|The full moon in July|
We may not get the temperatures many of you get but we get Weather! And dramatic skyscapes, both day and night, even in high summer. As the saying goes: ‘if you are fed up with the weather in England just wait five minutes’.
|A typical summer sky|
with just the hint of a slight thickening in the cloud.
The view from my window is changing daily. Farmers are using every minute of daylight for haymaking and fresh fields are turning from bright green to light tan, with every shade from palest straw to rich cream in between. The sound of tractors crisscrossing fields and hillsides is everywhere, and long even tramlines of hay appear, are left to dry and scooped, rolled and wrapped up in a white, filmy bandage or a horrible, shiny black plastic skin as soon as possible. The threat of rain is ever present and getting the hay in while it is dry is no easy task. Damp hay rots easily and becomes a stinky, mouldy mess, that no beast will touch.
|Hayfields after mowing|
Whole herds of cattle are still in the fields together, the bull keeping a watchful eye on his family, cows grazing contentedly. The calves will son be removed from their mothers, which means that these will call for days for their offspring, a mournful sound, getting more and more desperate, until, finally, they give up. I know that this is where my roast beef comes from and why I can have milk in my coffee, but I still find these sounds heartbreaking.
|Curious calves |
peeking at me from across the river
The thistles are in flower in July, providing a welcome harvest of nectar for bees. There are ever fewer bees around and I am very glad to see that thistles in the hedgerows and some garden plants, like buddleias still attract a good number around here. Every bee that loses its way and gets into the house or conservatory is carefully gathered up by means of a gentle shove into a clear plastic cup and safely deposited on a flower outside.
|Bumblebee on a thistle|
Berries are harvested in July. We have almost finished picking red- and blackcurrants, raspberries, worcesterberies and gooseberries. All end up in the freezer for now. Freezers are a boon to me, In the olden days women had to deal with the glut of vegetables, fruit and berries instantly; now we can freeze most of them and either preserve them whole and unprocessed or turn them into jams and jellies, chutneys and pickles at our leisure. Beloved is only now turning last year’s berries into home made ‘wine’, which is splendid for cooking, being very fruity.
|Gooseberries waiting to be frozwn|
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