We used the dry spell to work on the grazed down field with the grass harrow, spreading the horse manure - which horses characteristically leave in certain defined areas only. The spreading of the manure distributes nutrients evenly across the grassland, also it counter-acts the tendency to have a field slowly separating in land that horses graze and land where they defecate.
Anyhow, not only we were busy on that day, but also the honey bees! After making it through a long wet winter they faced a long wet spring, followed by a short wet summer. And they are seriously struggling to even provide enough honey to feed their brood, never mind any excess honey which could be jared.
So the bees were busy flying about, and a bit grumpy that the summer's day was already coming to an end, and then Henry comes on the scene, crossing their flight path over and over. Which they didn't like, and sent a bee to warn him off. She got carried away with her job and went straight on to sting him in his belly, which of course he very much disliked. But good old Henry, instead of galloping off with the harrow bouncing behind him, and me being dragged along, trying to cling to the reins, he danced about a bit but somehow knew that it was wiser to stand still long enough for me to unhitch and lead him away. On the way out of the field, another bee - who was probably sent to see what had become of the first bee! - stung him again, in the same place! He clearly had enough by now, but did he loose his head? Far from it, he looked complainingly at me and proceeded at a faster than usual but still reasonable pace back to the paddock, out of smell and sight of the other bees.
Knowing his reaction in this kind of situation is gold worth, it can't be paid in money to have a horse who is so trusting and understanding of a potentially panicky situation, and I feel honoured that Henry feels he can rely on me to sort things for him like getting him away from stinging bees and such.
As a reward, we went swimming in the sea the next day, still two big swollen lumps on Henry's belly, but how wonderful to float about in the cool sea with a warm-blooded horse to cling onto!
But who would think of the above happenings, looking out of the window now, with the trees bending in the wind, and rain coming down in bucket loads....oh dear, was that our summer already?