Posts tagged ‘harvest’

August 22, 2012

White already for harvest.

In what must be the answer to many a farmer’s prayer, the sun is shining at last. The large number of combine harvesters and tractors on the narrow roads are making driving around the parish a hair-raising experience, but it is great to see the work being done. Perhaps the upcoming season of Harvest services will be a time of thanksgiving after all, even though this year has been one of the worst in living memory for all those involved in agriculture.

The Bible verse that came to mind as I was taking this picture, was from John’s Gospel in the old King James version:

“… behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest.”
John 4:35b

The Lord Jesus is comparing a field ready for harvesting to the many people who are (after centuries of waiting for the Messiah to come), ready to hear his gospel message and to know Him as Lord and Saviour.

Photo Notes: I used a very wide angle lens for this shot (a Tokina 12-24mm f4). I set the aperture to f22 and thankfully it was bright enough at that aperture to get a shutter speed of 1/50 at 100 ISO. The unusual colouring is a Lightroom preset called ‘Coldtone.’ See the picture on Flickr here.

September 14, 2011

Harvest 2011

Driving along the coastal road heading East from Timoleague, a field caught my eye.  Perhaps it was the interesting light or the geometry of the bales of straw I don’t know, but I thought there was something picture-worthy about the scene.

Amidst the rhythm and routine of parish life, ‘Harvest’ refers not only to the long days of work that farmers put in at this time of year, ever with an eye to the sky and an ear to the weather forecast, but also to the Harvest Season that is an important part of the Church calendar.  Particularly in rural communities where many families livelihoods are linked to the land, ‘Harvest Thanksgiving’ is one of the yearly highlights of parish life.

In the parish where I serve, we have four church buildings and each has an annual Harvest Thanksgiving service.  In Courtmacsherry, a church which is only open for Sunday worship in July and August, we have already held the service on the last Sunday of August.  The small church was packed and as always it was a wonderful atmosphere.  A dairy farmer there reminded me that for anyone who milks cows the harvest is every day, all year round!  This Sunday we celebrate the service in TImoleague (at 11.00am), then on Sunday 25th at 10.00am we celebrate in Kilmalooda.  Finally on Friday 7th October, we celebrate in Clonakilty at 8.30pm.  If you would like more information, have a look at the parish website here.

1. Praise and thanksgiving,
Father, we offer,
for all things living
you have made good;
harvest of sown fields,
fruits of the orchard,
hay from the mown fields,
blossom and wood.

2. Lord, bless the labour
we bring to serve you,
that with our neighbour
we may be fed.
Sowing or tilling,
we would work with you;
harvesting, milling,
for daily bread.

3. Father, providing
food for your children,
your wisdom guiding
teaches us share
one with another,
so that, rejoicing,
sister and brother
may know your care.

4. Then will your blessing
reach every people;
each one confessing
your gracious hand;
when you are reigning
no one will hunger,
your love sustaining,
fruitful the land.

Albert Frederick Bayly (1901-84) altd. – From Church Hymnal, Fifth Ed. 

September 22, 2009

Harmony of Black and White at Harvest

Panasonic LX1, f4.9, 1/500 sec, ISO 80, 14.4mm (click to enlarge)

I had the great pleasure last Sunday of being invited to the Harvest Thanksgiving service in Mallow, north Co. Cork. Now you would be forgiven for thinking that this might be a very rural and very traditional parish and of course, in some ways, it is. What they have managed to do though is something quite special. In the past few years, a number of Nigerian families have moved to the town and have got involved in the church. The Rector made the very canny move of appointing one of them as church warden and has expertly involved them in all sorts of ways in the life of the parish. The singing is phenomenal. With colourful clothes and infectious smiles our African brothers and sisters have brought a level of joy and celebration that is seldom seen in most parts of the Church of Ireland. My favourite part was the presentation of gifts, where several families danced up the aisle bringing baskets of fruit and other produce to the front of the church to thank God for all His blessing and provision. What is wonderful too is how this has all been warmly welcomed by those who have attended this church all their lives. I was happy to join in too – my clapping maybe not quite in time and my voice not quite in tune and my body not quite in rhythm but the whole experience made me more grateful for the harvest (and all God’s blessings) than I had been for quite some time.

August 31, 2009


Panasonic LX1, 1/320 sec, f4, ISO 80, 52mm equivalent (click to enlarge)

A farmer said to me recently that for every day the rain continues to prevent him from harvesting his crops he is losing hundreds of Euro. It must be incredibly frustrating watching your ripened fields get increasingly worse and not being able to do a thing about it.

Let’s spare a thought for farmers at this time and pray that they will get the weather they need very soon. (Of course, now that the children have gone back to school the sun is sure to come out!)

“As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease.”

(Genesis 8:22)

September 9, 2008

Failed crop?

Canon A570is, 1/320sec, F4, ISO 80, 5.8mm (click to enlarge)

It’s a bit sad driving around the parish and seeing the crops damaged by the heavy rain. When I took the picture above during a drive from Ballymore back home, I noticed how the wheat was all bent over. Apparently though this is not necessarily a ruined crop. I was speaking to a farmer on Sunday and asked him about the bent over wheat and he said that it can still be harvested so long as it hasn’t sprouted and so long as the rain hasn’t completely flattened the crop. I hope and pray that there will be better weather over the coming days so that the crop in this field and many others can be saved. However, it seems that we are having the tail-end of hurricanes ‘Gustav’, ‘Hannah’ and ‘Ike’ at the moment… Didn’t someone say that we were going to have good weather in September?!

I was asked by online Christian magazine “Good News Now”, if they could use this photo as their “picture of the day”. I was delighted to give them permission to use it but go and have a look at the other pictures there, they are all much better than mine!

September 3, 2008

Harvest time at Belvelly, Cobh

Canon A570IS, 1/500 sec, f6.3, ISO 80, 5.8mm (Click to enlarge)

The farming community has had a tough ‘summer’, it’s good to see a field with a least a bit of sun on it – even if only for a brief while. This was taken yesterday evening and just this morning the weather had changed rather dramatically for the worse once more.

If only we could find some way to export a few clouds to places that could do with them, like those vineyards in Australia that haven’t had rain for four years. To make matters worse, we got a water bill yesterday and a leaflet urging us of the need to conserve water, as supplies were limited!