Country diary: My eye is caught by a leveret, tiny and still – Rights History
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Country diary: My eye is caught by a leveret, tiny and still

Strathspey, Scottish Highlands: It’s a dry and brittle afternoon and I’m on a scything class, but my attention is snagged elsewhere

I’m learning how to scythe, and am caught up with the lovely, unfamiliar terms. The snath, the heel, the beard, the tang. We’re shown how to assemble the scythes to fit our frames and then practise using them at the edges of the football pitch.

Our tutor tells us that he originally planned the day thinking conditions would be moist and perfect for scything, but it’s been dry here in Strathspey – though not as hot as elsewhere. Our wee burn and the River Spey are lower than I’ve ever seen them, and the land feels brittle.

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