Farmers desperate for rain says Anne-Marie Hamilton

The harvest was early this year due to the blistering heat.

The harvest was early this year due to the blistering heat. - Credit: ANNE MARIE HAMILTON

Rob was looking ruefully through the window at the only rain shower that we had seen for weeks and was feeling cross with himself for breaking his golden rule of never trying to make hay in the first week of the tennis tournament, as it always rains.

In fact, he had mixed feelings this time round, as we have been absolutely desperate for rain for weeks now. The crops are dying from lack of moisture, rather than ripening, and harvest is already underway as local farmers are trying to rescue what they can as the blistering sun is harming the quality of the harvest this year.

All the usual pundits who have been trying to talk the price down as usual by forecasting “bumper crops,” are starting to look a little foolish, as the reality of lower yields than normal is beginning to bite.

The holiday sheep have left Wood Farm early this summer as the grass in the paddocks dried up in the drought conditions and, although it is probably the easiest hay-making season that we have had for many years, the yield of grass is well down and there is likely to be a shortage this winter.

The humidity was hard to cope with, particularly at night, when it was far too hot to sleep, and the only creatures that I have seen enjoying the hot weather are the buzzards who love riding the thermals.

It is great fun to watch them. They are such big birds, and to see them rising higher and higher in the sky without flapping their wings at all, as the thermals carry them aloft, is very entertaining.

I experienced my own ‘riding a thermal’ recently while helping out on a fishing day for the Dreamdrops Children’s Charity.

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Standing beside one of the lakes, a gust of hot wind snatched the sun hat off my head, and we all looked on in amazement as it soared higher and higher, tumbling and tossing in the thermals until it was a mere dot in the sky.

I honestly thought that I would never see it again and was astonished when, after several minutes, it blew back towards where I was standing and dropped to the ground. I am now wondering if anyone has reported spotting a UFO over Pidley!