This post is not about the rights or wrongs of hunting, nor is it about the problems caused by foxes, I am simply reporting on my day.
I spent a couple of hours digging another vegetable bed - one whole one! So that is three done, so far. By then it was time for our lunch and a welcome break.
I became aware that I could hear horses so I nipped out to the front, to be greeted by this sight. Disappearing into the distance was the hunt. I watched them go with mixed feelings - wishing the foxes well, and the horses and hounds a safe return.
I resumed my digging and some time later these two stragglers came, separately, into the barley field. The darker one seemed happy to amble around sniffing here and there, the other one was desperate to find his way back to the pack - long since gone.
The hunt clattered back down our road, disrupting the postman's round and causing havoc with the tractors which frequent the narrow road.
I heaved a huge sigh of relief as I had been waiting for them to go away so that I could walk up the road to visit Arnold - Toby would have had a fit of the vapours if he'd been faced with meeting so many strange dogs.
However, the hunt hadn't finished as they came back through and gathered at the old railway bridge while someone was dispatched to find the stragglers. I wonder if they lose many hounds that way.
I took the opportunity to walk the couple of hundred yards up the road to visit the old horse, Arnold. He was a little distracted as he kept listening out for horses and hounds, but he was more than happy to have a hug and some treats.
While I was with him I spotted these hens - I think one of the stragglers must have scared them up onto their hen house roof because I haven't seen them up there before.
On the way home I was fortunate to find a little patch of white violets.