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.