It has been many years since we have had a string of hot days without any rain and only the morning dew to keep the ground moist enough for the grass to remain green.
There are many farm jobs to do even in the heat of these days of an Irish summer.
Building a barrier to keep rams from battering each other through a gate. The Welchman and his visiting ewes on one side the other rams on the other.
Mowing under apple trees watching the fruit filling out
The rams wander in front of the the mower as I travel up and down the rows of apple trees.
Mowing under cherry trees has added advantages.
Some Cherries are not very healthy looking, almost like they have been burned.
The animals are all looking for the coolest spots inside and outside the house.
The heat is perfect for hanging laundry out to dry, the dogs try to assist but collapse in the shade.
A midday heat I run down to Cushendale Woollen Mills to check how the Zwartbles stock is going. Blankets seems to be moving even on a hot day, one is sold to some foreign land where a cold wind blows as we melt in this unIrish heat.
Roses perfume the heated air as you walk under their full sun lit blossoms.
The wonderful feeling of green dry warm grass under bare feet. Something I have not felt for a good few years.
For the sheep, only very early in the morning is it worth making the effort to browse tender ash leaves high above their heads.
Later in the day I bring fresh mineral licks which they all come galloping out of their deep shade for.
As the sun burns its way across the heavens like a chariot of fire in the sky, trees deep shadows weigh anchor floating, folding over the ripples of the land. Like a flock of shadow followers the black sheep move into the new contours of light and shade.
The neighbor mowing his hay, stirring the evening air with the rich aroma of fresh cut grass.
As the heat of the day fades into evening the sheep come out of their shadowed hedgerows to graze the cooling grasses.
I go out into the fields to count sheep and make sure all is well with the companionable company of Bodacious.
Finally the day is near done with the sun setting behind a sheep it is time for a glass of cool white wine in the garden.
After a long hot summers day there is nothing quite like a collender full of freshly picked sun warmed and ripened cherries.