Darkness holds back today

Twilight sees me walking the farm. I reckon it’s past 5, confirmed by the clock in the truck. The sky is slear admittedly, but it gives me hope for longer days and even Nogwalks before dark as the days slowly lengthen. I’m tempted to drop a silage bale down to Billy and the girls but negotiating around the pens at the yard is problematic without clear all-round vision. I’ll have to go through the rigmarole of starting the digger again in the morning: lift the bonnet, battery on charge, unscrew the air filter, squirt of quickstart, quickly into the cab and turn the reluctant engine over before the volatile spirit dissipates, climb down, disconnect &c – all in all a right winter footer (rhymes with hooter – Scots for fiddle, faddle,far.. that’s enough). The bother with these footery winter jobs is that everything takes just that bit longer, carving slices from the body of precious daylight.
My ghost robin appeared yesterday in the eaves of the shed as I was unloading, discreet and watchful. I think it is him that flits across the gate to the shed when I approach the yard in the morning, but I cannot be sure in the half-light. I think he waits for me in the birch at the side of the gate, for no reason I can see apart from asserting his routine, even his proprietorship perhaps, as there is plenty of cattle feed available to glean in my absence. Neither he nor the chaffinches, nor the redpolls are in evidence today: I watched a shark-slick sparrowhawk drift across the fields this morning. The little birds will do well to keep their heads down and hope that this predator doesn’t adopt us as a hunting ground.
The cattle on the other hand are delighted by a day of gentle sunshine, so still that my ears sing. The young stotts abandon their station at the ringfeeder to charge round the field staging trials of strength, even attracting the involvement of pregnant Abby who gets her head down and starts shoving with the best.
Nothing can be too wrong with a family that plays together.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s