Finn comes to work with me most of the time. I'm a milk recorder, which means I visit farms at milking times and take samples of each cows milk to be tested for quality. It means early morning starts and late evenings, but it also means I have the middle of the day to spend with Finn and the horses. I love my job and most of all I love the little hill farms, which are rapidly going out of business, giving over to the larger,more intensive farms. The farm I was at this morning is one of the former, all the cows are known by name and it was as I was doing the paperwork I noticed Bluebell had been sold. I found this quite sad as in all farms in childrens storybooks have a cow called Bluebell, Which got me thinking about modern childrens stories. Line no.2556 stood in the cowshed eating silage thoughtfully. The A.I.man was coming today with samples from FH2806, a suitor she'd never seen nor ever would. She yawned. She might kick the A.I.man, but really she had no choice in the matter. This doesn't have quite the same ring as Bluebell stood in the field grazing speculatively. Bertram the bull was waiting in the next field. Her eyes sparkled with anticipation, she might make him chase her round the field a few times, but really he had no choice in the matter.
On the way home we stopped for a walk in the Ty Canol nature reserve, a mixture of moorland, pasture and ancient oak woodland. I find it a magical place with lichen covered rocky outcrops and a carpet of bluebells. The difficult tarrain prevented it being cleared and a unique flora, rich in lichens, mosses and ferns have evolved. There are nearly 400 species of lichen growing here, almost a quarter of all British species. The woodland is managed by allowing sheep and cattle to graze here. Some trees are felled others coppiced and certain areas have grazing animals temporarily excluded allowing the woodland to regenerate naturally. It was a beautiful day, the perfect end to the walk provided by a pair of Peregrine falcons soaring over the rocky outcrops on the way back to the