Well it’s been a rather quiet month, the rainfall in November was 170 mm, and we’ve had 206 mm so far this month (December) . We’ve had two thirds of our annual rainfall this autumn now.
Dad had sprayed all the early-drilled wheat’s for disease control and trace elements in-between the rain bursts.
Dad has recently purchased a Pulsar hellion thermal spotter-the spotter works by showing heat being given off by different objects, a bit like a police helicopter on police camera action. It shows black and white imagery of what’s around and you can select to have the heat in white or black, the white or black object shows a silhouette of the animal or heat source, which is brilliant, I have been using the spotter and Dad has been shooting, Dad bought it as we wanted to get on top of rat and rabbit control.
I don’t know if anyone else has had a problem with rats this year, but we do, we never normally get any but this year we have quite a few about unfortunately, we like to try and avoid bait and as we knew where they were by using the thermal spotter of an evening we shifted the bales in the day for us and the dogs to catch, I’m not overly keen on rats so when handling the bales I had both Boris and Bella to assist, Bella was brilliant she was catching two rats at a time and she’s so much quicker than Boris (Boris is a shepherd cross Rottweiller so he’s a more bulky and a lot slower, although he did catch a few) Bella is a Malinois crossed with a white German shepherd, her father was used in Afghanistan so she’s very alert and highly trained, Bella is very nimble and very obedient, she follows me everywhere. Bella caught a grand total of 23 rats and Boris caught 5. I struggle to get a picture of Bella as she can never settle or sit still but she has beautiful marking, I could only get a picture when she attempted to lick my face after catching a rat.
The springs are now up opposite the farm and typically have now flooded the two fields with the best crops in. some of our wheat fields might have to be re drilled yet (shame they aren’t flooded instead as that would decide for us). But we decided to embrace that some of our fields were waterlogged and Dad and I decided to go paddle boarding in the field on afternoon of Christmas eve, Bill loves it, he was on the board before I had chance to get on myself.
My tractor is now in good working order and they also done a fabulous job of cleaning it too whilst it was up there.
We were invited shooting to our friends at west park farm, there was a total of 58 pheasants shot, I shot myself too on my first game shoot, unfortunately I didn’t get anything with my three shots but it was such a fun day.
Jack and I hosted a joint shoot (we started at my family farm and had a few drives there then had some lunch) then I went on home and cooked everyone’s tea and Jack and our friends went to one of Jacks farms and had a few more drives before it got dark, 14 pheasants were shot, along with 2 woodcock, one pigeon, and a squirrel. So last night we spent the evening preparing the pheasants and I’ve put them in the freezer now ready if we host another shoot, as I find it a bit annoying that everyone is keen to shoot but not to take it home and eat, so I thought id probably cook a pheasant pie next time.
I organised a Christmas meal for 22 of us at a local pub, all of which we’ve met through young farmers, Christmas is a great time of year to catch up with friends as luckily it’s a quieter time of year for most of us.
Thank you for taking the time to have a read.
I hope you all had a happy Christmas and a happy healthy new year. I’m wishing for some nice weather in the New Year.