For the last ten years we have had sheep in the field outside our chalet, every year they lamb, staying over the summer and moving around the four fields that surround us. This year was no exception in the beginning, all the sheep were here and then, suddenly one day they had gone, and it wasn’t to meet their maker as every one was pregnant, so there had to be another explanation. Then, the tractor appeared and started to plough up each of the four fields, we were intrigued and so when I saw the farmer arrive, check it all over and make to leave again I ran up and asked him why the sheep had gone. He told me the fields were ‘sheep sick’ and needed to be replanted for a couple of years and after that the sheep would return [who, incidentally were in a neighbouring field down a couple of lanes].
Over the next fews days the fields were ploughed and tilled and sown…with barley, and once we’d got our heads around not having lambs to watch we started to look forward to watching the barley instead.
To begin with the fields were very brown and they were ploughed during a dry spell in the weather, so there was dust everywhere but once the rains came the fields started to gently change until they became the most intense of green and when you looked closely the stems were three different colours of green, from emerald right through to lime and when there was a breeze the barley would blow and create this mesmeric ripple effect.
And now, in this intense heatwave it has all started to turn golden, it’s going to be an interesting few weeks ahead, we can already hear the tractors out in force with the haymaking so it’s only a matter of time when they will be coming for ‘our’ barley.