|12x10 inch, oil on canvas.|
I returned home, fed George early before setting off to paint. I had a notion to feature the sky, more interesting now that we have some light winds and it is slightly cooler. I drove through South Dalton, past Holme on the Wolds and stopped on the elevated road near Holmedale Farm. The view towards Lair Hill House has changed. Earlier in the year it was greener, now the fields are light, straw coloured and ready to be harvested.
As I painted swallows flew past, their undulating, foraging flight came close to my head at times and I felt as if I could touch them. Occasionally they would assemble, chirruping, on nearby telegraph wires. Small flocks of goldfinches, ‘Majesties’ in training, also settled on the wires.
This place, about fifty yards from the narrow road is very quiet. In the verges, willow herb is still flowering and purple knapweed is in abundance. The grasses are now reduced to tall, pale, elegant seed bearing strands, contrasting against the dark hawthorn hedges.
As I began to pack up, three large farm vehicles passed heading down the hill. They filled the narrow road with their small convoy. The first was towing a long contraption, apparently the front of a combine, the second, a tractor was pulling a blue high sided seed trailer. Lastly, the combine itself. I watched as they all entered a field. The combine was assembled and a huge dust cloud indicated the commencement of work. The first vehicle returned to collect another seed trailer, and, as it was now 7pm they were going to be working very late. This is a relentless time for farmers in this area. The pea crop has just been collected and now lots of cereal fields need harvesting before the weather changes and the need to use driers.