There’s an old saying which goes: “If you don’t like the weather just wait five minutes or drive five miles”, but I’m beginning to think the clock which Irish weather is working off has run out of batteries.

On the other hand, it could be solar-powered, which would explain why it has been stuck on the rain setting for most of the previous month.

Driving five miles when looking for a dry field would also be a challenge, as Leitrim land is not known for solid ground underfoot.

It can be exasperating working with wet land, especially when you can see cattle being turned out in drier areas of Ireland.

Believe me, we’d love to have a few stock out, but I know we’d end up with calves getting a chill in the persistent damp weather we’re currently contending with.

Luckily, we plan for a long winter and our fodder stocks should see us through although it’s much nicer to see cattle let outdoors after calving instead of remaining stuck in a pen.

One thing that I’ve noticed cropping up a lot more in recent years is the level of patience required these days if your main content on social media has to do with farming.

Trying to explain different land types and farming systems to folks who may have never even set foot on a farm in their lives requires a level of patience I don’t think I’ll ever reach unless I give up farming and become a yoga instructor on some far flung island.


For every question about why the cattle are indoors, there’s someone else saying they should be taken in out of the rain.

However, social media also provides a huge resource for farmers with thousands of people sharing helpful tips, insights and experiences which can be accessed at the press of a button.

And it’s certainly useful for keeping one entertained when you’re watching a cow dancing around a pen with only faint notions of calving in the next hour or two.

Sheep farming also seems to be having a tough time of it right now. Most sheep farmers are in the middle of lambing season, with no imminent dry spell forecast in the weather to let out the new arrivals.

While my experience in sheep is mostly limited to recipes, we learned I was never going to have what it takes to own sheep as I pelted after two ewes and lambs on the outskirts of a local town recently.

I’m never one to leave an animal on the road where it could cause an accident and thus I discovered fairly promptly that cattle body language does not transfer over to working with sheep.

One ewe headed straight for an oncoming car and the other decided that the graveyard wall was the perfect spot to try her hooves at a bit of hurdling.

With a bit of vocal persuasion and luck, they were eventually persuaded to go into a nearby field and fingers crossed that the owner found them in the end.

Nonetheless, it has not encouraged me to branch out into ovine farming, despite being told they’re easy to get into, it appears the sheep have just as much ease in getting out of farming by their own volition.