Now that I’ve decided to do more in the way of photo challenges to help with learning my way around my new camera, I’m finding myself searching through existing folders rather than using the darn thing.
You see, this week, Cee’s Fun Photo Challenge is ‘Farm Animals’ and I’m blowed if I know where to go to look for them. I suppose I could get in the car and drive around the villages, but firstly I haven’t got that kind of energy or time, and secondly, I’ve done quite a bit of driving around lately one way and another and I can’t remember actually seeing any farm animals in the fields for quite some distance around, which is actually rather disturbing, because it suggests to me that they are in indoors somewhere1.
Now I do live in an arable region, so mostly it’s crops of grain, oilseed rape, vegetables or sugar beet, but I’m sure there used to be more animals around. The local manor farm has recently been sold, the parents having passed away and the son (or sons) not being interested in the business. When the farm was a going concern, there were often cattle in the fields with calves running among them, which was nice to see. Just like in this field, which I spotted on the way over west to meet up with some friends last August.
There used to be bullocks in the fields right opposite us, but apparently it became uneconomical to buy them in as calves and raise them for meat. There have been none for years, now. Just the odd horse on the open triangle of field at the end.
There also used to be sheep up on the edge of the next village, but I haven’t heard them lately. There may be some sheep over at Hills & Hollows, but that’s a bit hit and miss because they only graze them there for grassland management2 and most of the time there aren’t any.
So here you are. A selection of animals from the past. The Gypsy Vanners are often staked out on odd patches of grassland around here, as Travellers pass through on their way to the fenland market produce farms for seasonal work. Beautiful horses, aren’t they?
And searching through my files from last year, I found a folder of pictures from a visit to Hamerton Zoo, where Son No 2 and the lovely B took the twins for a picnic one day and invited us along.
Son No 2 does not like goats. Their eyes give him the shivers, and he won’t even drink goat milk. B used to like them, but she picked up a tummy bug shortly after the visit to Hamerton and blamed the goats, now she doesn’t like them either!
Doesn’t look as if he could do anyone any harm, does he? Or does he … ?
Why not join in this week? Cee’s Photo Challenge is open to all! Or you could just wander over and take a look at the other entries.
1 I can only hope that they are only indoors for the winter and will be out soon. Factory farming is why I now choose to buy free range meat whenever possible.
2 It’s a nature reserve in an old limestone quarry. It is very old, and there are some quite rare species there, like the Pasque Flower and various grassland orchids. Apparently, sheep do a great job of eating the grass and leaving the flowers, and crop it to exactly the right height, so they are run over the reserve in temporary paddocks once a year, and then they are gone.