Midsummer Madness

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.

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About LittleFfarm Dairy

The LittleFfarm Dairy Team: Jo - Goat farmer & Gelatiere Artigianale, plus General Dogsbody; Tony - Airline Pilot & part-time Herd Manager, Product Taster, Accounts Secretary, Handyman etc!
This entry was posted in Animals, Diary, June 2008, Life, Livestock, Nature, Smallholding. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Midsummer Madness

  1. paula says:

    Too right – a strange spell indeed. Some planetary collision must be to blame.

    And yes the foxgloves seem totally spectacular this year.

  2. LittleFfarm Dairy says:

    It’s collided with more than that –

    I’ve felt rotten all day, but have engaged myself – day & night on the hour, every hour – treating a sick three-month-old kid, who’s been scouring like mad & whose temperature plummeted to the point he was so weak he couldn’t even stand – not far off my own symptoms in fact…..

    Good news is, the little chap is showing improvement: much more altert & even up on all fours again, although still very weak; so he’s spending the night tucked up snugly with us, in the cottage (& is even currently sporting one of my nice warm sweaters!); hopefully that’ll help him to feel better if not exactly at the height of farm fashion. And whilst not exactly helping my own symptoms, helping him to feel better is the best tonic I could wish for.

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