The cows have been spending more time than they should inside the shed, thanks to all the rain we have had and now to avoid flies. The bedding was saturated and I really needed help to clean it all out - my back can only shovel poop for a short while and I was losing ground.
Happily, Bethany and Brendan were up for the task. They even finished up the job after I ended (I encouraged them to stop!) and went on to finish trellising the tomatoes. We were all very grimy and drenched in sweat after this job. But those two seem to relish the less glamorous aspects of farming as much as the more genteel bread-baking and cheese-making tasks.
I worried about the livestock in this heat all day, even putting the sprinkler on for the cows this afternoon, but they did not elect to run through it. Tonight when the chickens went into the coop they were panting heavily, so I put a box fan on inside. I hauled the broody hen who never comes out of the nesting bucket out and made her drink a sip of water, but she would not eat anything and went straight back to her nest (which has no eggs because we collect them every day.) It's got to be so hot in that bucket!
Tomorrow is forecast to be another wilting day... a lovely day for baking 52 loaves of bread in a wood-fired oven!