6 January 2014

Midsummer in Midwinter

Over Christmas and New Year, I have been helping out with checking the Suffolk Wildlife Trust livestock.

With the grass no longer growing, it is necessary to supplement the grazing with hay. Most of the hay we are feeding was harvested from the  SWT hay meadow reserves back in July.

On a cold and frosty or wet and windy morning in December - the warm sunny days of hay-making are  rather a faded memory - but as you cut open the bales into the in the hayracks, it is like cutting into a slice of midsummer in the midwinter. The scent of the hay and the  many flowers and grasses clearly visible momentarily  recapture July. Knapweed, clover, yellow rattle, sweet vernal grass, meadow barley and crested dog's tail are all easily discernible - the plants of summer immortalised in a bale, providing a welcome hay feast.

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