Sunday, October 31, 2010

Buzzards and ploughing

Some of the following photos are very stark in the blackness of the earth, but that is how it was when we went to the river Terling yesterday. The farmer was ploughing the field into a great sea of black ploughed ridge and furrows, the soil gleamed as it was turned, wet and heavy by the river. The powerful tractor was pulling a plough with great teeth that tore up the earth. No team of horses could have done that job without a great deal of labour, and though this disturbance of the soil is destructive, it brings forth a harvest next year. Red hips draped over a fallen tree, the sloes still gleaming amongst the copper turning leaves. A cluster of mushrooms clung to the opposite bank, but difficult to get to through the swathe of nettles.
The two buzzards (my totem bird) wheeled in the sky harassed by a crow, they turned and glided on the thermals, twisting away from the crow, the cream underside of their long wings catching the sun. I am fond of their lazy slow flight, their indifference to the mobbing that occurs from the crow family. At this particular spot, and note Essex does actually have hills and is not flat everywhere, the field had been sown, and a long line of 10 pheasants made a slow procession from the woods into the field. In other fields, the grey of grouse blended in so well with the soil, that they were almost like stones.

A furrowed sea

black soil gleaming in the sun

1 comment:

  1. There is something so ageless about the fall plowing, where-ever and however it is done.
    Husband has been "cleaning up" and "turning" a portion of the upper pasture--"turning" being the local expression for stirring up the ground.