Lots of Rain…and Celebratory Flames

Well, they promised us “a significant period of of a lot of rain” and the experts weren’t wrong. What started Friday afternoon as I typed last week’s blog, didn’t really let up until Monday afternoon, with rainfall here in Darfield to be at anything from 200-280mm. Down the road, there are people who have lost their houses, great chunks of paddocks have been scoured, livestock lost, and a huge amount of winter feed has floated away or been choked by mud and debris. The Homestead was just so very lucky. Our little patch of land seemed to soak up everything the sky chucked at it until it could take no more, and then the water very politely exited through the gates to join the stream along our front verge, racing from Darfield direction towards the Hawkins River ford about 2 km sou-west. Our stock found places they were happy to hunker down in and we all, as a group, waited it out. All those I have chatted to since – the longtime residents, the born-here-die-here folk – say they have never seen rain like it; let’s hope we don’t again.

For us, as soon as the rain stopped the water dropped so the rest of the week was business as usual.

Farm Girl enjoyed her two horse riding lessons in the almost sunshine, although “spooky puddles” may have been blamed for her unscheduled dismount during her Wednesday lesson. Never mind, the water made for a soft landing…and a soggy 55 km drive home. As I had called in for my first Covid vaccination (allowable as The Farmer is a border worker) enroute, I am ashamed to say my reaction to her tumble was not as sympathetic as my family would rightfully expect. Although the jab left me feeling a little achy and tired, my over riding reaction was feeling like I was observing life through a rather grubby window…and that’s why I laughed *blush*.

A message from Marilyn the Goat’s temporary landlord regarding the depth of water and lack of grass peeking above it at Rupert’s Retreat, gave us cause to rethink her Homestead return date. On Friday, one week early, we loaded the wagon with hay (and a human treat or two) and trundled out to retrieve our number one goat.

There’s nothing our feisty Marilyn enjoys more than a jaunt in The Farmer’s pride and joy with it’s goat-eye level windows and wall-to-wall haybales (while still leaving plenty for her beau). She’s now settling back into paddock life, mostly tolerating the Homestead humans eyeing her up playing the is-she-or-isn’t-she game and touchingly happy to be back among her kinfolk again.

With recent happenings including Marilyn’s return, the departure of my covid-jab fug, our Monarch’s official birthday, and everything being utterly sodden (thus not a jot flammable), we felt the time was right for the inaugural Firepit Celebration.

As Farm Girl had masterminded turning the circular garden into a fairy grotto and oversaw the catering, it seemed only right she be the one to ceremoniously start proceedings.

Though there were no renditions of kum ba yah, there was plenty of stories, smoke, ‘smores, and silliness.

A proper Homestead celebration; the first of many.

14 thoughts on “Lots of Rain…and Celebratory Flames

  1. Well, you may not have floated away but you definitely got enough of that rain in my view…so glad nothing disasterous happened and all homestead creatures including humans were ok. I saw footage of the Ashburton area and I’d say you did very well indeed by comparison. Congrats on getting your first jab – when does the rest of the family get theirs besides Farmer? We’ve all had our first jab, even our 23 year old. Hubby’s brother in law, the oldest of us, is booked for his secod one – it goes by age here. Love the fire pit and a great inaugural conflagration. The first of many!

    • We came out of this weather event so well in comparison to so many. The ckean up is immense. The Bean Counter gets his jab this week, our Resident Engineer the week after, when I get my second. Here they have identified need and vaccinate accordingly…it seems to be vocation based. The general roll out is in July.
      The fire pit was great fun!

  2. The rain must have been very worrying while it was going. I hope that you never get such a downpour again but I wouldn’t bet on it. We keep getting ‘once in hundred year’ floods in the UK all the time now.

    The fire pit looks fun.

  3. That’s a lot of rain our little town & surrounds have not long gone through the same, it’s horrendous to see homes destroyed & livestock, so glad your farm stood the test.
    I was often asked how I stayed so calm whenever my son was tossed from his horse, it’s the nature of the sport if they want to ride they have to learn to fall, gotta love a good puddle to fall in though, lol. A common saying is “you can’t call yourself a horse rider if you haven’t fallen”. 1st class travel for 1st class goat too cute. Love the fairy grotto firepit initiation perfect fun.

    • This was only FGs second fall altho she has had plenty of near misses. She was told after her first that it takes 100 falls to make a good rider…I guess she has 98 to go šŸ¤£

      • Let her know the 100 falls are not expected to be achieved all in the first year or two…it’s perfectly acceptable to spread them out over time, lol. I think the bulk of mine happened a few years into riding – I started going further, faster and higher with a certain misplaced confidence that I was a better rider than I really was, It helped my score but taught me some humility. Many years later I really was more competent and came off only rarely.

  4. I’m glad you managed to weather the storm with minimal discomfort: extreme weather seems to becoming more common. Poor Farm Girl! I hope she wasn’t too bruised. The fire-pit celebration seems to have been a hit!

  5. Thanks, Clare, we are very pleased with our piece of the planet right now. FG found the muddy water quite a soft landing but her ribs were s bit tender for a while. The fire pit was fun; as we have pretty strong fire restrictions it is a winter only pastime but that makes it even more welcome and stops the temptation to hibernatešŸ˜Š.

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