Every evening of late, as I go to shut up the chickens, the scent of honeysuckle and newly cut grass fills the air. The June evenings have been very warm and pleasant; the days blistering hot. All the neighbouring farmers are flat out cutting grass and making hay and silage. (I buy hay in – we haven’t enough ground to make hay successfully year on year). The council contractors are busy cutting the roadside verges – shame to destroy all the wild flowers but quite a safety issue on our narrow lanes. Coming out from our little lane in a car onto the main road was pretty hazardous up until a day or two ago as the vegetation was blocking ones view. Lets us hope that a lot of the early wild flowers will have seeded.
I can’t remember the ground being so dried up so early in the summer for many a year in the UK. The short. dried, brown grass in the farm yard crunches under my feet. Daily watering of the veggies is a must to keep them going. I am jolly glad I cut down drastically on the number of flowers pots round the place this summer. It’s made watering a whole lot easier.
Brief is the breath
Mown stalks exhale.
Long, long the deathIt dies in the white hours
Of young-leafed June
With chestnut flowers,
With hedges snowlike strewn,White lilac bowed,
Lost lanes of Queen Anne’s lace,
And that high-builded cloud
Moving at summer’s pace.
I say “shutting the chickens up” – it’s more like a chicken round up! I have given a home to four battery farm “rescues”. Four thin, raggedy “Warren” hens. Now they have been allowed to roam after having a couple of days being shut in the hen coop to acclimatize to the new surroundings. These hens are definitely making the most of of their new found freedom and are very reluctant to go to bed; wandering round until I “shush” them in. I keep telling them they are putting themselves at risk of being eaten by Mr. Fox, but they are not listening! They are also the worst I have ever had for dust bathing and there are new holes all over the garden. Just right for tripping in when dodging round the flower beds and bushes in the half light on round up duties! Once I actually get them back into the farm yard they trot dutifully into the hen house – little . . . . ****s. Never mind, they are laying well!
I have been doing a few different sketches of foxgloves which are proliferating around the field margins at the moment. Been meaning to have a go painting on black paper and it was nice to do something sitting in some shade in the garden last Sunday afternoon.
Foxgloves -just love painting them . . . .
Anyway must go – round up time again . . . .