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The vagaries of crofting…

LG and I came home from Beavers tonight in the midst of a rainstorm. A serious rainstorm -and I still had chores. Fortunately the bulk of things had been done before we went into town and before J went to work but still, the ducks and geese needed to be put away. Easy peasy with the old flock – “home babies” and away they went. The new flock… oh no – half an hour later I finally caught the last goose and put her away. All of this in a rainstorm to end all of rainstorms, with a hungry, tired boy inside and a really good injury to the outside of my foot from a few days ago. Makes it hard to walk so trying to catch geese in the woods was reaaaallllly fun.

I love them but there are days when I remember why I still have an “in town” income. It’s easy but not easy -you know? These are the things I didn’t think of while I was sitting in my office in Victoria, dreaming of the day we’d move here and live off the land (or a bit off the land). I didn’t think about the hard times. I thought I did but you can’t really imagine it until you’re in it. Even the next day it’s gone a bit, you don’t recall it as vividly. It’s a good thing because if you remembered those moments (and the freezing cold three am lamb feedings) you’d can it in the first year, I think. I have fond memories of lambing but I also know there were plenty of nights that I fell asleep on the couch by 8 pm and would have J wake me up for the 11 pm feeding. But it’s short and very worth doing.

I do have to say that the worst is tonight one of the ducks is missing. She’s one of my favorites – she’s one of the original flock and so tough. I’m not super worried yet because usually ducks aren’t attacked in the day (except by dogs and there’s no evidence of that) and having missing ducks has usually ended up well (after a hunt for a secret nest). But, it’s never easy to not be able to find them.

The real irony is that had I just waited until about an hour later I wouldn’t have had rain. It’ was gorgeous and sunny. Sigh. But now it’s raining again.

On another note – the rain has been great for us. First – one of our rams got hit by the cranky ewe and has a broken horn. This can be fatal to a lamb as in hot weather flies will lay their eggs in the break. The horn sheath is the part we see. It’s like a fingernail, there’s no pain or anything associated with it. Under the sheath is the living horn. That horn actually goes through the skull. If flies lay eggs in the break, an infection can occur in the living horn which of course goes through the skull and a little too close to the brain. If the weather was hotter – or worse, hot and wet, we could lose him to infection. As it is we’ve been dousing the site with hydrogen peroxide and so far so good.

The other thing about the cool and wet weather is we’re having a bumper growth of our cool crops. I was worried that the weather had gotten too hot for our peas etc. but this turn has been great. We’ve got peas, kale, lettuce, broccoli, leeks and herbs growing like crazy. It’s not great for the hot things like the tomatoes – although the one in a black plastic pot has been growing really well which is interesting.

Photos to follow.

Time for me to go to bed – the broken part of my foot hurts enough to make me nauseous.

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