Is the Earth in trouble?

It’s been brutally hot here in NC.  Way too hot for this time of year.  What was pretty and green is already turning brown.  Are we in for another summer like the last?  I hope not.  If we can get through today, the temperatures are going to start to go down and there is a chance of rain, albeit a small chance, for the rest of the week beginning on Tuesday.  Of course, that could all change in an hour.  I’m glad the farmers were able to get up some hay before it started to dry out.  It seems I spend a lot of time filling up water tubs and watering my garden.  I’m trying to be conservative about it.  The South Fork River is way down again.  I wonder if I’ll ever see it flood the back fields like it used to.

All the rain is in the mid-west where they don’t need any more; they don’t need all the tornadoes either.  Please send the rain here!  Please do what you can to help Mother Earth try to recover.  It seems I am more sensitive to climate changes than a lot of people are.  Things just are not right.  We’ve already had a power surge here at work.  I keep my thermostat set at 85 degrees or above at home in an effort to conserve energy.  I try not to use my air conditioning on my way into work (this morning I had to break down and turn it on halfway to work) and use cruise control and stay at 65 mph or lower.  We live in very, very scary times.

I have arranged to purchase four goats and will pick them up on Saturday.  I’m a bit hesitant to take them for fear of another drought and hay shortages, but if worst comes to worst, I can simply butcher them in the fall and get what meat off them I can.  Goat prices have come down considerably from when I first bought mine.  I paid $65/head for the seven I bought, which was a discount given I bought seven of them.  I’m paying $50 for the ones I’m getting this week, which is a bit higher than auction prices, but I know where they are coming from and how they were cared for.

I still have the three heifers.  I wonder if they’ve been gifted to me at this point.

I worked Gel a bit on Saturday, but it was too hot to work livestock.  I only did it so Gel could get some work in.  He’s now driving very well.  My back field hasn’t been cut yet so I had to travel quite a distance to get to a cut field to work.  The sheep do not hold up well in the heat.  Goats hold up better than sheep.  It doesn’t help that some of my sheep are still carrying too much hair.  Wally and I need to start culling out the sheep who do not shed out well in the warmer months.

Fern has a new calling: finder of wild kittens.  If we can catch them at four to five weeks old, there is a good chance I can tame them and find them homes.  The problem is finding them in the barns and out buildings up at Red’s.  I brought the dogs up on Saturday and while we were visiting, I saw Fern locked in on a kitten hiding under a piece of equipment.  Because of her stare, the kitten was frozen in place so I was able to reach down and grab her.  I came up with a growling, spitting, hissing fiend which I promptly plopped in a carrier.  Then we went up to the loft of the barn where I was told was some pretty calico with white kittens.  I brought Fern up with me.  The stairs going up to the loft are in a bad state of disrepair.  I lifted Fern up and put her on the stairs (the bottom three are unusable) and she quickly scrambled up to the loft and went in search of kittens.  I got up there and followed her and sure enough, she found the two kittens and I caught them.  I wouldn’t have found them on my own.  Maneuvering around the loft was treacherous, to say the least, but Fern had no trouble negotiating.  I wasn’t sure how we’d get her down the stairs though.  I call them stairs, but it was really a ladder.  After handing off the kittens, I called Fern down the stairs; she came without hesitation and allowed me to lift her down as the jump from the last viable step was too much for her.  I guess I did her early surface work well as Fern’s confidence negotiating through poor footing was astounding.

Unfortunately, now that I have the kittens in the house, Fern is still locked in on them.  She needs work.  Hang in there Fern, goats are coming.