Monday, 24 August 2015

A Quick Catch-up.

A break in the dry weather provided a not unwelcome respite from harvesting this week. There was sufficient rain for us to carry out light cultivations on the fields already combined.  This encourages weed seeds to chit (germinate).  They can then be dealt with and a clean seed bed prepared  for the next crop.  At the same time we want dry conditions so that we can bale the straw and clear the fields so that the above-mentioned cultivations can be carried out.  Contradictory, you will say.  It's a case of "you can't please all of the people all of the time". 

Talking of rain, the water-level in the pond is now quite low.  This signals that we must make the most of the opportunity to clear a year's debris, raking out as much as possible and burning it.  The pond is surrounded by crack willow which, as you can guess from the name, sheds twigs and small branches every time there is a bit of wind.  I was quite pleased, though, to see that the waterhens had built a nest, a rough-looking structure of twigs, rising well out of the water.  I shall leave that untouched.
 I've no doubt I shall hear the green woodpecker while I am working there.  I was delighted to see a pair of them in the orchard the other morning, feeding on the ground.  Until now it has been a case of heard but not seen; they are very shy birds and flew off the minute I appeared.

If you have some holiday time left and decide to spend it in Nottinghamshire there is still time to visit the exhibition at the Nottingham Contemporary where The Treasures of Chatsworth continues until September.  Sixty-two items which include silverware, porcelain, furniture and pictures have been selected by the artist, Pablo Bernstein and are displayed in conjunction with his own work; a truly original presentation.

Nottinghamshire has, in fact, much to offer in terms of visitor attractions and entertainment.  National Trust properties include the Workhouse, in the delightful Minster town of Southwell. The recently opened Civil War Centre and Museum in Newark is attracting a steady stream of visitors.  If it is the countryside that you seek there is Sherwood Forest, of course, and many walks and cycle trails.  Then, when you need to recover you will find a wealth of excellent restaurants, pubs and tea rooms serving local specialities.  The city boasts two theatres, the Theatre Royal and Nottingham Playhouse; the shopping in Nottingham is legendary, and again there is a wide range of eateries to choose from when you need a break.