After the rather long cold and wet winter, we have to say we are quite enjoying having a bit of decent summer weather. The midges can be a pain on a still summer evening, but they are a small price to pay for the fun of being able to have lunch in the garden.
All the animals seem pretty content. Having been sheared, the sheep are not at risk of overheating. Plus, they are in a field with some tress providing shade. They hate the midges though. Nothing seems to phase the cows. Their new "river" field isn't quite ready yet, the bracken proving somewhat tenacious.
That doesn't mean we have had much time to be sitting about. Nicole has got the bee in her bonnet about sorting out the garden. She has been working hard, furiously pulling out weeds and planting flowers. The main focus has been around the front of the house and the area leading up to it.
Bit by bit, "inappropriate" planting is being replaced by sympathetic flowers and so on. Being a professional gardener, she knows what she's doing and it's all starting to look really good.
While Nicole has been gardening away, I was dispatched to clear out the second sheep field shelter. As I mentioned before, a year's worth of straw and poo has been compacted. Nicole's back has been giving her trouble, so I was on my own this time. It was hard work not helped by the fact that the shelter is about 5 feet high and I'm 6 foot 1! That pretty much did for me last weekend (but one).
Of course, having got it out, I still had to move it to our designated dung heap. But that's what tractors are for. I still had to load the tractor using a fork, but it was then just a wee drive and the front loader did the rest. I combined this job with laying a track. It's our main route from the house and outbuildings to the paddock and it gets very muddy in winter. Finally, it has been dry long enough for it to have dried out properly. So it was shift a pile of hard standing (using the tractor) one way, rake it, continue over and collect a load of manure, take that back, repeat.
This was duly delivered to Nicole's newly cleared flower beds.
That was Saturday.
Sunday was general maintenance, moving a water trough and repairing the roof on hay bay which had collapsed under the snow. It was baking on Sunday and I got a proper "farmer's" tan on my arms.
It's sometimes hard, with all these things to do, to take a moment and look around. But I did today and our fields are turning into lovely meadows. It's what you get when you mix cows and sheep on pasture. It's what you get farming the old fashioned way. Not to mention a bit of sun and rain of which we have had plenty.
Also, there was a nice sound of buzzing, lots of bees going about their work. And they need all the help they can get these days.
Anyway, though it's a sunny evening outside, I might just watch a bit of the football now, maybe the Spain game.