Happy midsummer weekend to all and everyone!
We have reached the middle of what it's called the summer over here. As I write this, the rain starts pouring down once more. As it's a bit nippy too, it certainly does not feel like it's time for picnics and paddling.
So, we have been doing home chores all three days, dear husband and me. Our animals have been happy to help as best as they can. Ebba has been an all-round helper, sticking her nose into every project with catlike enthusiasm.
The hens have helped by roaming quite happily somewhere, trying to save the world all on their own. Monty also pops in to have a go at being the loudest cockerel in the county. He does this on our step, facing the house so we really can't miss his antics. The birds also take turns digging up my old flowerbed, so that's coming along a treat. Our lovely, kind sheep have helped by eating weeds, bushes and all other eatable greenery that we have been clearing away.
We lost one of our sweet hares to a big bird of prey. It was a sad moment for all of us and dear Ebba stands by the window, waiting for its return. It's heartbreaking to watch her, leaning against the window, tail slowly wagging and all she sees is blackbirds and seagulls. One nervy, jumpy hair is all we have got left. Poor Ebba. We have tried to tell her that once the babies grow up they tend to fly the nest or in our case, the apple tree but to no avail.
When we feel like lifting the spirit of this household we have the option of going to the hay barn. Not to role in the hay, I hasten to add, though that would be a very old school midsummer festivity... But sadly no; hay fever and shyness keeps us away from that kind of activity in the hay barn. Plus hay is surprisingly prickly.
We would feel shy, for seldom have so many eyes been monitoring the comings and goings in this particular barn. We now have more bats than ever sitting between the metal roof and the old, wooden plank roof. We can hear them beeping and squeaking in that high pitched voice of their species in the afternoons and then they start moving about. It sounds like small grains of sand pouring down along the roof and then a small head pops out from a hole in the old planks. Then more and more funny, fury faces turn up and there we are, they stare at us and we at them.
There is always some eager soul that leans just a tad too far out to get a good look at us and then has to fly around the barn for a while. Bats have bad eyesight, so it's understandable that some leaning is required and maybe we smell funny to them. We stand and admire the flyby and then sneak out of there. (I say we but mostly it's me, as dear husband does useful things around here).
Bats make an unholy mess in the barn and probably drive the resident squirrels up the wall, but there they are and we are pleased to have them. They eat flies and other bugs, so that's a help to our sheep and it is lovely to watch them fly, in the evenings. We also have bats up in the attic, so it's safe to say that we have gone completely batty! Still, better batty than ratty.
It's that time of the year when whatever we do, we're surrounded by animals. That's what you get for having them roaming and pruning all and everything. The elk and her two babies stay around our place and why not - the more the merrier as my dear sister would say. Dear husband sighs "There goes the donkey derby, again" when our funny sheep run past our front door.
As we worked through our list of chores, we realised that this has probably not been the traditional way of celebrating midsummer, but it's been a good way. Visiting loved ones and working together, getting things done and having a few laughs on the way. I always have a few meltdowns on the way, mostly due to the chilly weather, but dear husband just tries to ignore me as best as he can. Ebba laughs for both of us so that evens it out. Once I get some more food I'm back... (Come to think about it, I am a bit ratty, too...).
Our hedgehog project has come as far as me signing us up as potential carers if there are some prickly friends without a home. It would do wonders to this place, to have a population of snuffling, snake eaters bumbling about. Ebba would probably disagree or not, come to think of it. More entertainment for our dear dog. All we can do is wait and see...
Darya is working hard and will have to take a break from creating her lovely art for us. This blog will not be the same with only photos and our kind friend will be missed.
Have a good week and enjoy the warm weather, wherever it is hiding at the moment. Mindy, Mandy, Molly and My are happy with our cool, animal friendly summer. Ebba is not complaining, either and is telling me to get a grip and dig out the old winter coat. Take care!
A blog about a small holding in Southern Finland. Each original story is accompanied by a stunning watercolour illustration or resplendent photographs.