It's the season for pulling wild oats: tall grassy weeds which grow amongst the crops and, if left, become mixed in with the harvested corn. A farmer's nightmare. And probably the worst job in the farming calendar. It's incredibly boring, standing in a 20+ acre field, laboriously pulling out weeds which have grown to about 4 feet in height. Some of them are tough cookies to heave and take a considerable amount of weight to pull free. The Farmer walks up and down the fields, huffin' and puffin', filling his reusable seed bags and getting tickled alive by harvest flies which get absolutely everywhere. And I mean everywhere. They can even get underneath a computer screen and I have had one or two crawling about my blog. One can't go outside at this time of year without being bombarded by at least a million of them. If you wear white, you don't stand a chance.
The barley and wheat fields are looking positively healthy, all glad of the thunder storms we have recently had. Although we will need some dry and airy weather in the next few weeks to ensure combining will go ahead. Last years harvest was very touch and go. Fortunately, the Farmer got all his corn in and managed to get the land ready for being re-sown before the floods last October hit Northumberland. He struggled on but we're keeping fingers crossed that his hard work will pay off in a few months time. It's his first harvest with the new tractor and I dare say he's somewhat excited about driving it up and down the fields. I always remember my late-fil during the harvest; when he finally threw the towel in and decided he could no longer help, he would take the quad bike to the corner of the field in which the Farmer was working, and he would stay for hours, watching the header bar of the combine whirr around, cutting and gathering barley. Then he would wait until the Farmer had emptied the corn into the trailer before giving his lecture about it taking too long, or "it wasn't done like that in my day". I used to vision a shire horse and think, "hmmm".