The end of April rained away, our lawns were so water logged we could have started a swimming school for hens. Our lovely sheep did their usual plodding along, wearing their damp woolly jumpers with grim expressions on their, otherwise, sweet faces. They spent time indoors when the rain turned Monsoon-like as they can't abide getting soaked. Understandable as it takes forever for them to dry. It will be shearing time next week and they cannot wait!
Monty turned up one evening after one of his ramblings, soaking wet and trailing his tail feathers along in the sand. It looked very sad but he was happy as Larry, telling me all about his day. Monty is an old Finnish hen breed, the same as all his lady friends. We can now officially register our feathery lot as a gene bank for this old "Alhon kanta" breed. (That's the name in Finnish.) As I have told before, their hen ancestors date back to the Bronze Age and they are a no fuss gang. A little rain can't stop Monty and his ladies and when faced with a puddle, they wade through. As a whole, our hens can take all kinds of weather but they do enjoy a warmish stable during the winter months. As they say "don't we all?!”
We still have to wait some days for our new chicks to arrive. Suggestions for good names are very welcome, as my mind has gone a bit blank, on that front. The other piece of good news is, that we are getting two lambs and their mother to stay with us. The lambs are the most beautiful animals, sporting a mixture of black and white, like someone splattered them with a paintbrush. They also have black circles around their eyes, so they might be super heroes. Time will tell... The twins will spend the summer with their mother and hopefully grow big and strong from milk, grass and fresh air. Mindy, Mandy, Molly and My will get the shock of their life and we will take it from there. One lamb will be called Milly and the other one will probably be called Maja. The difference between the twins so far is a small black spot on Milly's nose. Let's hope all goes well and that we can send their mother home later in the year and that the youngsters can stay with us forever and ever.
All this rain has made the grass grow even faster so our sheep are now the size of small Beetle cars. Molly has started speaking with a dark, rumbling voice and My is very jumpy and wild. Spring affects everyone, somehow. Mindy continues to sounds like a foghorn and Mandy goes the opposite way and never speaks out loud. Thankfully her expressions speak volumes, so we know what she thinks, most of the time.
The family's of white wagtails have returned to us and are spending their time around the animals; hanging out with the hens and feeding near the sheep. They are friends helping each other out and benefitting nicely in the process. The month of May is a bit magical, the way everything comes together. I guess we are still living in Easter time, so to speak. New beginnings, new life... Whatever it is, we cannot complain, especially today, as the sun came out this morning and everything is misty and hopefully starting to dry up, a smidgen. The swallows that build their nest in the garage arrived yesterday and come July, the car has to be parked outside. Bird droppings on a car are not good. We love our swallows and it's always heartwarming when they return.
Just read about the Lincoln Longwool sheep in this month’s County Living magazine. It's one of the many sheep listed on Britain's rear breed list and it looks brilliant. Next time when Molly complains about her coat of wool I will show her a picture of a Longwool. To have a jumper made of that wool.... Will stick to supporting our local farmers though, but one can dream, can't one?! Molly tells me one can get a grip and come out and feed them some nice bread. So I will do just that. It is sunny, after all. Be well and happy May to everyone.
A blog about a small holding in Southern Finland. Each original story is accompanied by a stunning watercolour illustration or resplendent photographs.