A little strim on the prairie

Oh yes, back in the harness after a blessed day off. And this time I ranged down on to the prairie that is one of our lower terraces.

This is a huge bowl of land, about half an acre in size that starts on the steep slopes of the first terraces and flows down almost to the bottom.

If you stand at the house you look down onto half a terraced farm, and half a slope.   Did the previous centuries’ farmers just run out of stone? Of just feel relieved that the slope was such that terracing wasn’t required?

It’s a joy to strim.

Until you snag your plastic whipper blades on underground brambles that are the thickness of your finger.   Or self sown cherry trees and chestnuts.

I seem to have spent half the time with secateurs in hand removing obstacles out of the way.   But it’s almost done.

I’m going to break my one tank of petrol rule and go back out after lunch and finish the rest.   Cutting through grass is such a gentle procedure compared to most work I do.   Even if it means standing on a steep slope.

The one niggle I have is the guilt about removing all this lovely undergrowth.   I think I missed strimming this part of the farm entirely last year.   And that means lots of things had a year from the stress of being scythed.

There is a lovely thicket of hellebores again. That’s on the plus side.   And I try as hard as I can to strim around them.   They release the most divine scent in spring.   Quite the opposite of the helleboris foetidus name given to this species.

I just looked it up. Stinking dungwort. Well really!

I like them and they stay.   No, the guilt is that I can see traces of lots of lovely soft sleeping spots for deer in among the thick grass. Flattened areas where an animal must have kipped.

Will they do it again in more exposed land? I don’t know. Luckily this mountain has no shortage of hiding places so I will have to assuage my guilt in knowing that they can go elsewhere.

Actually I forgot to mention that I saw two deer just this morning when I opened our bedroom shutters and looked down the terraces to admire the now tidy view.   Two large deer froze in their tracks at the sound I made.   And then thundered off.

It was a bit late for them to be out, well after dawn.   But it does lift one’s heart.

Well, it does when I see them 100 metres away in a forest. Don’t get me started on seeing them munching through my swiss chard in the potager.