jeudi 10 juillet 2008

Heat, Hay and Flies

Summer seems at last to have arrived and I've been busy making hay in a field in the woods below the house. It belongs to Paul in the village, but he's happy for me to use it and store the hay in his barn nearby too. After the cool and wet May and June, the sudden heat has hatched just about every fly in the Ariege. It's worst down in the woods and so hay making has been hellish. I think the cut grass attracts the flies. It' bad enough that there are a million flies swarming around you, going in your eyes, up your nose, in your mouth, but most of them are clegg flies (a type of horse fly, the female of which is a voracious blood sucker) so you're being bitten too. There were a few massive horse flies (I've seen smaller birds - really scary) and some hornets too - so I decided to build a mesh hood for protection. I now look like a cross between Ned Kelly, the Elephant man and member of the Klu Klux Klan! But it does the job. It's a big field and it'll take three days to cut. So far I've cut 2/3rds, 1/3 is drying and 1/3 is in. Last stint of scything tomorrow. I start at 6.00 each morning but by 9.30 the grass is getting tough, the scythe needs peening and I'm knackered.

Managed to nearly cut my ring finger off at the first joint when I smacked it against the edge of corrugated iron roof. Saw the two bones, some tendons and cartiledge - thought it might need stitching. But instead I used some of the vet's "miracle spray" which worked wonders on the sheeps foot and it's done an equally miraculous job on my finger. Still quite sore and swollen but it fused back together in 24 hours and seems to be working as it should - though with some discomfort.

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