Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Planets and the harvest

Yesterday was one of those days whereby the weather changed it's mind hourly.

We awoke to a very hard frost, iced puddles and lace etched windows so quickly threw on layers of warm clothes and went out to see what work could be done.

Mid morning, the sun came out, The Farmer vanished only to reappear with the combine and we (the farm hands!) realised that we would we would be harvesting.

Our small convoy headed down to the field of oats, combine, tractor and trailer, me.

The sun shone on the oats and using it's special alchemy, turned each oat into tiny droplets of gold and we may as well have been harvesting gold as this crop is important to us.

We are fairly high up and saw the mist snake in from the south. It was strange to watch as it lay low ,moved quickly and bit with wet venom. The mist felt damp and diffused the sunlight to such an extent that the surroundings became quite surreal.

The combine loomed out of the mist, dramatically and if ever an orchestra was required to play Holst's 'Mars', it was then. Two wet farmhands belting out 'DAN DAN DAN DAN DARAN DAN DARAN don't quite carry out the finesse of the London Symphony Orchestra but the sentiment was there.

Eldest son left to follow the combine with the wuffler and I hung around in case anything went wrong and lifts were needed back to the farm.

The neighbouring ploughed field had been transformed by mist droplets on a myriad of cobwebs and I fancied that it now looked like the surface of a distant planet.

There is a wonderful moment after the first cut when the grain spills from the combine into the trailer. It is the result of all the work and worries that go into making a crop and we cheered as the grain began to trickle then pour into the trailer.

I left the field late afternoon and went to collect Youngest son from nursery and from the other side of the glen, the farm looked as if it had been wrapped by a smokey ribbon of mist.

The Farmer and Eldest son worked until the light began to fade and the ground became too damp. They were unable to collect all the oats (and it is raining today so we will have to wait a while before the ground firms up enough to take the weight of machinery) but at least it is a start.

Evening gifted us with an intimate embrace between lace trees and the setting sun, the damp breath of the mist lingering gently like a lover's kiss.

The big, matron Moon watched over us, smiling benignly over crops, the trees, the glen, Perthshire and the World.

It had been a wonderful day.


  1. Lovely pictures, lovely portrayal of farming life in Rural Scotland today.

  2. How beautiful it looks. Hard work, but lovely photos in a stunning environment.

  3. Thank you :)

    It was absolutely beautiful despite the mist and everything.

  4. Beautiful pictures, you have such a hard job, yet you pictures show the beauty of it. God bless all farmers every where.

  5. Thank you for taking the time to write this when there's so much hard work for you to be doing!

    You photographs are amazing: I love the ones of the mist pooling around the trees, and the spiders webs in the furrows do indeed look alien and eerie!

  6. Beautiful words and even better pictures. The spiders webs one is my favourite.
    The ability to rise above hardship and see the beauty all around is so important, but easier said than done. You seem to be able to do it better than most.

  7. Lovely pics. I've never seen anything like all those spider webs before