Wednesday 27 December 2023

Christmas weather, Boxing Day Hunt

I would have liked to show you a real frosty or even snowy wintery scene but alas our Christmas weather is hideous, wet, blowy and too warm, so here is a view of one the farm's ancient trackways in its winter leaflessness. Having had a lovely family Christmas complete with home-grown turkey,happy children, sweet babies and too much rich food the week is progressing towards the New Year in a bluster of winds and heavy rain and little light. Yesterday, Boxing Day,(not so wet or windy) the Farmer and I went off to our local village to support the hunt in its Boxing Day meet. There was large turnout of locals and a field of about twenty horses all gathered outside the biggest pub in the village along with the hounds and it was quite a sight as they moved off to do a circuit of the village and then head off to our own little valley for their day's activities. These gatherings are what rurual communities are all about (one could get very sentimental about the traditions and ways of life which do actually have validity), but they are under attack by animal-rights activists who have no understanding of what hunting is all about. The emotive talk of the cruelty of foxes being chased by hounds and then 'ripped to pieces' is designed to whip up a reaction whereas the reality is of control of a predator in the most efficient way possible with any fox caught despatched humanely before the hounds get it. Whilst we all admire the beauty and elegance of the fox if one has seen the devastation caused by a fox in a chicken run one's view is somewhat less than fluffy. What an irony it is that it is considered entertainment to watch a wildlife documentary on television where wolves bring down a deer or a lion stalk a gazelle where the prey is quite literally ripped to pieces, yet for foxes to be hunted is seen as cruel and against nature!
After the meet the Farmer and I headed for the hills with a picnic of turkey sandwiches and went up into the superb empty landscapes of the Berwyn mountains. We had a lovely day seeing very few other people and were thrilled to glimpse for the first time in forty years, a pair of roe deer who crossed the road in front of us having come up for the valley bottom heading for higher ground in the forestry. We also saw a pair of herons, usually solitary, so to see two of them flying across a river was wonderful with their long-legged stately flight.

1 comment:

  1. Our holidays are without snow as well...rainy, gray, and 60 degrees...not wintry at all. Your picnic sounds's always so nice to get away and enjoy the lovely scenery.