After yesterday's unbelievable 2 1/2 inches of rain (which followed nearly 2 inches on Monday) the farm is overflowing with water. You can hear it trickling through the pastures and running along the fencelines. The lane has turned into a creek and the waterway that crosses the farm has water during summer for the first time in years. It is fun to see the watershed in action again.

We originally fenced this land out of our rotations both to protect the wetland, but also because flowing water is habitat for a snail that serves as a host to liver fluke, an internal parasite that has no effect on cattle but can be deadly to sheep. There is a chemical wormer some shepherds use to kill the liver fluke, but we prefer to make sure the sheep don't get exposed to it in the first place. All these years of dry weather made the fence seem like an unnecessary protection--until yesterday.

Even our normally mild-mannered shallow river is overflowing. The lowland around the river is so deep with water I couldn't even get close enough to see the river banks this morning. All you can see below is the flood water.

I planned to move the animals down the lane to a new paddock this morning, but I think I'll wait and let it dry out a little today. Sheep originate in the highlands and don't particularly care to traipse around in water getting their hooves wet--and the reflecting light can make it difficult for them to see. Sheep have a reputation for being stupid and stubborn. Perhaps this is just because they are a different animal than we are.