14 Aug 2017

14th August 2017 As if through a hedge, darkly.

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Monday 14th 2017 44F, 7C, cool, calm, bright and sunny. Unusually cool this morning after a clear, starry night. I didn't get where I am today by having frosts in August. Actually it was just very heavy dew on the grass but it did look a bit like frost.

The imperious gaze of a sociopathic despot? 
I do hope it wasn't poorly.

Spent many hours yesterday climbing four different ladders to trim overgrown hedges. In an ideal world one wouldn't start from here but level them to the ground and start again with gentle privet. In twenty years we have never had a neighbour who enjoyed hedge clipping in any shape or form. The highest hedges are on the shared eastern boundary. Being horribly prickly with a tough variation on a bitter plum which we call "blackthorn." Though it's not an obvious sloe. We inherited tree trunks of the stuff and it went on from there. I am not allowed to fell the lot with a chainsaw on humanitarian grounds. At least, I think that's why The Head Gardener has put a preservation order on the hideous assemblage of vegetative nastiness. Perhaps She just likes to watch me suffer for my sins?

I don't really need to tell you how high this hedge is beyond the need for a double stretch ladder just to reach the top. Meanwhile, the innocent planting of a row of small and spindly larches elsewhere has, after three changes of occupant, resulted in the makings of quite a decent forest. We may soon be plunged into complete darkness! The migrating geese will have to alter their course, or climb over.

It now needs a tractor with a weapons grade hedge slasher to bring any semblance of order to the local scene, but it won't happen. No longer an amateur's wimpy electric hedge clipper and cheapo supermarket loppers job for Sunday morning. It requires a crack squad of lumber jacks with climbing harnesses and a team of shire horses to drag away the resulting mayhem. I believe there is a rule of 2.5 meters in acceptable altitude for shared hedges but what can you do? Hire a professional 'hit man' and send half the bill to the property developer landlord? Yeah, right!

It was a wonderful morning for a walk. With hardly any wind, cool enough for perfect comfort and bright sunshine.  Yesterday's hare had gone off to be recalcitrant somewhere else. Probably planning a revolution, if truth be known. The rotor from a vast harvester lay waiting patiently for another day's toil on the partially shorn prairie. Later, a hare and a deer pottered about their daily lives before heading for the shrubbery in feigned panic. A jet black crow rose as glossy as a grand piano as it struggled for height and distance in the still air. While the tireless, crop skimming swallows have no fear of humans. Even one like me. I watched a cluster of wind turbines slowly turning their heads to the fitful, but steadily rising breeze, from the vantage point of another hilltop.

More hours wasted attacking the prickly hedge. As I was delivering the damaged goods to the village recycling center I cheated and did the shopping in the car. A fellow hedge wrecker and I decided we did not like the spare containers being left in the entrance to the yard making life difficult for we customers with a conscience.

An over-industrious spider with no foresight regarding the inevitability of a combine harvester coming along eventually..

One of our neighbours burns the proceeds of his meager gardening activities on his front lawn. So that his smoke drifts straight across the main road due to the prevailing wind. That may be the way they behaved in Copenhagen, but we [lifetime without parole] serfs and peasants know better!

Well, some of us do. According to Article 999 Para 2b the burning of garden waste is strictly limited to daytime in winter except for recognized bank holidays. Though where the Danes get the nerve to "borrow" Guy Fawkes and then pretend he was their own private saint. And, then use another date as an excuse to set fire to all the thatched cottages, I have absolutely no idea.  I can only presume they were desperate for an excuse to have another beer with enough borrowed light to set off their fireworks.

Tuesday 15th 62-75F, 17-24C, windy and rather cloudy. Forecast for heavy rain and thunder storms overnight, tonight. I walked for half an hour and photographed and videoed a combine harvester at work. Another day attacking prickly hedges and being attacked in return. It became very hot in the afternoon with several hours of humid 75F. Which made it quite unpleasant to work in the direct sunshine. Apart from a solitary rumble, just after 6pm, there hasn't been any rain yet as we near 7pm. The thundery stuff has sneaked past just north of us but the radar shows the rain isn't far away now with plenty of lightning embedded in it. No ride today.

Wednesday 16th 62-72F, 17-22C, light breeze and bright. The promised thunderstorms and cloudbursts must have gone elsewhere though there were a few rumbles and a heavy shower. Just a shortish walk to unwind tired muscles from days of attacking the scenery. It should/could be a good day for a ride with lighter winds forecast. Becoming very warm in the sunshine. Left  it too late to start on the hedges again. I'll have another go later.


Click on any image for an enlargement. 
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