Thursday, 2 September 2010
At the present moment Tarset is enjoying a mini summer, a heatwave even, much appreciated by all after the previous weeks of inclement weather. The heather is taking advantage of this as are numerous bees and butterflies. The peacock butterfly is to be seen all over the hill ground at the moment.
The weather is so good that the last fields of silage are being picked up. Some is making into very good hay (hay is dried grass whereas silage is damp grass). Bent (strong hill grasses) out on the hills is even being cut and baled up. Bent hay is a good feed and often overlooked in modern times, it was pretty usual in a good spell such as this to cut the hill grass and bale it up then lead it to the hay huts situated out on the hill at each cut of sheep, this enabled the sheep to have fodder during the harsh winter months.
Shep finished clipping on 18th August with a final tally of over 3,250, it was rounded down rather than up. Sheep were flying clipping by this time of the season and it was a pleasure to finish on a 'high' and exactly three months to the date from when the first sheep of the season was shorn.
Much time has been spent dipping, gathering, spaening, dressing lambs during and since the last sheep was shorn. Someday I'll cover some of these jobs on this blog.
So, it sounds as though I'm talking about summer - silage, hay, clipping....... and yet I'm claiming that Autumn has arrived. Well to start with the days are drawing in, light at 6am, dark at 9pm. There have been one or two night frosts. The brackens are turning (dying off). We are getting into the sheep sale season. Lambs are being spaened (weaned) off their mothers. All in all the signs are there, there is no getting away from the fact that the autumn season is arriving - after all, it is September!
I'll leave you to dwell on the fact that the summer is really officially over whilst you peruse these two shots of Scabious, whether budding or in bloom it is a truly beautiful piece of natures architecture.
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