We’re in the midst of a drought. It’s a particularly big deal for this agricultural center of the world. So when precipitation comes – in any form – it’s cause for celebration.
The animal menagerie on our farm doesn’t mind the rain one bit. The chickens love it because the worms come up. Everyone else finds semi-shelter under the canopy of a tree or under the run-in shelter built for this kind of day. No biggy.
Hail, however, has a more dramatic effect on our crew.
Yesterday, the clouds burst open and we were inundated with the first hail storm on our farm since we moved here a year ago. I’m talking heavy, pounding hail. Not golf balls….more like marbles. But thick and heavy for nearly an hour.
My husband and his buddy were out in the barn brewing beer, and had to shout to hear one another what with the pounding on the huge tin roof. They ran outside to gather a bucket of the stuff to throw in the freezer to provide proof of the event when I got home from work. The hail was forming drifts on the ground along the edge of the barn. We’re talking California here.
My daughter was inside marveling at the noise of the hail and the accompanying crashes of thunder as she sat warm and cozy in the living room.
Then all of a sudden, the door to the adjacent screened-in porch burst open and all of the animals….ALL of them (save the chickens)…poured onto the porch. A llama, a miniature horse, four goats, three cats and a dog. That’s 24 hooves on the wood floor (if you count the llama, who technically has toenails). Some climbed on the dining table and chairs, others cowered underneath. They jumped onto the daybed and the pair of papasan chairs. It was like a scene from Dr. Doolittle.
And what a cacophony. Bleating, meowing, barking, humming (the llama)…and pounding all around, re-arranging themselves and looking for a way into the house.
“We’re comin’ inside!” they seemed to insist. “You have no idea what’s goin’ on out here! Open UP!”
The nine new chicks in their little coop in the side yard started to shiver when the hail took out their heat lamp. So we gathered them up and put them in the bathtub. Our Labrador loved the improved accessibility to those chicks. He sat there with his beautiful, black head hanging over the edge of the tub, panting enthusiastically, and quaking with his efforts to be a Good Boy. Add some “Cheep! Cheep! Cheep!” x9 to the din.
The weather did pass in an hour. But WOW.
How un-nerved Noah must have been when the animals started to arrive…