At last the byre is empty. The last of the cows have calved and the silage has virtually finished so the cows again can feel this year’s sun- and sometimes a few wintry showers- on their backs. The calves see the whole thing as an exciting game and charge around making the cows nervous but lifting the farmer's heart. Our friend Leif who farms in Seljord, Norway says that his Telemark dairy coos dance on the first day they get out of the winter byre http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FmfJqu5QFZk
For sure every farmer must feel good about happy livestock.
Lambing is well on and I am relieved to be keeping only native sheep which do the job themselves naturally. I have spent the last few weeks with a very sore back and whilst walking was ok the prospect of driving any machinery was not appreciated. Back pain is an occupational hazard and I have never met a medical practitioner yet who can do anything about it. The fierce early morning weather over the last month has caused sheep farmers here a great deal of strain and probably significant losses.
All the summer birds have now returned and seem to realise they must hurry up if they are to fulfil their natural urges. The prospects for the seabirds are apparently poor as they have failed to return to the sea cliffs in their usual numbers. No one can surely deny that, whatever the reason, weather patterns and natural movements of nature are changing in a way few can recall. These immense and unfathomable shifts in biodiversity leave one feeling incredibly small and insignificant.