It has rained all night and there is plenty of picking for the hens: worms on the ground everywhere. I have never seen such a sight. It’s like mushrooms in the forest, you see them or you don’t. Bibi and Didier were brilliant with those. They used to bring back boxful of ceps and all.
I had never noticed worms hanging out on the ground on a rainy day. But watching the hens and then I see them. And then I see the sheer number of them! The hens gorge themselves on those and I wonder how many can they eat? The speed with which 10” long worms disappear in their beaks is astonishing.
The ewes have finally reclaimed their shed from the hens and come out. I follow their gaze looking below the trees and beyond and a few young deers are walking west along the fence avoiding Robert’s newly ploughed and muddy field.
I nearly tread on a little bird on its first day out of the nest. He can hardly fly but it tries. It manages to reach the undergrowth of the nearest honeysuckle bush. Its mum must be near somewhere…
Everywhere the branches of the trees are bending down with the weight of the raindrops and there is no avoiding a shower from the lowest branches. Every twig, every blade of grass is bowing as if thankful for the rain. The paths I had made with the mower have disappeared.
The elm is covering the bird feeding station on the balcony. It grows at least one meter/year and soon we’ll be able to enjoy its cool shade. By next Wednesday the sun will come out said the weather-girl and the elm will stand up again. We saw its flowers for the first time this spring and then its seeds in thousands fell on the balcony like snow.
I have my rain gear on and walking in the rain is so great.
Back to the house, the football is on and the man is quiet. The cats are asking to come in, no mate I am not touching you, you’re disgustingly wet, sorry. I get some nasturtiums seeds. Geoff told me yesterday the butter beans were full of black flies. The butter beans are growing so fast, they may not be able to take advantage of the nasturtiums in time but I am hoping anyway….The snails are having a ball. Like the worms they are everywhere.
The donkeys come out of their shed to see what is in the bag. They have been rolling in the straw and look so funny. Their hooves need trimming. They have put on a lot of weight lately with the daily afternoons to the top field and it’s worrying. Gangrene of the feet is always a threat. Mireille’s mares and Jennies, all 5 of them have to be jabbed regularly to stop the suffering. So this week’s rain is sort of a blessing for them as they are staying in their paddock. “They look at the grass and they put on weight” said the farrier, when I was telling him how much hay they get which isn’t much.
I have a lesson to prepare for tomorrow so better get back in. We’re having “egg mimosa” this lunch time. With the hens giving us 4 eggs daily, we have much more than we need and had a conversation last night about what to do with the surplus which reminded me of the time when we used to visit our cousins in Salvagnac on Sundays, we always came back with a box of fresh eggs….