The donkeys and I have spent a great deal of time recovering from the storms, and cleaning up. The fields are finally drying out. We didn’t have anything like the problems of Central Italy, of course, and please contribute to the emergency relief fund for stranded donkeys there (see previous blog post.)
It has been a time of taking stock, and after the severe weather there are now early signs of spring. The almond blossom is on the trees and there is the returning chatter of birds in the trees. I went down to the valley yesterday – taking a wide detour to avoid the landslide on my path down to the valley fields – and I found some pleasant surprises.
It is quite exciting now, as spring begins and I wait to see all the plants and trees begin the new season: my first spring here.
Today the new Poo Gate came into use. I have been waiting for the concrete to set since last week, as it has been a bit damp still. The small gate has been put into a gap cut into the perimeter fence: just enough space to pass the buckets full of donkey manure through and line them up against the side of the road, so I can drive them half a kilometre down the road to the farm that takes as much manure as I want to get rid of! Today I took the first load down to the farm. What used to take me half an hour, pushing barrows uphill to where the car was parked outside the house, is now a 10-minute job with minimal effort.
What manure remains here goes onto my kitchen garden, and I enjoyed some lovely broad beans for lunch today. The donkeys had the shells: well, three donkeys did… Aitana kept her usual aloof distance from all that emerges from my kitchen. So we have a healthy farming cycle: donkey manure helps the beans grow; I eat them and the donkeys eat the shells.
My daughter Alys, looking at the photo noticed how small Rubí is, compared with Morris and Matilde. She is in the middle in the photo. I really hadn’t noticed before but it is quite right. Morris is getting much bigger and Matilde is still growing. Rubí seems to have reached her full size.