Wednesday, 14 July 2010

The Weather.

Rain at last - half an inch overnight, which is a great relief (albeit temporary unless there is more) to the farmers around here. Yesterday morning my farmer and our neighbouring farmer spent the morning digging out the beck and removing layers of water crowfoot in an effort to get the water flowing faster. Our neighbour's stretch of the beck had completely run dry and he has a suckler herd and bull in the field - they were desperate for water. Nobody around here can remember the beck being so low.
Now at 9am the fog and low cloud have lifted and the sun is shining - such are the vagiaries of the English weather - 'three hot days and a thunderstorm' as they say.
Although this time the hot spell has disappeared gradually without great dramatic crashings and flashings.
In 1955 on this day (says Paul Simons in today's Times) there was the most horrendous thunderstorm at the Royal Ascot Race Meeting. Crowds rushed for cover when it started and racegoers were trampled underfoot. Some were lifted off their feet by a surge of electrical current and a bolt of lightning soared over the top of the grandstand and hit a fence. There were 48 hospitalised casualties of which two died and on that same day a total of seven people were killed across England by lightning.
So, thinking about that I am pleased to report a gentle lessening of hot weather here, but I do hope that the hot weather returns as the farmer still has plenty of haymaking to complete - luckily he has no grass down at present.
Our neighbouring dairy farmer, who has a Holstein herd, has taken his best stock to The Great Yorkshire Show, which opened in Harrogate yesterday and has so far won several first prizes - so well done to him! When he returns I will try to take a photograph of one of his prize winners. As a breed the Holstein is a bony creature and not very beautiful I am afraid - but boy do they give a good milk yield. So watch this space for a photo call.

16 comments:

Heather said...

Glad you have some 'useful' rain at last Pat - we are getting it too. I'm quite pleased I can't do any gardening at present as I worked myself to a standstill last week, then we had very high humidity. I am still recovering before my next onslaught on the garden. Congratulations to your neighbour with the prize winning Holstein. A just reward for all his care.

Poet in Residence said...

I'm really glad you've got some much needed rain. During periods of drought farmers with livestock can have serious problems. For the rest of us it normally means that the local car wash is not working or there's a hosepipe ban and we have to resort to picking up a watering can to attend to our flowers. When you think about it we do seem to waste an awful lot of water on silly things. The heatwave continues in Austria - 35°c nearly every day and afternoon thunderstorms, sometimes with hailstones which of course can ruin crops. No Austrian farmer can afford to be without hailstone insurance! Even in summer. Especially in summer.

Reader Wil said...

Rain is also welcome here! There is not the slightest bit of wind and it's extremely dry and there's a thunderstorm brewing. The weather here is exactly like the British weather. The temperature is between 30 and 38 C and it's humid.

George said...

It seems that we are all suffering from extreme heat and a lack of rain, though we have finally had a few showers in the last day or so here in my corner of the U.S. The only benefit of a drought is that it focuses one's attention on what is really important in life. I don't know much about Holsteins, but I'm sure I will be enlightened when I see the photos of your neighbor's prized cow.

Tramp said...

As "Poet in Residence" in Austria, here in the Czech Republic the temperatures have been in the mid 30s. Many people think of this country as Eastern Europe whereas it is very much Central Europe, just from 1948 to 1989 the concept of Central Europe disappeared and politically countries were either "East" or "West".
We have had a couple of showers of rain at night which have soon steamed off. Being so far away the sea, the storms, when they come, tend to be quite dramatic. Statistically (sorry to be boring), although there are more wet days in the south of the UK in July and August, there are the only months when there is more rainfall here.
...Tramp

Elisabeth said...

We have rain today too, Weaver and our dams are now up to 34% of their capacity compared with some 27% this time last year.

I imagine your dams are a good deal fuller. Enjoy the warmth.

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

Ah, a night of rain sounds wonderful! We are simply praying for a passing thunderstorm here. Anything to break the deadly monotony of this incredible heat. Don't tell me climate change isn't real!

Bovey Belle said...

We have had some cloudbursts here today and a short thunderstorm at teatime. We have had a week of unsettled weather now, but at least I don't have to water round the entire garden (just under the makeshift greenhouse).

Well done to your neighbour with the Holstein(s). I like Jerseys myself - such doe eyes they have.

I hope you get a decent crop of hay now.

We are now officially on the market - but the work continues!

Arija said...

How nice for your neighbour, please add my congratulations to yours. It is always a thrill to win ribbons at the shows. What the Holsteins produce is quantity, but for quality I still prefer a Jersey, smaller, much better looking yet with a much higher milk fat content and nuttier flavoured milk.
We just had an inch of rain in 24 hrs. We need at least 4" continuous rain before the country starts running and filling our dams.

Granny Sue said...

It seems that your weather has mirrored ours these last few dry weeks. What a relief to see rain. My gardens are almost sobbing with happiness.

Midlife Jobhunter said...

We've had much rain this year. Last year, such drought. I don't think I've ever seen it this green in July. Usually very brown by now.

Holsteins - where I grew up in Minnesota, lots of Holsteins. Lots of milk.

Bernie said...

I have awarded you the Blog of Substance award. I hope you will be pleased to receive it. I think your posts are always thought provoking and full of things to see and hear and I felt you really deserved it.

Bernie said...

The award should read A Blog With Substance not of.
Sorry about that.

ChrisJ said...

My goodness! I was barely a teen when I went to the Great Yorkshire Show in Harrogate. The thing I remember the most is all the tractors.

The Weaver of Grass said...

It looks as though the weather is unsettled everywhere - I did read about the effects of ElNino - perhaps that has something to do with it.
Thanks for the comments.

Hildred and Charles said...

Well, here we have had a few days of summer and fairly hot weather, but on the whole it has been the coolest of springs and summers for a long, long while.

I can remember picking apricots when we were in the midst of farming and the temperature was 110F, and the year it didn't rain from April to October, but those particular 'climate warming' years passed and the weather returned to what we consider normal. We are so vulnerable to a whole bag of outside influences and I think eventually we just accept what comes! Glad of your rain and water for the stock and the beck.