Monday, 16 July 2012

Changing times & Jacob goes juvenile

Flipping Jacob has been head butting again. The back of Lester's legs and the planks of the Sheep Arbre, both have been subjected to being rammed. So why is this? Why would our sweet little Jacob ram, who all the local farmers thought was too small to manage to get up on to the backs of our ewes to procreate, managed this task efficiently enough to father twenty lambs last spring, doing this task with docility, dignity, and quietness. So what has happened in that head of his, because he has started to be quite obnoxious lately. Prancing about on his tiptoes, showing off, pushing the ewes around, picking fights with the fencing poles which yesterday morning graduated up to fighting the sheep arbre itself and the backs of Lester's legs. Fortunately only two planks were partly dislodged, and Lester's legs can still be walked on although are bruised. So what has happened to our sweet little ram. 

He has become a monster, that's what. And it occurred to me that perhaps he was going through a juvenile delinquent stage, the same as Max, our Tamworth boar, did last year, when Hubs was nearly going to chuck him into the freezer such was his exasperation with Max's behaviour. An Internet search threw up the info that boars can go through this time of exaggerated bad behaviour, that it is something to do with a stage in their development, the juvenile stage. So, hopefully Jacob will grow out of this naughty stage. Max calmed down once Hubs showed him who was boss. Hubs said he would have to do the same with Jacob.

Could do with some rain here. None for ages, apart from tinsy showers whose rain drops have dried even before they have hit the ground. Very hot here today, so up early to get as much done outside as poss. Then indoors until it cools down. Not complaining though. Love the sunshine, and always feel more energetic when the sun shines even if it is baking hot. But the light has changed. It happened yesterday. Suddenly the light had a colder look to it. You notice these things when you are outside for a lot of the day. Winter is on its way. The changed light says that it is so. But then early winter will throw up a day when the light changes, and that will be springtime on its way. It is a most definite change. It is the changing of the seasons ahead of the time for those seasons to change. For the change of light in early winter, it gives us energy to prepare for the coming spring.  For the change of light now, well it tells us to get ready for the coming winter. It even inspired Lester to think about getting the winter wood sorted out. He didn't make a start though, but at least the task was in his head.

Off to the kitchen now. Beans to freeze, apricot jam to make (probably one pot only as the crop is very small this year due to the rough weather which was raging over the heads of the apricot trees when they were in flower earlier on this year), DIY orange squash to make, break to make, cake to make, lunch to make, mint to tie up and dry, etc. Could do with two of me, but I don't think anyone could cope with having a Vera One and a Vera Two around! Actually could do with a Vera Three as well, and that one could go out and scythe the fields, while Vera Two did general domestic duties, and Vera One could do the farm work. Ah well, the joys of running a smallholding!!! But I am definitely not doing a moan. I would rather be busy than bored.

.....and have just ordered a new scythe, one that should cut grass and hay. Will let you know how I get on. It is an Austrian scythe. At the moment we are cutting everything with a bush scythe, and truth to tell, it does do a good job. From brambles to 'heavy' grass it works well, but fine grass and hay grass it does not. I wanted an 85cm blade  but the man said no, that he would only sell me a 70cm blade. Wielding the 40cm bush blade out on the fields this morning, I think that perhaps he intuitively knew that I would be safer with the shorter length of blade! It's when one gets tired and the rhythm slips out that one must be careful of where that blade is going. Oh not when one is scything mode but when one is carrying, or sharpening, the scythe. Should be here the beginning of August. Will look forward to its arrival. Meanwhile I shall continue to practice with the scythe we have already.

Off I must go now, so bye for now. x


Food, Fun and Life in the Charente said...

Ooops I hope Jacob soon out grows this delinquent stage, I would hate to know he has made it to the freezer after all the good work he did last year :)

We have had too much rain we now need some rain. As for freezing and bottling I have got nothing to do yet this year. The beans are only flowering, the first courgettes will be ready very soon, the tomatoes are still either in flower of very green, as for peppers or chillies I wonder if we will get any this year after being overrun with them last year.

The hazel nuts are looking good but something is eating them! The potatoes and onions are good and the chard is just fine.

Have a great week Diane

Vera said...

Hi Diane, our tomatoes are slow as well but then we put them in late, no chillies or peppers though as seedlings died because we forgot to water them!

Food, Fun and Life in the Charente said...

I am glad that I am not the only one without tomatoes. Mine also went in late because of our trip to the UK in May. D

Vera said...

Diane, some of ours are only half way up the canes, and others are still deciding whether or not they want to carry on growing. Lost the onions because they got overgrown with weeds and I couldn't find them amongst the foliage! Ah well, perhaps next year we will be better organised!

DUTA said...

May Jacob soon overcome his juvenile period!
Good Luck with the beans' freezing and the making of jam, bread, cake, lunch!
Enjoy your new scythe!