Saturday, 29 March 2008

Blow, winds, and crack your cheeks!

Rage! Blow! And please be done with it quick smart before any of the lambs succumb to hypothermia.
I haven't yet been carried off across the Cornish border by the determined gales, the menagerie is still intact, and the fires haven't gone out, but it's not nice out there.
It comes in flurries; the trees sway and bend and the wind howls round the buildings, then suddenly everything is quiet, the trees stand straight, before another determined whoosh that rattles branches onto the barn roof, makes the loose straw skip, and parts the fleece on the outside ewes. Worse, a few bits of corrugated tin on barn roofs and walls that were thought to be well secured are being persistently jiggled about and I suspect will be ripped from their moorings before the weather settles; it is far too dangerous to do anything about it in this wind.
The house is in a hollow and naturally well protected, but as soon as you walk away from it to check the sheep, jackets flap, hats sit askew and dead leaves and other detritus eddy across your path. This should be a day for baking, reading the weekend papers or a Jilly Cooper, but instead it's on with the outdoor gear and up the hill every hour or so.
Like the wind, lambing comes in flurries with two lots of doubles in the last twelve hours - a break from the dreaded triplets - and more looking interested in producing some of their own.

7 comments:

colouritgreen said...

yes - what a night and day for lambing - and we had triplets in the wee hours, from our first timer too!

oh and our corrugated roofs are roped down at the mo... similar lives sometimes...

littleffarmdairy said...

We sympathise!

One of our ewes unexpectedly produced twins this morning - thankfully I just managed to get her & the lambs into the shed, before the really rotten weather set in...phew!

Why can't Spring, err, spring soon....?! Nature's being a bit ironic; our native breeds prefer to lamb now as the weather should be calmer; & yet the Met Office tell us that we're more likely to get snow at Easter than at Christmas, these days. Summat's wrong with the natural world...

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Thinking of you, Mopsa. Here many farmers lost crops in unusual storms on Easter Monday.

menopausaloldbag (MOB) said...

You know, your posts are so redolent of hardships against the odds, the weather, life in general. But they are also vibrant, full of life and full of energy. You are a fabulous writer and I felt completely energised by your latest blog. You will never remember the mediocre times you read a chick lit book - and I love those - but you will remember the battle with the elements, the bracing wind, the cold, the extreme nature conditions and how you brought life into this world. That is exciting, tiring but real and you are living every minute of it. I'm jealous!

Mopsa said...

CIG - why won't those roofs just stay put?

LFD - didn't you know she was up the duff (did she escape for an unknown night of passion) or was she just early?

Welshcakes - the worst of the storms seem to be over - now it's just wet wet wet.

MOB - you are lovely to me, but I must admit that anyone who knows me would laugh at the idea of my going through hardships! I have a pretty privileged life, doing what I love in a lovely place, and like so many goodlifers have just upped the ante by doing it rather more large scale than in a back garden in Surbiton! But you are right that there is something elemental about the life and death stuff on a farm that rips away any sugar coating.

KAZ said...

We always think you southerners have it easy in your temperate climate.
OK so I'm wrong. Fingers crossed for you and your lambs.

littleffarmdairy said...

No I knew she was in lamb but wasn't sure exactly when she was due; she only bagged up at the very last minute. How thoughtful! Still I suppose at least she had them in daylight...

Our ewes are really keeping us on tenterhooks by stringing out the lambing, they started a month ago & don't seem to be in any hurry; we still have two to go. Not bad considering we only have ten ewes....!

I wish they'd show some consideration as Phase Two kidding is due to start in about a week's time & I could seriously do with some SLEEP!