I have been waiting for this for a while.  Driving up from Hexham, tell-tale dust was blowing across the road.  Armed with the X-Pro2 and the Fujinon 18-55mm zoom I was back to the field in minutes hoping to catch a monster in action.  It did not disappoint – a Claas harvester was lumbering around in ever-decreasing circles throwing up vast dust clouds to confuse the enemy.

It was a super-heated afternoon with a hot sun piercing high dark clouds – it was very ominous.  Within an hour biblical rain was falling on Hexham, the harvester and all souls beneath.  It seemed unlikely that the harvest has been completed in time and, sure enough, this morning there was still a large patch of uncut oilseed rape and an abandoned combine harvester.  The dust in the air had been replaced by expletives:

Will I see you give more than I can take

Will I only harvest some?

As the days fly passed

Will we lose our grasp

Or fuse it in the sun.


  1. Tish Farrell · August 28, 2019

    Feeling this is a scorched earth school of agriculture – economies of scale wrought unpalatable to the neighbours. We’re awaiting a similar dust storm behind us – when they get round to cutting wheat. It had its chemical drench last week.

    • northumbrianlight · August 28, 2019

      It makes for spectacular images but this is industrial farming at its worst – I wonder about the benefits of the crop too (oilseed rape which makes my eyes itch in the spring). I am just glad this is not in the field adjacent to our house.
      (PS – not sure if you will have picked up on the offer in the comments on my previous post)

      • Tish Farrell · August 28, 2019

        Just popped back to yours. I hadn’t picked it up. What a very kind offer. I will email you. I’m having a similar problem with books, so will pass it on in like fashion. As to farming, we were recently watching Hannah Fry ‘The honest supermarket’ on YouTube, and she mentioned spuds having 32 chemical interventions! Flipping heck. How many things on a spud do you need to kill.

  2. datz · August 28, 2019

    The 18-55mm showing it’s class 👍

    • northumbrianlight · August 28, 2019

      Exactly so – like all of those X series Fujinon lenses – great optics.

  3. architecturaldancing · August 28, 2019

    Was out on the bike the other day in Midlothian and ran into a similarly monster-truck sized harvester that showered me with a lot of something that my eyes didn’t much appreciate… Only had the phone camera with me though and didn’t stop for pictures

    • northumbrianlight · August 28, 2019

      Not something I would like to meet on the road – thinking about it, I am intrigued to understand how it got to the field where it was photographed.
      All approaches are narrow and twisty!

  4. Su Leslie · August 28, 2019

    It’s hard to square the beauty of your images with the reality of industrial farming. So much of NZ affected too.

    • northumbrianlight · August 29, 2019

      I guess the upside is affordable food etc (although not sure what they do with rape seed. It’s astonishing what these machines achieve in such a short time but, there is no avoiding the weather. It is still sat in the field three days later, waiting for what remains to dry out. Hope all is well with you Su. I am attempting to be more active on WordPress having neglected it for a while. All the best, R

      • Su Leslie · August 29, 2019

        Thanks Robin. All good here — waiting for spring, though we’re being told it’s likely to be a cold and wet one.

  5. easyweimaraner · August 29, 2019

    I like to watch the giant machines… but it’s also a little bittersweet… that’s the sign that summer is over ;O)

  6. J.D. Riso · August 29, 2019

    There’s something both fulfilling and melancholy about harvest season. Rich collection of images, as usual, Robin.

    • northumbrianlight · August 29, 2019

      Melancholy, definitely Julie – another year turning. Hope it has been a good one – from Instagram , it looks to be very exciting!

  7. Thom Hickey · October 13, 2019

    Tremendous sense of natural and machine movement.

    Regards Thom

    • northumbrianlight · October 13, 2019

      Thanks Thom – what we wouldn’t give for some sun baked dust now!

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