Rain

“In that way you will be acting as true sons of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust, too.” (Matthew 5:45)

Rain. Rain. RAIN.

I’m not usually one to bemoan something so vitally important as rain. Considering the West Coast has been experiencing drought conditions over the last couple of years (or maybe longer…), I suppose I shouldn’t mind over much. My well is getting a thorough replenishing and the rhubarb, at least, in enjoying the good soaking. The seeds I planted last week are also getting a good soaking. We should have a decent crop…if the sun will also shine on occasion. Too much of anything–even something so good as rain–is never a good thing. Moderation.

While my garden is getting a good drink, the barnyard is a oozing with about two inches of mud and muck. The chickens lift one foot high and gingerly set it down again whenever they near the barn as the mud and muck seem to be worse there. My own Wellington-clad feet are doing the “Squee–elshhh–pop” thing again as I sink into those two inches of mud, trudging out to the barn with feed and hay and water. The mud seeks to keep me there, tugging and sucking on the souls of my boots until I finally tug free with that unmistakable “pop” in an endless tug-o-war. The goats are going to need a good hoof trimming soon; wet ground is never good for goat hooves. And I’m praying none of them get any foot rot from it. We’ve been battling worms; that’s enough. Only the ducks seem unfazed by it, quacking happily and splashing about in the river running through the very back corner of the barnyard. I’ve taken to placing boards down in front of the both the goat barn and along the pathway to the hen house so my poor babies have someplace relatively dry to place their toes.

I am grateful the forecast over the next few days is calling for warm temperatures and, finally, sunshine. All this rain brought a more ominous threat Tuesday when I went to the feed store: No More Hay. The local farmer who supplies them can’t get his hay cut and baled. If it doesn’t dry up soon, he’ll lose the whole crop. There was definitely worry etched across the store-owner’s face. She’s a woman after my own heart though. Sometimes bale straps break; she has her workers sweep them into large lawn bags and sells them for $3 per bag. I bought six out of the 8 she had left. My goats and rabbits will eat it well enough but there’s a lot of small, crumbly pieces of hay in it, chaff that they’ve also swept up and saved. It doesn’t stretch as far. She also carries a product called Chaffhaye, which is a bag of fermented hay. It is very good for their digestion but it is also fattening so, if I must eventually resort to using it (the animals love it!), I will have to modify how much I give to them. However, as Domino lost a bit of weight from the worms, it won’t hurt him if he does eat a bit more than usual.

Not having hay has me in a bit of a panic. My animals need to eat. What if this farmer can’t get his hay in? There are already contingency plans to call the local Agway and see if they have any…and how many bales I will need to purchase for them to make the delivery. They are the only feed place in the area that I know of that will deliver. (Sometimes not having a vehicle really sucks…) You see, the local feed place, while good folks and I will keep supporting the local business as much as I can, do not have an arsenal of resources for their hay. They run out a lot. Agway, on the other hand, has a host of sources so I’m going to call today. If nothing else, I can get a small stock in for winter.

Of course, looking out my window at the severely overgrown lawn–what’s left of it–I’m thinking I might be able to make some hay of my own in a few days. Here’s to looking at the bright side of things…literally and figuratively.

May God bless you & keep you!

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