After a brief flirtation with the sunshine, the rain has set in again. In that time, we have managed to grab a field of hay, bring it home and lodge it safely under cover. John admits it is not the most stunning quality hay.
For speed we brought in a contractor to make big bales. These will supplement the silage clamp which is not as full as it has been in previous years.
We are waiting for another break in the weather to get the next couple of fields of grass cut for hay. One is done as a favour to a neighbour in the village. The field is half a mile from his cottage and sandwiched between paddocks of two barn conversions.
As a barrister, he does not have the gear to do anything with the grass, no pony (as yet) to graze it, and is happy for the grass to be taken to keep the field tidy. Works well. If we have any legal problems we know where to go.
Increasingly our village is being taken over by professionals. Most are very supportive, friendly and love the country idyll. One or two however do not always appreciate the rural noises and muck.
Fortunately when the only other farm in the village’s cows went on the rampage the other night, it was our lawn they trampled over. Not one of a usually irate neighbour who objects to dogs barking, cows mooing, sheep bleating and cockerels crowing – begging the question why did he choose to come to live next to a working farm. He doubtless would be demanding recompense.
We said nothing as it could be our cows next time fancying a night out on the razzle.
The combination of wet weather and occasional sunshine has bred an amazing horde of biting insects. A friend who used our downstairs loo last night, emerged frantically scratching his bottom where he swore he had been bitten by a large mosquito lurking under the toilet seat.
“Just be thankful it was only your bum he bit,” I told him as I rushed to spray the toilet with insect killer.
It did mean that we spent yesterday afternoon checking the sheep for any signs of fly bite and maggots whilst we had them in the corral to worm the lambs.
A few farmers around us have started combining. This year we are still days away from even the winter barley being ready to harvest.
Other years have seen our combine going in in early July; this year mid August. To mark time John has been finishing off fencing the field next to where travellers sometimes tuck their caravans in for the winter.
Their ponies pushed through and broke down the hedges last year to feast on our winter crops, before we think an animal welfare concern took them all the away. We woke one morning to find kit and caboodle, caravans and ponies, gone. But if they return this year, the fields are secure.
Mrs Downs Diary