I fed the critters this morning early and let the sheep and goats out to the pasture. Then I began the arduous task of porting out the tons of bedding from the bed and breakfast, which is closed as of May 1st, due to the downturn in the oil industry and resultant mass migration of people in this area. Services were second to go, for you can't run and bed and breakfast without the patrons. The bed and breakfast was up and moving for three good years and it was a business I enjoyed immensely, meeting new folks from all walks of life and places in the world. What a better thing to do than to entertain the people in the comfort of a beautiful home. I also had a food service permit, which allowed me to cook and bake and serve all meals and sell the baking too.
Back the the thunderstorms. The dogs have a keen sense of order for their farm. The one thing that challenges that sense is thunder, loud, riotous frightening thunder. They run for me to protect them. Currently there are two big dogs and one medium one in the porch, the livestock guardians that normally would not back down from a wild animal twice their size, and two border collies in the house, one hiding under the kitchen table and the other hiding in her kennel. The other three livestock guardian dogs are out with the sheep and goats, wherever they are. They are moving further and further into the bush these days as they get bolder and eat up the good treats and long grass on ther fringes.
This storm came very quickly. From the blue sky, suddenly there was an ominous darkening and the wind escalated in its timbre. I felt the rain coming using my keen sixth sense, or at least that is what I told myself, so I quickly got some big black bags and began stuffing the sheets, comforters, pillows, towels and other bedding into the bags and tossing them into the farm store. I watched the sky and in a mere 17 minutes or so, the sky was grey and the thunder was closer. The dogs already were at my heels, looking to me for their protection from the impending danger they percieved.
I got the bedding in and thought I had time to run to the end of the driveway to retreive the signs. The driveway is 750 feet one way uphill, though I swear sometimes it is uphill both ways. Jogging and jiggling, I trotted as fast as my fleshy thighs would carry me, dogs at heel, and managed to get the signs off the road, then high tailed it back. The rain started just as I turned for home, of course, but it was light enough that I was not soaked. A huge clap of thunder sent Jenna under the bench and Ofcharka and Harley nearly ran me over trying to get into the porch first. Robbie and Sofi were already inside.
I just sat down and realized I had not covered the turkeys. They are too dumb to get out of the rain themselves, so I donned a jacket and by this time, the rain was so profuse, I could barely see across the yard. Because we have had so much rain, puddles were already ankle deep and I was wearing Crocs of course. A farmer must do what a farmer must do, soaking feet or not, so I managed to get the turkeys covered, the tarp secured over the grain and snuck in to grab some yogurt as I was down for the count to wait out the storm. I left that house for my little farmhouse and was looking at the rams when a lightning bolt lit up the sky about 25 yards from me in the empty field. The rams had taken shelter, thank goodness. I felt the shock of the impact of the lightning striking the earth and looked for smoke or flames, but saw nothing. I was thanking my lucky stars for rubber shoes, wet feet or not. Pink Crocs, I love you.
The dogs were hiding, Robbie still under the table and Sofi in her crate, the others in corners of the porch. I have to love these flash storms though, because as I am finishing writing this, the sun has already come out and is shiny through the last rain drops. Now, I can go get the sheep and goats without the deluge, only I will wear rubber boots, this time. The kids and lambs do not much like the rain and they had not made it back home by the time the big storm was upon them. I bet they are happy to see the sun.
And that, my friends, is what a thunderstorm is like on the Alberta prairie. Want to join me for the next one?