We’ve had heavy rain and numerous hail storms for a week, transforming the croft from a hillside to a bog. It’s not quite the worst we’ve had it, yet, but that’s only because we didn’t start with snow melt. The pigs are fairly happy with all the water and mud, except when it flows into their beds, but I can’t say the same for the rest of us.
Everywhere that’s steep has erosion marks and channels. Everywhere with a hollow is pooled with water. And everywhere level is waterlogged. The grassed track leading to the chicken houses is typical. There is grass beneath the mud but there’s so much waterlogging that silt is rising to the surface.
When anyone walks across the grass, sludgy brown water bubbles to the surface. Care has to be taken, not just because it’s slippery, but because the soil surface is easily disturbed and damaged when it’s this wet.
We’ve locked the chickens out of their main run as it’s too waterlogged and there was nowhere dry for them to dust bathe. Instead, we thought they’d appreciate being under the trees where it’s damp but not soaked. And there are a couple of dry patches under the big house.
Half a dozen of the hens have taken the hint of being fed under the trees and are duly appreciative of the reasonably dry conditions. As for the rest, they insist on either moping outside their muddy pens or flying over the fences into the most waterlogged areas, where they get wet, muddy and miserable. Harvey, our Border Terrier, is determined to follow their example: if he’s inside, he’s miserable and wants to be out. If he’s outside, he’s wet, muddy, hailed upon and miserable. Daft creatures, the lot of them.
Except for Gus, our Berkshire boar, that is. He has food, mud and girls so he’s more than content. As for me, I’m usually okay until the hail dribbles off the back of my Akubra and, despite the very broad brim, somehow finds its way down the back of my neck. Mud is fine. Rain is fine. Bog is acceptable. Hail pounding my hat and head is acceptable. Sleet is okay. Blizzards are okay. But I draw the line at ice melting its way down my back. Ugh. Time for that cuppa. What’s your line between working outside and retreating indoors?
Oh, and it’s just started raining again. Hard.