BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

On a bike, riding somewhere. Every day, rain or shine.

Posts tagged ‘farming’

#365daysofbiking Mothering

Monday March 1st 2021 – Good to see the spring lambs are being born and growing well now – this playful pair of siblings were spotted near Stonnall on the daily working from home exercise ride.

I’m always amazed at the attentiveness of the mother, and their ability to locate their family in a flock.

And of course, they’ve got cute in shedloads.

Such a wonderful, joyous sight at this time of year.

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#365daysofbiking Bleat it

Wednesday, September 23rd 2020 – I note sheep are grazing on some fast growing crop planted swiftly after the late summer harvest at Home Farm, Sandhills. It looks like some brassica or other, probably kale.

Sheep are an unusual sight here, as the land is solidly arable, but every now and again, a winter crop like this is grown and sheep from another farm are let loose to feed upon it for a few weeks. I guess it must me a good earner; last time was Christmas 2018, I think.

Nice to see them. Wonder if we’ll get the escapees again on the canal towpath this time?

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#365daysofbiking The golden hour

August 2nd – This week has been all about seasonal markers, and this evening as I left Shenstone for Stonnall and home, the harvest was well underway.

The fashion for huge, cylindrical baling seems to have ceased and we seem to be back to the more space efficient (and stable!) rectangular ones.

As ever, the machinery, synchronicity between drivers and sheer power of the operation is breathtakingly impressive, and a reminder that the countryside is still a huge, open air factory floor dedicated to our sustenance.

Always impressive to watch.

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#365daysofbiking The wind that shakes…

#365daysofbiking The wind that shakes…

May 23rd – Seemingly very early to me, but probably not: The barley is growing beautifully in the fields all around us at the moment. Every year seems to have a different crop that local farmers major on, and this year beans and alley seem to be the popular choices.

Barley is an odd crop aesthetically: it’s spiny heads interact with the wind in a beautiful way and the colours are stunning, yet close up it seems almost hostile and maybe just a bit insect-like.

Either way, it’s a sign of the rapidly advancing summer and made for a lovely sight on a beautiful morning.

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#365daysofbiking Neon yellow

April 23rd – A day of bike maintenance, then a run late afternoon to Shenstone on an errand. The weather was changing; it was colder and the sky looked threatening.

However, the spring colours, although muted in the grey light, didn’t disappoint. The oilseed rape between Shenstone and Footherley was gorgeous and the path through it to the woods magical.

Refreshing on a grey day.

Hope the sunshine returns soon.

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#365daysofbiking Oh flock

Boxing Day – Another day pressed for time, so another short but fast run up the canal. Intrigued to see that there is a flock of several hundred sheep grazing on what I think might be kale on Home Farm, Sandhills.

I don’t think I’ver ever seen livestock on this land before.

I wonder if the sheep are resident on the farm now, or if the crop has been sold for grazing?

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August 20th – The coos of Jockey Meadows have clearly been here again. But there is no sign of them now.

I’ve been wondering if they’d be here this summer, as the meadow is lush and  full of stuff they’d love to eat – but up to now, no sign of them.

But the feeding troughs are out, the grass is trampled down. But where are they?

I love to see them. I hope they come back soon.

July 26th – The very hot weather seems to be coming to an end, timing almost perfectly with the end of the major session of the harvest. Locally now for a couple of weeks, the grumble and whine of fantastically large and complex harvesting machinery has been a continual backing track to rural life, and often I’ve ridden through clouds of wheat dust from this year’s crop being threshed in the harvester.

Not much spilled this year, which is interesting, the roads are usually thick with spilled grain, called ‘gleanings’ as traditionally workers and the poor were allowed to collect – glean – this harvest bounty and they’d feed it to their animals and fowl.

Interesting also to note the return of the rectangular bale. Well, they do stack better.

And with harvest and the end of the heatwave, the year gallops on…