After days of getting greasy up to the elbows and rolling around on the damp ground underneath the seed drill, Tim finished his repairing and restoring job and the seed drill was ready to be pulled into the field. Meanwhile, I had been working with the horses as a team, getting them used to the pole between them, trying them out on the much smaller and lighter potato digger - so we were all more or less prepared for the big moment!
For the special occasion, the sky cleared and the sun shone - for the first time in weeks - which made verything so much more pleasant.
But oh dear, the seed drill is pretty wide, and our gateways are only just big enough for it to fit through, with half a foot spare room on each side. However, after some manouvering we ended up all in one piece in the field. The horses pulled the drill no problem, even with the coulters in the ground, they managed the tight turns at the end of the field with no difficulty, and if the sun hadn't set by then we would have been ready to put the seed in....we should have, because it is raining again now, and the field transformed back from temporary just about manageable dampness to slippery lumpy mud.
We really hope for a drier spell in the next week or so, otherwise it'll get too late to plant the seed altogether, which would be a shame after all these preparations! Anyhow, we'll see...
Our logging demonstration at the Open Day of the Irish Natural Forestry Foundation (INFF) on the first Sunday in October was rather damp and grey - but nevertheless stirred much interest amongst visitors, who turned up well equipped with raincoats and wellies. Some followed Henry and me into the woods to watch us hauling logs, others observed Henry's skills and power whilst shifting timber in the yard. Feedback was very positive and I'm sure we'll be back again at another Open Day!
Last Saturday though, we were more lucky with the weather - the one and only sunny spot in all of West Cork seemed to be on Manch Estate near Enniskeane! Absolutely perfect for our first logging course. Three participants attended, travelling from as far as north Wexford!
We spent the morning practising long-reining in the yard of the estate and negotiating a long thin log pulled by Henry and a fat short log pulled by Winnie around various obstacles in the yard. In the afternoon, we all went to the woods to extract some timber and haul it back to the yard where it was stacked. All participants were fabulous with the horses and soon formed great teams.
We hope to hold a similar course again next year!