Friday 18 August 2017

Better Times

Since my last rant about the inclement weather, it has improved somewhat. We've had regular heavy showers and a couple of lengthy rainy periods and always followed by very warm sunny days. The rain hasn't added a single centimetre to the ditch levels, which are now at ridiculously low levels, but it has definitely greened up the grass on the grazing meadows. Harvesting operations on the surrounding farmland have almost all finished now and all the straw bales such as you see below have been carted away. Those wheat stubble fields will remain like that now and have already been re-sown with rape which is beginning to show as lines of green seedlings. All that's left to do now is to re-sow this year's rape fields with wheat for next year's crop and so the annual rotation goes on.

Back on the reserve, the bulls that have been servicing the cows through the summer months are due to be taken away to their winter pastures this week. One of them is shown below and I really was that close, they are a very docile and trustworthy breed thankfully.

Below is one of the other bulls with one of his harem. I was amused to be told the other day about one of several bulls on a nearby reserve. It has had to be withdrawn from "active service" for this year because the regular rearing up of such a huge frame onto a cow's back, put so much weight on it's back ankles that they became strained and swollen. Not all fun in the stud world it seems!

The pair of Mute Swans hatched seven cygnets this year on the reserve but only these four have survived, they are doing well though.
In the early mornings lately, when the grass is wet from rain or heavy dew, I been coming across numerous small frogs making their way through the grass away from the ditches. It happens most autumns and I guess they move into dense vegetation ready for winter hibernation. The photo makes it look a lot bigger than it was, it was only about an inch and a half long, probably one of last year's froglets.


  1. Rather you than me with that bull!!

  2. You'd never get me that close to a horse, frighten the life out of me.

  3. Lovely post and photos Derek - magnificent bulls.

  4. Oh the poor bull's ankles - what about the poor cow underneath? ;-)

    Looks like things are going right along and at least the rains kept things from getting even drier.

  5. Yes, it does make the cow wobble a bit Wilma, luckily it's a very brief encounter, no prolonged foreplay in the animal kingdom.

  6. Sigh! I have every sympathy with the bull with the swollen ankles. Repeated servicing is such an onerous task.

  7. Bullfrog? (Just joking) The top bull looks worn out to put it politely.

    Do you know (by any chance) what the frankenstein insect(?) on my blog is? I've never seen one quite like it.

    Cheers form rainy Austria

  8. Freezing cold rainy days here - wish we had some dry sunny ones to enjoy. Won't be long now though as Spring will be along soon.
    The first bull looks huge. How tall do you think it was? Would you have any idea how much it weighed? I've seen enormously fat people with skinny ankles and often wondered how they managed to support the person.

    Cathy @ Still Waters

    1. Hi Cathy, nice to hear from you. The bull would be between 4 and 5 feet in height and weigh, at a guess, about half a ton.