Strange time, Midsummer…..
today was the longest day; yet it might also as well have been the longest night, such was the chill in the air & the inhospitable darkness cast by a pall of shadowy mist, over the Ffarm. The fretful Welsh weather has turned angry & has balefully sent us four seasons to endure, in only a single day; as a chilly winters’ morning gave way to a brief burst of hopeful spring sunshine; enjoying an hours’ balmy warmth but followed abruptly by sharp, stinging showers & over the mountains of Pembrokeshire a chilly, foreboding mist whose clammy, penetrating fingers persisted in spite of the ever-gusting wind.
It affected our mood, too. A day intended to be spent in companiable solidarity, supporting Carmarthenshire’s annual County Show (especially today, dogged as it was by bad weather & despite the distinct lack of goat classes in the livestock competition), was shelved in favour of stony silence & the drudgery of solitary chores on my part.
Furred & feathered friends have moved in mysterious, restless ways: at dawn, the skies were oddly silent; the usual cacophany of chirruping chorus of songbirds which soars throughout the early morning valley perhaps whipped away by the lonely keening of the wind; or it seems, simply, ominously silent…..
And even our capricious goats set to; squabbling & fighting, from the moment the barn doors were opened. This evening I narrowly avoided injury from a hoof in the face as an over-excited individual clamoured for some supper; & the sheep pushed past me from Caravan Corner to Parc Tu ol Ty, nervous & anxious about hidden hedgerow demons. The horses too, had the wind in their tails; & the ponies pirouetted & pranced in the confines of their spacious stable as I struggled to muck out yesterday’s already-churned bedding & replace it with today’s fresh-scented straw & shavings.
Even our dear dog stayed, subdued, in the confines of her kennel (highly unusual); the geese were nervous; the chickens, restless with Mother Superior hurrying her brood into an early bed; & the clumsy, tardy ducks themselves even unwilling to venture forth from their comfortable housing.
And at the ‘witching hour’ the cats spat & squabbled at seemingly empty air…..what is it, about today? Midsummer “madness”, indeed…?!
Yet admittedly, we proved no better. Tony was in no mood to be goaded; & when I apparently said the ‘wrong thing’, in an instant he was as furious & dangerous as a wounded wild boar….strange day, indeed.
At least we have the comfort that Froggie’s new home is wonderful; & her attentive carer a kind, gentle man who will give her all the love & attention we could possibly desire, for one of our lovely ladies – which was warm comfort, on what has proved to be a cold & inhospitable, worrisome day.
And, oh! How the pretty foxgloves flaunt their mocking, ‘bella-donna‘ fateful flower-dance, regardless, from every anxious, storm-tossed hedgerow hollow…..
A day to remember? A day to forget.