Friday 6 July 2018

50 Rainless Days

Met √Čireann got bored with publishing pictures of the cloudless
island and started commenting on how not-green the latest pic
was compared to previous pics.
By my reckoning, we have just racked up 50 days without rain and, without a wet one between our two batches of sheep shearing (21st May), this figure would be 61 days. Driest blah blah for 42 years. The poor farmers are really starting to struggle now coming out of a long, cold wet winter which used up all the silage and hay reserves. They lept on the chance to cut early silage when this hot spell started if they had any growth, and then enjoyed a bit of unprecedented hay making but are now looking at all this close-shaved aftermath and wondering will they have to start feeding 2018 silage already, still warm off the baler! Who'd be a farmer.

For most of them, the only hay making gear they have is kit bought 40 years ago to go with what are now lovely vintage Massey tractors. It is the same kind of equipment I would have used in my student days baling and hauling small "bricks" of hay. It is lovely to see trundling round slowly clearing fields at way below 2018 rates.

The 4 new goslings in their paint roller-tray
At risk of harping on some more (woe is me) about my own health, I will just give you an update for the record. I am still knocked sideways by this breathlessness and getting poked and prodded by the local Medical Fraternity. Top culprit seems to be some kind of chest infection associated with a 'hard' kind of phlegm which might need steroids to give the lung tissue back its flexibility.

4 baby turkeys being shepherded around by their 'Mum'
From MY point of view the main thing I notice is the lack of lung volume. We 'Care' blokes are known for giving a good trumpet when want to blow our nose - fill your lungs and let her rip. The ceiling lifts an inch or two and everybody in the building knows you have blown your nose. PARP! Best I can do at present is a little quarter-full in-breath and a delicate ladylike 'perp'. It is 3 weeks now and I just want a good lung full of air deep down to my diaphragm. Unfortunately on one of the work ups the doc found a possible heart murmur, so now I need to go for some 'echo' tests on that before they dare give me anything like steroids for the "asthma". I am currently using (to brilliant effect and relief), a 'Ventolin' inhaler which is a new one on me. More on all this when it pans out.

Bit easier to see the babies here.
2 good things have saved me from despair. One, already mentioned is the superb timing. If you are going get kicked out of your normal work ethic by such a disease, then it is good to do it just after your recent Help-X volunteer has made the place as neat as a new pin. The grass is mowed (and the lack of rain means it is not growing back), the sheep sheared, the dogs clipped, gutters cleared. There are no heavy livestock jobs imminent and it is so hot that no-one wants to work, so you don't feel THAT left out. Also (Sorry Sue), my good friend Sue came out in sympathy with a similar set of crusty chest problems and breathlessness. Can't bend down to lift a tin of dog food? No! Me neither! Meanwhile, a HUGE 'nother Thanks to Elizabeth who is still hanging in there picking up all the livestock rounds, car jobs and shopping etc. Better news soon, I hope.

Home made chocs from Sue
Oh, and Sue also turned up with a box of homemade chocs, coffee truffly ones and ones filled with fruit 'cheese'.

Finally, in the livestock Dept, just some newer, better pics of the clutches of which you have heard already - the geese came off the nest(s) yesterday with 4 goslings and Elizabeth put a paint-roller tray of water down for them. The new turks were brought off by both the 'Mums' and we have another "2 Mums, one chick" group too. Donaldina managed to nearly lose one 3-week old chick into a full size bucket yesterday but I rescued it, dried it and then warmed it down my 'cleavage' for an hour or so while it recovered. That is now back with 'Don'.

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