The Farmer has been busy shearing the last of our few sheep. We have only 30-odd ewes these days and he tackles the shearing over a couple of days, pacing himself as it is is hard work. I used to help many years ago packing the fleeces but somehow have got out of the way of it more recently (a touch of sciatica doesn't help!!). It just happened that this year both the Sons were off the farm doing silage and digger work elswhere though Elder Son did come and help catch the ram and hold him, he is very big and extremely heavy to manhandle for shearing. As always the sheep are relieved to have their heavy coats removed as the weather is getting warmer. The effort that goes into producing wool is in no way echoed by the price we get for it. Last year we sent our wool in to British Wool and were paid somehwere in the region of £36 for the 81 kilos of wool and I doubt that this year's wool cheque will be much better. Is it worth the trouble of shearing, packing, transporting the wool sacks to the collection centre and then being charged for the collection? Perhaps we should just use the wool for mulching round our apple trees and in the veg. garden?
On a more positive note we are now having some beautiful weather after some weeks of unseasonably cold and wet days.
The countryside is looking stunning and the gardens are coming into their own. We have elder trees in full blossom at present, so pretty with their broad flat creamy clusters of tiny flowers. I have made elderflower cordial in previous years and neighbours make elderflower champagne which is very potent stuff but I will admit I don't like it very much.
The Farmer who is going off all day on a tractor turning grass over 8o acres around the parish has just come in with the remark that I have company for the day in the form of a solitary newly-hatched chick. It is in a box here in the kitchen and is very, very vocal and the cause of much curiosity for my terrier who must be be kept well away from it as her natural instincts will get the better of her and it will be end of one chick. The Farmer had set up his incubator with a number of eggs in it but only the one hatchling has survived. These things happen but we'll do all we can to make sure the one lives on.
Here is picture of my rather lovely lupins with their guardian Buddha.
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