Tuesday, 21 August 2012


We're missing a duck. Not lost, but savaged by a dog that ran into the yard. Someone from the stables found the duck floating limply in the water, its tail end raw and half chewed and the dog nearby trying to get at it again. The dog had no collar or means of identification so someone slipped a leading rope around it while we tried to contact the dog warden (as I certainly didn't want the dog on the farm) and Bill put the duck out of its agony. A few minutes later a man arrived on the farm searching for his dog. He was shown the duck. He offered money. We declined. He took the dog away using the leading rope because he didn't have a lead. A few days later an envelope arrived in the post. Inside was the leading rope and a latex glove. No note. Bizarre. By coincidence, the next day a friend had a chicken massacred in his yard by a dog that the owner didn't have on a lead. Not pleasant.

The last duck that sat on her eggs abandoned them shortly after I wrote about it. Now there is another duck sitting - The little brown duck has been sitting tight on her nest. The other ducks leave the run... read more

Monday, 20 August 2012

harvest 2012

The last field of wheat at Slamseys is being combined today. Yesterday the combine was near Felsted so the tractors and trailers were driving from the field back to the farm, tipping the load, driving back along the road (passing the other tractors headed the opposite way) and arriving back in the field just as the combine spout was swinging out ready to empty the next full tank of grain. It was all a bit frantic.

Today is easier as they’re combining Grove Field, which is next to the yard.

Even Beth is looking relaxed as she waits to drive alongside the combine for the next load.

When the trailer is full, she’ll take it back to the barn to tip it out. 

In the yard, Bill is taking the wheat from the barn and tipping it into the lorries that will transport it to the co-operative grain store.

Tuesday, 14 August 2012


The oilseed rape in Gardeners Field has been combined and the ground has been cultivated.

The wheat growing in The Ley (next door to Great Notley Country Park) has been combined.
Now we have to wait for the rest of the wheat to ripen.

Friday, 10 August 2012

misty mornings

Walking along the bridleway in the mornings the mist has been hanging above the fields the past couple of mornings.

In Great Forest field, the oilseed rape has been cut and safely carted to the barn leaving fields of stubble.

 Wheat in Grove Field - almost ready to combine.

Friday, 3 August 2012

harvest 2012

Harvest has started at last. This is the combine cutting oilseed rape in Far Blackley field.

A happy tractor driver waiting for the next load of oilseed rape to go into the trailer.

The view through the back window of the tractor as it drives alongside the combine and the oilseed rape is emptied from the combine into the trailer.