Yesterday the rain stopped and the sun came out. I yearned to be outside at every opportunity. Just like a lizard I craved the warmth and heat of the sun, literally needed it to revitalize and energise my body and blood. And light too…it’s been so dark.

I had a mountain of paperwork to do – the bane of all modern farming – and a post to write on sheep behaviour. I managed the paperwork but not the post. Instead I took the dogs and walked our soggy, boggy, sodden, muddy fields singing with water and spent time watching and enjoying stock and wildlife enjoying being alive.

Cows and calves contentedly mooching and cudding, spread out under a large shady oak – their favourite summer spot. Sheep quietly grazing and dosing in rush clumps. Clouds of butterflies exploding in front of my feet, marbled whites, ringlets, meadow browns, green-veined whites and burnet moths taking the opportunity to fly, feed, mate and lay eggs. Two roe deer fawns twitch-sleeping blissfully in the long grass and a young fox playing tag with its tail!

Marbled White                                                     Five Spot Burnet moth
marbled-white-hannaborough-july-19-07-pw-reduced-size.jpg                        five-spot-burnet-on-rush-sharp-reduced-2.jpg
A whole universe of buzzing, whining, humming insects – sucking, biting, stinging – revelling in warm, relaxed flesh especially that of thin-skinned humans! The high pitched, dentist drill screech of a midge stuck in your ear, frantic head shaking, finger poking…impossible to remove.

Young swallows free at last to practise astonishing aerial acrobatics while carrying on multiple conversations. And our bird table throngs with young birds of all kinds no longer looking wet and bedraggled but pert and bright eyed.

I’m glad I took the time. Still no foreseeable break in the weather to make our forage. In fact there’s another severe weather warning for us by three this afternoon!


By 14.00hrs yesterday afternoon, stair -rods yet again!