to flatten everything down again.


There is obviously a chain of communication in the bird world that is beyond our understanding. We are about 8 miles as the crow/seagull flies from the coast and only usually see the latter when conditions are windy and rough at sea. However, despite the rich pickings of dropped food and ice cream cones from tourists, the gulls have obviously found out that there is a sudden availability of worms created by all the ploughing going on.


Recently the horses’ hay was delivered in preparation for the autumn and winter seasons which are now just around the corner. This week another reminder was the delivery of logs for the wood burner. A nice man in a lorry drops them off just by the wood shed.

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And, some thirty minutes later – thanks to much help from the Head Gardener – it’s all stored and ready for the colder weather.


A Year in a Lane – Week 33

Not for the first time, a visitor has asked why there are some steps apparently in the middle of nowhere in the horses’ winter field.


The answer to this conundrum is that they are for boarding (not sure if that’s the correct technical term) the horse – i.e. to get a leg up in the absence of other humans around to help.

The late summer warmth has continued this week and encouraged sunbathing among many of us – what’s a black dog to do except enjoy the warmth in the shade?


The flowers are looking lovely still but I thought it would be good to capture the side patio before things start to wilt as autumn approaches. A good variety of colours this year!


Earlier on in the year we looked at the bottom end of the lane and the woods there. However, we haven’t really examined the opposite direction other than the farm. Crossing the adjacent field (that’s the big one awaiting ploughing) from the stile at the end of the driveway, you are presented with a lovely view across east Dorset countryside and down onto Cranborne Chase in the distance.

DSC00641Looking the other way and zooming in a little we can see the local pub. This appears, at first glance, to be on fire but there is a clue at the bottom left of the picture in the shape of a steam engine. Each weekend before the Great Dorset Steam Fair, which takes place a few miles away, a significant number of engines visit the car park of the local and a weekend of steam, live music and beer and cider is enjoyed by many visitors. It is a well-loved local tradition.

DSC00640And here is one of the visiting vehicles heading off on Sunday towards the Steam Fair itself.

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A Year in a Lane – Week 32

Although the weather has really come good this month and summer is all around, reminders of the autumn to come are starting to appear. The horses’ hay has been delivered in time for the colder weather when the grass stops growing. So we are all stocked up now.


Another sign is hidden in the trees down the lane – well, one particular type of tree anyway. Horse chestnuts are coming through reminding those of us of a certain age of the all-important conker fights we used to have at school. Not sure if that still happens anywhere – I think the pastime has been more or less eradicated by a combination of technology and our dear friend Health and Safety.


It is always nice to see humans being helpful to nature rather than destructive. The tree on the left has been weakened over the years by the weather and wind but, with a little help from the local inhabitants and a fellow tree, it continues to survive.


Having vaguely criticised technology above, there are many advantages that can help improve life, even in the countryside. Thanks to faster broadband and wifi, many of us can work from home in rural locations and, in the summer, the “office” can be a great place to work.


As shown in previous weeks, I am quite pleased with the way my plants and baskets have gone this year but it is difficult to compete with the stables next door who have a wonderful display all around their gardens.


Finally, more living creatures in the lane – this time Lottie and the hens decide to have a bit of group sniff around the verges. They look friendly enough here although Lottie has been known to “do a runner” if they all move towards her at once. Brave dog!


A Year in a Lane – Week 31

This week we start with the birthday boy. Tom was 26 years young last Tuesday and apart from some knobbly looking knees is still in pretty good shape.


Here is a very brave youngster, wasn’t phased by me getting pretty close with the camera and wasn’t too concerned that Lottie was only a little way behind me (although our fearless hunter was totally oblivious to bunny’s presence). I hope this rabbit isn’t quite so trusting when the man with the rifle, who culls rabbits for the local landowners, comes around.

DSC00577Work continues apace in the adjoining field which, as mentioned before, is getting a bit of a makeover including ploughing later in the year. The new posts along the bridle path are now being wired up for when sheep eventually return.

DSC00581Last week I showed a nest that had collapsed because the young birds got too heavy and still tried to sit in it. Well, here is one that will be following on shortly if Morecombe and Wise, here, don’t start hunting for themselves rather than waiting for parental assistance.

DSC00582Pigeons breed all year round so obviously nest building can take place at any time of the year. This fine specimen is looking very pleased with him(her)self with a brand new twig, presumably for a new construction.


Towards the end of the day, it’s feeding time for the local crows and a few other hangers on. The “de-grassed” field provides easier access for a take-away worm or two.


A Year in a Lane – Week 30

Although (sadly) nights are drawing in, this has been tempered by the fact that the nights have been much warmer and some lovely summer evenings have been had this month (July). Plus it is still light until almost 10 pm. The horses have been enjoying the warmth of the latter end of the day.


In fact it is mainly about the horses this week. Many people assume that horse shelters are there to protect them from the rain but, actually, heavy rain aside, they spend more time inside protecting themselves from the sun. A couple of lovely days this week have demonstrated that as with the picture below.


At least Tom has let Flash inside this time – he is not always so generous, sometimes standing right in the doorway so the little fellow can’t get in!! At other times they can be very gentle with each other – witness a bit of mutual grooming going on below. Thanks to Clare for this photo.

Horse Kiss

Going back to the seasonal evenings, there are some lovely skies contrasting with the newly “brown” field next door as it awaits ploughing to start. This picture was taken about 9.30 pm one night so the “dark” clouds are actually just white fluffy ones looking more menacing as the sun fades.

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Finally, the House Martins are, of course, still around. There have been a few more babies produced and some are still being fed by their parents but, by and large, the youngsters are out of the nest and fending for themselves. One problem is the fact that they don’t always realise when they are too big to return to the nest, resulting in a number of nest collapses such as the one below. Not sure how much power this particular solar panel is generating right now 🙂