Hay making


Turning the dead grass to make hay


Now it is all over for the butterflies that lived on the flowers in Oak Meadow because the farmer came to cut the grass. I say grass but really it is a field of flowers - or was because the deed is now done and the billowing stalks, alive with dancing butterflies, have changed to rows and rows of soft strands of dead stalks. The flower heads are wilting in the sun and the seed pods are gaping open. And even worse - the butterflies have gone.
I watch as the tractor pulling the cutter goes round and round until there is only an island of flowers left in the middle of the field.


When I was a little girl we used to say that the spirit of the field was in that island. If it was corn they used make a corn dolly from that last sheaf of corn to keep the spirit in there until the next harvest.



But this was not corn and this is modern times and there was no one to save the spirit of our field and the cutter went nearer and nearer and I wanted to scream,


‘Stop’.
But I didn’t and now the deed is done. I did not see the field spirit and now maybe it is dead.
The stalks dried in the sun until they were brittle and pale. Then the tractor came again but this time pulling a baler. Our miserable six bales were carted off.




That was the end, there is nothing of that living vibrant buzzing flapping field spirit. The butterflies have gone and ordinary flies have replaced them. Buzzing, black, biting flies rising up over the hot bare stubs of grass,
But look carefully, high in the sky and see what you can see. Swooping swallows and martins are catching the flies and they dip and dive over the bare field.


The spirit is in the air.

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