Our house is completely surrounded by fields.
All the fields right next to the house are owned by a farmer who lives in the next village. The set of fields next to them are owned by two other different farmers. They all tackle the harvest at slightly different times, the furthest to the east being the first and ours being the last. This means that we usually have a bit of a warning when it's about to happen chez nous.
This is something we need to know!
We need to know because it makes a lot of mess! The first time it happened we were out and got home to find everything covered in a thick coating of dust and chaff. Fortunately the weather is often quite breezy where we live and the wind will soon blow the worst of it away. Unfortunately we found out the hard way how much dust it creates inside the house if we leave any windows open.
On 1st August this year we heard the tell-tale rumble of our farmer's old and trusty combine harvester in the distance. He always begins with the fields furthest from our house. That gave us time to whizz round closing doors and windows and stacking garden furniture and other bits and pieces in the barn. If you have ever wondered how long it takes to clean up chairs and tables and remove dust and straw from candle holders and tealights just ask!
The machine makes an unbelievable amount of noise as it rattles past the back of the house within a few feet of our ancient walls, although I suspect it's also the vibration that makes Daisy go into hiding. Hugo isn't usually bothered too much but we keep him indoors, as an eyeful of the horrible dust or chaff would not do him any good at all.