Yesterday was a big day for me, and an exhausting one, too. As much as I dearly love the farm and all our animals, this heat and humidity is wearing me down, and wearing a beekeeper’s suit adds to the joy (!) and I’m thinking that I should figure out a way to add air conditioning to it and I’d make a million $$$ because beekeepers all across the South would be ordering the new AC suits from me.
Farmer Bob is still working his REAL job, and that takes him out of town for days on end during the week, and sometimes over a weekend, too, although not very often, thank goodness! On those days that he is gone, I don’t get too much done except just keeping up with farm work.
Yesterday, I had to tend to the honeybees here in our apiary at Fox Trot Farm. Beekeepers have so many challenges nowadays, just trying to keep their bees alive. Yesterday, I treated all the hives for varroa mites, which all hives have, and which will eventually kill the entire colony unless we beekeepers keep the mite load down. There are lots of different methods to do this, but do this we all must. (I sure wish I’d have been keeping bees before those darn mites came to this country!)
You might imagine that spending an hour in a beekeeper’s suit in the heat of the day left me and my clothes soaking wet, and it did, so I decided just to take my hot, wet self over to a friend’s farm to treat my honeybees over there, since I was already suited up. I called her on the way and told her that I’d see her another time….I didn’t want her to come out of her house to see me the way I must have looked and smelled, after having done all the morning farm chores AND worked in my “space suit” (one darling little visitor to the farm called my beekeeper’s suit that). My bees there looked good, and I treated them and fed them, packed up and came home.
Now, back to the title of this post and our country vet. He’s actually the husband of a friend of mine, and he works in a clinic a few days a week and then makes farm calls at all times of the day and night on other days. He’s wonderful with horses and animals of all kinds, and is wonderful with people, too. I remember the first time he had to put down our son’s pony. I held it together pretty good until he said a prayer over the pony’s body, and then I lost it entirely. Since then, he hasn’t done that anymore (maybe he saw how I reacted) but I’ve told him that nobody has seen me cry as much as he has, because he’s been to our farm too many times to do that last, loving act to release our horses and ponies from their failing earthly bodies.
Yesterday, Dr. Thames worked at the clinic in the morning, and then came to our farm at 4:30, practically the hottest time of day here. I watched him scrape skin samples, stick his gloved fingers into the back sides of sheep to get fecal samples, examine eyes and gums, and all the while he did everything with good humor and kind patience for the animals who didn’t want to cooperate, and my friend Amy and me, who struggled to move catch pen panels and hold animals. (I must admit that I wasn’t much help, as the heat had sucked all the energy out of me by that time and I felt weak as a newborn kitten. Thank goodness for Amy!)
I’m sure you can picture our country vet in his shorts and tall rubber boots, working out of his trusty vet’s farm truck with all its many tool boxes on the back and sides. He’s a farm girl’s hero and his service is greatly appreciated.
If you need a veterinarian to come to your farm, call Kent Thames. Here’s his website with contact information: Thames Veterinary Service.
Come see our sheep, dogs, cats, chickens, goats, and honeybees at Fox Trot Farm on Sundays from 1:00-5:00 p.m., which is our normal weekly market time here on the farm. While you’re here, stock up on our fresh eggs, honey, honey and beeswax soap, Pennsylvania Dutch style baked goods, quilted items, and more. We’re at 5066 Rowell RD, Lancaster, SC.
Oh, and by the way, our Rosie is pregnant! Yay! More to follow…..