Thursday, 30 July 2015

Full of eastern promise

      Two photographs taken on consecutive evenings looking due east, they were taken during the week before the rains finally came but, looking at the clouds, you would think they were about to drop thousands of gallons of water.
      The sky looks full of watery promise but the promise was never fulfilled and the land stayed absolutely bone dry, parched and cracked. Whenever farm traffic crossed fields or used the unsurfaced drove roads clouds of dust rose and hung in the air as if an army was on the move.
      At the moment it has been raining for seven hours non-stop, another day of this rain and we'll have mud to walk the Jack Russells through.
      That'll be fun.

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Cracking up

      We have had the odd bursts of rain, spits and spots as some of the TV weather forecasters say, but mostly the sky has stayed stubbornly empty.
      Thunderstorms have boomed around the night sky to the North and South, lighting up the Fens with their pyrotechnics but consistently missing us with the main downpour. All we have been graced with is the odd couple of millimetres of rain from the fringes of the storms.
      These cracks in the earth are in the 'train tracks' in the wheat field, the pathways the farmer follows in his tractor when he's spraying, and it is perfectly obvious that we need some steady rain to fill them in.
      Predictably when I took the pictures it started to rain, perhaps I should be in charge of ending the drought. On a nice ministerial salary of course.

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

What do you think of it so far?

      One of the Jack Russell Terrier's favourite places. It's an old wartime Nissen Hut full of redundant bushel boxes, potato trays and old agricultural equipment, otherwise known as paradise for dogs.
      At the cry of 'time to go home dogs, come on' Barney expresses his feelings at being disturbed as does the 'holidaying' Fizz by peeing on the rubble removed from the field.  Minnow? Well she is somewhere in the wheat field, somewhere on the headlands or down the dykeside ratting furiously and ignoring all calls and the whistle until it suits her to reappear. That is usually when it goes unnaturally quiet and she reckons she might be missing something and then we explode out of the undergrowth at terrier warp factor seven.
      When the wheat field is harvested there will be some terrier fun believe me, the rats that are enjoying feasting on the ears had better be right on their toes.

Monday, 27 July 2015

Asparagus resting

      Sadly the local asparagus season has been over for almost one month and having been left to their own devices this is what the plants look like now, fast growing and still growing rapidly.
      These mature crowns of Purple Passion have thrown stems that are over six feet in height as they grow ever thicker and higher gathering strength for an even bigger crop during that wonderful few weeks next year.
      All they are really good for is being used by the florists in their flower arrangements but this bed will be left in peace until the autumn when and after they die back they will be cut down to ground level for the crowns to fall dormant over the winter months as they await the warmer weather.
      In the background the wheat continues to mature as the seasons march inexorably on.

Friday, 24 July 2015

Meat and two veg

      Every year nature throws up some wonderful and bizarre shaped vegetables and here is a humble potato that has conjoined itself to make the beginnings of a triple tatty.
      It would have scraped beautifully and gone in the pan with nobody being any the wiser about its strange deformity and rather risqué view on life.
      We say 'it would have scraped well' but whilst my back was turned a Jack Russell Terrier swooped as quick as a flash and stole it, carrying it off to a corner of the garden for a spot of contented crunching.
      There's no understanding or accounting for the idiosyncrasies of a terrier's diet, carrots, beans, apples and peas all get the same treatment, given half a chance, and a half chance is all it takes.

Thursday, 23 July 2015

There is a season

      The season of the combine harvester is fast approaching; the other day we heard the first sound of a combine at work way in the distance and before you knew it a field that was a crop of winter barley has been harvested, the barley straw all baled and gone for cattle fodder.
      Where has the barley gone? For malting locally or to the distilling industry?
      The harvesting of the barley seemed early to us but one of our farmer friends said, 'no, right on schedule and the weather co-operated too.'
      The seasons change and the colour of the fields is gradually changing from green to gold as the cereal crops ripen.
       Before you know it there'll be just the faintest whiff of autumn in the air.

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Then there were three

      The Two Terriers have become three, an extra Jack Russell to look after, what fun. Our daughter's terrier is 'holidaying' with us while they enjoy life somewhere in Spain.
      Three terriers run like a pack squabbling, running, chasing pheasants and as always they are able to disappear in a blink, now you see them and now you don't. Sugar beet fields, wheat fields and orchards are just perfect for a disappearing act.
      They need to be fitted with some kind of terrier satellite detection device, time for a word with 'Black-ops' at Lakenheath or Mildenhall we think.
      Pay attention in the middle, and on the right too, this is a briefing.