BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

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

Posts tagged ‘pasture’

#365daysofbiking Sunshine yellow

April 19th – Spring is mostly about yellow for me. Cowslips, daffodils, oilseed rape and dandelions, the latter two painting the fields different shades of gorgeous on a diving evening.

Near Chesterfield, Wall an untouched meadow of dandelions looked superb, and will make most wonderful hay or grazing.

At Sandhills, the oilseed caught the dying sun wonderfully and lovely as ever, smelled of Swiss cheese.

Glad to have better days here at last.

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June 4th – A sunny day, warm with little wind and the first shirtsleeve commute of the year. I took the slow way back to Brownhills along the canals and enjoyed every minute. The meadows, towpaths and hedgerows look wonderful right now and summer is waiting in the wings.

Bring it on.

May 11th – This evening when I passed Jockey Meadows, the cattle were obligingly close to the field gate – and what handsome fellows they are. I think there are ten in total, and it looks like they’e been having a paddle in the mud. The work they do is essential – cropping fast growing species, churning the ground up and spreading the poo love. 

They are collected in the evening, and I wondered if they were waiting for their lift, which raises again my occasionally mused question that they must regard this as work, and knock off at a set time. 

Coos are more intelligent than we give them credit for, I feel.

Meanwhile, at the far side of the meadow, a small group of deer were loafing in the reeds. This place really is alive right now.

May 7th – I notice that on Jockey Meadows, the pasture field that’s genuinely a water meadow is now staffed by a heard of beef cattle again. About 10 or 12 large animals are browsing the scrub in an effort to maintain it – the cows eat the fast growing plants, and give the slow-growers chance. They also spread the fertile love in the form of cowpats.

Every time I passed them this week, the coos have been far over the other side. Only did I notice when I’d zoomed in that a passing heron was doing his bit too.

October 26th – I went out in the morning in a heavy wind to run  some errands. British Summer Time had ended the night before, and I guess I was avoiding the evening darkness, too.

I passed Jockey Meadows on the Walsall Wood/Shelfield border and noticed the water meadow was still very green. The cows here during the summer have done a great job, and the pasture looks in good condition.

It won’t be long now before even this spot becomes brown with autumn.

September 15th – I noticed that in the fields between the A5 and the canal, the farmer was baling mown hay this evening. The device behind the tractor rakes up the sun-dried grass, rolls it into mat-like clumps, before compression and baling with twine. Completed bales are ejected back onto the pasture. Unlike straw, which has no nutritional or economic value to speak of, hay is a valuable commodity as it retains the goodness of grass, and becomes expensive during a bad winter.

Hay making is one of the great traditions of the rural summer, and speaks of provision and preparation, as well as the rotation of the season’s wheel. What better place to do it that in pasture in the evening sunshine?

August 5th – Ragwort, the bright yellow heathland plant that’s turning every bit of wasteland and field yellow at the moment seems to be having a ver good year. Hear at Engine Lane, the fields are full of the stuff. This must be of some concern to the people who keep horses here, as it’s dangerous to equines. The colour of the bloom, however, is a joy to behold. It’s always a good year for something.