Peat Cutting

Hard work in the sunshine
Hard work in the sunshine

It was a stunning afternoon to be up on the hill taking the first cut of peat for the year amidst rumbles of thunder and a riot of skylarks. Green hairstreak butterflies lingered in the milkwort, while a blackcock blazed casually past in the stillness. The moss itself was breathing the warm, soft smell of the hills, and the only thing taking the afternoon seriously was a stunning carabus nitens beetle (I looked that up), which was a frantic, furious blur of iridescent green and red through the heather.

I must say once again how excellent my peat spade is, which was bought on ebay and had its origins in the Isle of Man. Over an hour or two, we cut out a stack of peats and then turfed the rest so that it will dry before the next cut. Fingers crossed for a good few weeks of sunshine and warm wind.

A fantastic Carabus Nitens beetle
A fantastic Carabus Nitens beetle

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