Sunday, 16 August 2015

The waiting is nearly over...

For rugby followers the waiting for the start of the new season is nearly over. Clubs up and down the country are into the annual rite of "pre-season" games in which all the substitution laws go out of the window so that coaches may exercise as many player combinations/options as possible and that players may make their bid for a place on the team sheet when the League games start at the beginning of September. 

Cambridge is no exception and they travelled to Hertford yesterday with the entire squad for a game of three halves with mass player shuffling going on at each break. Cambridge also seemed to be trying out all of their kit-combinations.

It also gave me a chance to remind myself how to photograph rugby and to try out some new photographic kit - yesterday I patrolled the ground with no less that 3 cameras, at least one of which will be on the reserves bench in a few weeks.  For those who are interested, my new Olympus OM-D performed better than I had dared to hope, but I found it quite hard to follow the action through the electronic viewfinder with the camera set to rapid fire.  Meanwhile here are a few to whet your appetite for a new season.

Oh, and there's the World Cup starting in September too...

Sunday, 2 August 2015

Aspects of harvest time

I used to observe harvest from close quarters as a child - indeed I can still remember riding on the back of a Suffolk Punch pulling a reaper and binder when I was very small!  However with the advent of a career I have missed out on the intermediate steps of the development of agricultural technology over the past 50 years!  Following my recent retirement I was fascinated to see the annual ritual of harvest at close quarters again.  The sacking platform for the grain on combines has gone, and with it the back-breaking job of shifting the full sacks of grain, I hadn't realised that combines can have caterpillar tracks, nor that the Plough and Harrow were so closely employed (apart from as a Pub name!)

First the pea harvest about 10 days ago

 Next barley today

Look at all of that potential beer!

And then ploughing and harrowing in one operation.  Note the fork on the front of the tractor - for use as a last resort I presume!

Having dropped the harrow to turn, the seven furrow plough is turned ove for the return journey

Dropping the harrow to turn around: