Owls lifting spirits
By Elspeth Taylor, Home Farm, Gloucestershire
We have a 200 acre farm just on the English side of the old Severn Bridge, in South Gloucestershire, 150 beef cattle, and 150 breeding ewes (Charolais/Texel).
Having struggled to make hay in these crazy weather conditions, my husband Robert spent all day turning, and we managed to bale late into the night. The rain then hammered down, with the bales still in the fields! We were unable to haul the bales up as we were also TB testing, so our days were completely taken up with driving cattle up from the grounds, and the usual 72 hours tense wait, to see if we were clear. By Friday we were exhausted, constantly getting soaked, and Robert got kicked hard on the knee by one of our cows during the test, so was limping!
Later that day he called me, very excited – he had just been standing under a tree in one of our fields, heard a chirp, looked up, and a pair of barn owls and chicks were sitting looking down at him from the branches. We have longed for barn owls to breed on the farm. but haven’t even seen one here for 25 years. What a great gift from God to lift our spirits, carry our weary bodies, and lighten our steps through the day, after a really tough week! He always knows the precise moment when we need a little miracle to perk us up and appreciate his creation.
‘He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms
and carries them close to his heart; He gently leads those that have young.’