Thursday, 14 June 2018

The visit of the water......


..... the river water is on its way down, which is a good thing. A few hours ago the water almost reached our back gates. It was alarming to see how fast the water rose. It has never done that before, but we have had the wettest June on record so there is a lot of water about.


The Main Field and our woodland became one with the river yesterday afternoon, the field becoming totally covered in water which stretched across its width to the lane, shutting off access to the next village. 

We could hear the river roaring, and could hear it all night too, even when indoors. We can't hear it so much now, which means that the worst of the flood is now done with. 

Although the water came within a metre of the side of the house, our log pile and its blanket of weeds acted as a barrier to the water. It is a good job that we had not gone forward with the Sorting out the Wood Pile Project, otherwise the water would have closer to us that what it actually did. 

We live by the river, so of course we will have floods occasionally, we know that. And our house is on a rise so if our house did become flooded then everyone else would be in dire trouble. It is just that watching the brown water marching its way towards the house does imprint itself in the head, and it will take a while to get that picture out of the head.

So the house remains undamaged, but the Main Field has taken a battering. It cannot be grazed for a couple of weeks at least, which means that the cows and sheep will have to stay on the Side Field. The temperatures are on the rise, and there is no shade on that field, plus the grazing is not enough to  keep the sheep and cows fed for more that a day or two. Fortunately we might have some hay left over from the winter, although that might be soaked through by the rain. Hay is going to be expensive this year because of the wet weather, and most farmers seem to have cut for silage rather than hay because of the lack of dry weather to dry the cut grass. 

...... and the fences in the Main Field look like they have been damaged by the force of the river as it came across the field, with the fence posts having been pushed over, and the fencing wire scrumpled up.  That will take a time to fix, but will have to be done before the cows and sheep can use that field again. 

A friend stood on the bridge over the river yesterday, and said that he saw a large tree hurtling along in the torrent. It is most likely that it is one of our trees. We anticipate a lot of erosion of the woodland. Not to worry, it is as it is. 

Feeling tired, so best to start again fresh tomorrow. Lester is out milking the cows and I must attend to the washing up in the back kitchen, which seems to procreate itself..... it does not make babies but it does seem to make more of itself.

Singing tunelessly to myself.......'it's good to be a smallholder, it is, it is, it is.......' I put my pinny on and go fight the good fight with the washing up.

Vx

19 comments:

tilly said...

small consolation but you did not get flooded, so hard when animals need the fields for grass, I hope water levels soon go down and you have a better summer.. any size farming is a challenge ...
Tilly

Vera said...

TILLY, level waters are dropping fast, now we need to stay dry for a week or two so the fields can dry off. You are right about farming being a challenge, but it is a lifestyle which keeps us fit! Enjoy the sunshine (just read your blog)

DUTA said...

Your description of the "water's visit" is fascinating!! One immediately realizes that you're made of writer's stuff, no doubt about it.
I must admit I'm pessimistic about the climate. I think it's going to hit us hard in the upcoming years. So, people living near a body of water should perhaps have a plan B, if possible. The same applies to those living near a volcano, or other natural element that could get furious and cause damage.

Mama Pea said...

Ugh, so sorry to hear it will be a while before things return halfway to normal.

In situations like this it does absolutely no good to rile against it and become a Nasty Negative Nelly, so I admire your good attitude, Vera.

Do you journal your thoughts while getting through periods like this? I know our blogging counts for some of that but I find a year or so down the road, we won't remember what we went through during a period like you're having right now. I find getting my feelings (maybe more personal than I share on my blog) down on paper somehow makes me feel a bit better. Then when you reread your thoughts at a time in the future, it may help you get through other bumps in the road as they come along. (Does that make any sense?)

Toirdhealbheach Beucail said...

I imagine that would be very frightening.

Where you are, will the weather rapidly devolve back into summer or will it slowly move there? At this time of year for us, even if we have a cold front blow in, it is only for a day or two and the heat is right back.

Dawn McHugh said...

Glad you are alright flooding was something we had in mind when viewing and chose somewhere up a mountain away from watercourses, flooding seems on rise in so many areas. Hope your field dries out quickly.

Vera said...

DUTA, we were wondering if the weather this year was due to climate change, but if it is....then there is nothing we can do about it except cope! But this region is accustomed to flooding, so keep the ditches clear so that the flood water does not linger for weeks. As for Plan B, we don't have one, but all our animal housing, vegetable plots, and house are all higher than the flood plain level....

Vera said...

MAMA PEA, thanks for giving me the idea about keeping a private journal where I could write thoughts which are not appropriate for the blog.

Its a strange thing, but I feel more energy now that the weather has broken and the almost continuous rain has stopped. I think that wet weather has a detrimental effect on me!

I like the phase 'Nasty Negative Nelly' and will remember it for future use when I feel myself sinking into NNN mode when things are getting too much to cope with. Of course we can cope. We are smallholding / homesteading folk!

Vera said...

TOIRD.....BEUCAIL, we have up and down weather here. We are on the borders of Spain, and parallel to the Mediterranean and north of Italy, so our temperatures can get quite high, but we are also very close to the Pyrenees, which can make the pattern of temperatures fluctuate from cool to high within a few hours.

Today we are 13C to 18C, next Friday we are predicted to have 18C - 31C. The temps may or may not hold, or they may come down again. One thing for sure, though, is that is going to very humid because of amount of ground water around.

Vera said...

DAWN, we did not want to live in hilly country, and chose to live beside the river. I have always lived either beside the sea or by a river, and would feel something was lacking if I had no water nearby. All landscapes have their individual problems, so the possibility of flooding is one of ours, but we do have access to water for the smallholding and that was an important consideration when buying Labartere.

The water is dropping and our fields are now covered in river silt, which will act as good compost in the future!

minwks said...

Hi Vera, Re your last comment concerning the river silt. I was thinking the same as you described the water rising. No doubt it is a factor in the fertility of your fields.

I find my mood and energy lifts when the sun shines. Why, oh why we live in rainy BC when we are originally from Australia.

It would be nice if your unsettled weather would. ... settle! It will and soon things will be growing, the air will be soft and fragrant and all will be well!

Until then.
Regards Janine

Vera said...

MINWKS, I'm the same.....when the sun is shining then I seem to have energy and feel motivated to get things done, but when the weather is overcast and rainy then I feel like a deflated balloon!

We have had settled weather, Janine, .....rainy, cloudy, and windy! But I know what you mean, and the weather forecast says sunshine ahead, which will be really nice, even though the humidity will be high because of the large amount of surface water we still have.

You must miss the Australian sun. Lester, my partner, comes from South Africa, and he finds it hard to cope with rain, mud, and cold weather!

Rhodesia said...

I know that feeling well. We lived on the banks of the Hunyani River in Rhodesia and floods were quite scary though they only actually reached the steps of the front door once while we were there. The worst part for us was the crocodiles were a bit too close for comfort although it was always something we had to be careful over.
Take care, Diane

rusty duck said...

Oh gosh, I remember the last time this happened. Did the water get higher this time? I can understand how you feel about unremitting rain. When it has been like that here my mood deteriorates rather rapidly. I hope the weather is finally on the turn and the fields dry out!

Vera said...

DIANE, no crocodiles here fortunately, although there is a large dead fish been left by the water!

Vera said...

RUSTY DUCK (JESSICA), no, I don't think it got higher, but the water rose fast and was more forceful than what it has been in the past.

The weather has finally broken, thank goodness, and although it is still not particularly warm at least it is not raining, and the fields are drying out, although the erosion has been horrendous this time due to the force of the water. I still would not like to live anywhere else, though.

Vera said...

RUSTY DUCK (JESSICA), no, I don't think it got higher, but the water rose fast and was more forceful than what it has been in the past.

The weather has finally broken, thank goodness, and although it is still not particularly warm at least it is not raining, and the fields are drying out, although the erosion has been horrendous this time due to the force of the water. I still would not like to live anywhere else, though.

Coco said...

So sorry about the flooding. The weather this year has been crazy.

Finally getting some sun here. Next, I suppose I´ll be having to water. Sigh.

Best of luck with the clean up and repair.

Vera said...

COCO...... that's the downside of having sunshine, ...having to water the garden!

Clean up started, but still too wet underfoot to make repairs. Not to worry, it will get done. We are having to stay massively positive at the moment because of the amount of work produced by the months of rain and the subsequent flooding. But we are starting to catch up, which is good!