Friday 10 June 2016

Blink and You'd Miss It

My pathetic best silaging picture so far. 
I am, as you'd know, always on the look out for new subjects for the 365 photographic project. A year in the life of our village and its townlands (sub-parishes). Silage making time was upon us; surely a crucial, can't miss, event in the year of a farming community. The weather forecast predicted a violent end to our lovely run of hot days so you'd KNOW the silage contractors would be biting on the bit, raring to go. On Wednesday evening I heard my first mowing machine roaring away a few fields out so I expected to be able to photograph the cutting stages followed by the baling and wrapping.

Last of the blue skies for now. Our next
door field with the suckler herd. We call it
(Vendor) Anna's 5-Acres. It probably has a
(better) real name.
Not on your life! So fast were these crews working that I saw a couple of fields mown and in their drying/wilting rows (I'd missed the mowing) but by the time I could get out again with the camera the grass was baled, carted and wrapped. I was left looking at a tightly shorn, rather surprised looking field. These boys do not hang about. The nearest I could get to a picture for '365' was a long-lens shot across the valley, of some baled silage awaiting the carting stage. All we had here was the to-ing and fro-ing of the contractor's bale-trailers gathering the harvest in to the local farm yards rumbling up and down the lane setting the dogs off barking.

A lovely stand of Aconites still going strong in the garden
 of a long-abandoned dilapidated cottage.  
In theory the hot spell has currently ended and we are returning to "normal" weather for June in the 'Wesht' of Ireland. I have to say that I had not noticed it getting much cooler. The clouds have returned and, mercifully, the little grey midges have departed so that I was able to clear a ditch and hedge for a neighbour without being driven to distraction. I don't have a problem with the 'bitey' ones - the real mozzies and midges - they don't seem to find me tasty. My beef is with the tiny grey ones who land in your sweat and then just walk about on your face. I hate them.

Dublin Bay rose always does well for us.
It seems we may have the daftest bunch of ducks in the land. These are our six 'Khaki Campbell' youngsters hatched at the beginning of March and now fully feathered and, you'd guess, as waterproof and buoyant as any duck could hope to be. For some reason they are frightened of going into the big pond. They love a splash about in their paddling pool and even though it is quite a big one, the 6 of them in there together leave very little room for any of them to move about.

Liz's pic of the ducks as close as they ever get to the water.
Feet on dry land and tips of bills in the water.
These guys are fully free-range and can walk pretty much anywhere on the 'farm' in their amusing waddling 'crocodile' of single file ducks. They have been all around the pond and seen it from all (dry land) angles but the nearest they ever get to getting in is when they all line up on the bank, feet on Terra Firma, to dip their beaks in and dabble at the marginal plants.

Interior of our local (RC) church for the
365 project.
I should quickly say that I am more than happy. Regular readers will know that I was always against having ducks because I think/thought that they destroy ponds leaving you with a stagnant, shitty mess with no pond life in it. Your standard village duck-pond in effect, an ecological desert, ringed by bare, brown, eroded bank mud. So to be able to have ducks and not get your pond wrecked seems too good to be true and I am leaving these ducks well alone. If they want to wash and brush up in the paddling pool and touch my lovely pond only with their bill-tips, then I am not going to argue with them. Neither of us can actually see this lasting and we are both quietly hoping to be the one out there with a camera when our little file of 6 ducks set off serenely across the pond leaving just a V of wake and their little feet under the water going like a train, out of sight.

No comments: