Friday, August 9, 2013

Field Work

Clearing Track and Field

 The other day a man and his tractor came to clear our lower fields and the access track for the second time (or third if you count the hunters who offered to clear the field some years ago).

this track was cleared by Paolo and my husband about two years ago, following indications of the former cart track

the track would have been used both to cross the ford in the Pesa and to reach the two lower fields or campi di sotto: the campo della raia and the secondo campo.

along this stretch of the track we uncovered the old drystone wall supporting the road (unseen, on the right) which must have been well-used by oxen, horses, donkeys and humans

Yesterday, on a dull evening which promised but did not yield rain we walked down to survey his work. For those who had not seen the area beforehand it will not appear striking, but to our eyes, accustomed to infinite bramble and rampant bamboo in the early years and their menacing return in recent years, it looks like a tidy farm. 

reaching the first field, the campo della raia with mulberry to the right

campo della raia from the west
If you squinted a little you could even imagine that the mown area was wheat stubble and that the oxen had just drawn the laden wagon up the track. We have left small copses of trees (hazel, spindle, blackthorn, dogwood and plum, mostly) and are very proud of the old mulberry which was resurrected by Paolo and now stands tall and healthy near the old ford in the Pesa.

old mulberry, resuscitated by Paolo; probably white mulberry which was a cash crop for the silk industry

blackthorn or sloe laden with sloes: the Ur-plum

dogwood (Cornus mas) pretty well-laden with its berries

mixed copse

hazel copses

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