As Spring warmth envelops the farm, we’re doing more frequent circuits of the boundary line, giving Munson plenty of sniffing room. We also take out our “dirty hoes” to clean up brambles and thistles before they completely take over some these fields and paths.
Near the back of the farm there’s a long low ditch connecting two ponds. The first (above and below) is ringed with grassy mounds spotted with the dried remains of last year’s thistles, and a new crop about to take off. While hacking those away we ended up clearing most of the bramble that was beginning to take a foot-hold. Last year’s drought saw the water disappear so far that larger thistles spread out into the centre.
While Munson was checking out the coypu holes along the edge, Gustav found a large frog or toad amongst a nebula of spawn clinging to the grassy banks.
Moving onto the ditch, there are lots of really big starfish-like thistles taking advantage of the moisture and occasional shade. It reminds me of navigating a small underwater trench while scuba-diving.
The fields up here have a lot of mole hills of crumbling clay and you usually see big curving ruts in the ground marking where the sangliers have had their boargies. These are quickly disappearing as vegetation and busy worms start to erase the tracks of past months of activity.
The next pond I call the Sargasso as it usually has a wild mat of grass through it. There are narrow sanglier trails along the banks, leading to the large entrances to their boardellos.
|On the return journey we follow a service road between farms. There’s a powerful sweet smell of cinnamon and mulled wine as if we were passing a Cinnabon store in holiday season. It’s coming from the fermenting silage in large plastic wrappers that have been sitting on the edge of this field for at least a year.|