The paddock has been cut and baled. We seem to have been waiting for ever for it to be done, it's been so wet that it had been quite impossible - in early July you could paddle in places!
It's very satisfying to look at now, especially since I'd been losing the dogs in the long grass for weeks (this is serious as The Bolter can disappear the minute your back is turned, and be miles away; I wonder if she has learnt to apparate?) Now both dogs (collectively The Outlaws) are blissful, noses down vole holes from dawn 'til dusk. The Bolter came in smelling very bad yesterday evening, and had to be taken to the beach this morning for a bit of splishing about.
The paddock now has to be rolled to get rid of all the hummocks and ruts left from the orginal ploughing and a subsequent landscaping attempt, also undertaken when everything was a soggy mess. Then the interesting part begins, extending the vegetable garden, planting some trees and some stretches of hedge. The plans aren't ambitious, it has to be low maintenance, and much of it will be semi-wild, but there's still room for heated disagreement (for instance, where we extend the kitchen garden to), and much changing of minds.
Last evening The Dormouse (younger son) took both dogs into the paddock to play, and was surprised to see 3 dogs coming out from behind the bales - the third was a deer. Earlier I had gone out and seen the tiniest black kitten ever hunting with immense concentration. Very sweet, but it swore frightfully and scarpered when it saw me. Arguments, at any rate, for keeping some relative wilderness there, those two acres have been supporting a community of voles, mice, owls, kestrels, sparrowhawks and farm cats for years, and I don't want to lose any of them (except the farm cats, but that's another story).