Spring has sprung into action on the farm. The sun is bursting in the sky and with the clocks going forward we were treated to another spectacular sunrise above the Paps of Jura this morning. Daffodils, crocus and of course snow drops are all in full bloom. The hedgerows have become alive with the chitter chatter of the birds, who have arrived safely from distant shores. I know because a ‘dawn chorus’ is awakening me early each day, that and the light streaming into the bedroom. We have had a long few months of darkness and short days and suddenly everything is brighter and lighter.
The island is transforming from the bitter cold temperatures a few weeks back when the ‘Beast from the East’ swept our shores, freezing everything hard and fast. One of the biggest challenges on the farm was making sure all of the animals had plenty of access to water. We faced further challenges when even the oil froze in the pipes, but of course that ‘Beast from the East’ was slayed by the actions of the ‘Best from the West’ and in the end everybody was well fed, had warmth and access to plenty of fresh water.
The arrival of spring then is a very welcome one. Cats, dogs, horses and Happy Farmers can be seen skipping, rolling and lazing in sunny spots.
It is team work on the farm. With visits from our hardy ‘singing shepherd’, who pops up to help with gathering the sheep when those ladies need some extra pampering in the form of manicures, pedicures, with a wee clip of their hooves, and a dose of medicine, before they go off to the maternity wards as lambing is just around the corner.
Our shepherd has the most amazing voice, as well as a great sheepdog. Happy at his work, his Gaelic renditions can be heard gleefully coming from the fields, only interrupted with the odd roar and occasional growl of some foreign language when sheep and dogs appear to be going in completely the wrong direction. It doesn’t take long for singing to recommence when man and beast are in harmony once more. The Happy Farmer loves it. It is not the first time our guests have been treated to a Gaelic song or two from out the hill as our shepherd warms those vocal chords on route to rounding up the livestock. At this point I would like you all to note that it is not the Happy Farmer singing, but be warned, he does enjoy taking the credit for it when he pops in to visit our guests.
Until next time……