Harvest 1

The farmers are busy harvesting the fields in the dry spells between the rain. The noise of the combine harvesters, trucks and tractors can be heard most days recently while they gather in the crops. Yesterday I saw people hard at work gathering the barley in the early evening. It was dull but dry and the occasional shaft of low sun transformed the view.

Ripening barley

The barley is ripening in the fields and I think it will not be long before the farmers cut it. At least one field of the oilseed rape has already been harvested and that field has been ploughed ready for the next sowing. Our long recent spell of dry weather has turned to wet and windy, so that must be frustrating, as it could damage the standing barley with its heavy ears and delay the harvest. Some stands were already flattened at the end of July.

CD Countryside Views 3

It was a lovely July morning and I thought I would venture across the main road at the top of the village to admire views from the slopes of Charlton Higher Down now that the crops are all ripening and the colours so different since my last visit. When I arrived at the place I was aiming to explore, I was disappointed to find that the farmer was spraying a field, and it seemed unwise to be too close. I ventured a short distance in the opposite direction but the path petered out and I could still smell the spray. So I walked back the way I came.

CD Field Walk 1

The barley is growing fast. The stalks and the grain are still green but the ‘whiskers’ have turned colour. Acres of soft golden haze cover the slopes. undulating like waves on the sea as the wind ripples through the crop. Clouds scudding-by create moving shadows to darken the fields, emphasising the vibrancy and golden glow when the sun reappears. It is such a pleasure to see all this – the wider panorama as well as the moving textures and nuances of hue on the smaller scale. We are privileged to be able to walk around the fields that surround Charlton Down and observe the changes to the farmed landscape from season to season.

Best appreciated full-size.