Saturday, December 4, 2010

It never rains but it pours

It's been a month since my last blog entry. There was not much to report for November since the farm and garden is still staggering from the lingering effects of a couple of wicked weather disturbances that visited our area.

After a devastating storm last October, a week-long and non-stop heavy rain poured down during the first few days of November.

The constant rain was not the result of any storm. It was simply due to a weather phenomenon called Inter-tropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ). It is not an unusual weather occurrence, what's unusual was the amount of rain it brought down this time. It flooded much of the low-lying areas of the northeastern part of the country.

The water in the picture is not a river but a flood submerging large swath of farmlands. This was the view from our farm of the town down below.

The rivers swelled and overflowed their banks due to excessive amount of water coming down from the surrounding mountains. As a result, it drowned farmlands and other low-lying areas. Our farm and garden sits on an elevated section of a valley so we were not directly affected by the huge flood even though we have a major river as a next door neighbor.

Indirectly, the flood affected us too. The carpenters we hired to build a new shelter for the sheep were unable to come because their homes were submerged by the flood and so had to attend to their own needs first. As a result our poor sheep were exposed to the elements the whole time the sky was weeping and wailing.

The young Boer/Kalahari Red buck hybrid (right) bought 4 months ago died of pneumonia along with seven other goats.

The sheep, however, are resilient creatures. They were able to survive nature's direct assault. I wish I could say the same for our goats. Eight goats including the young male Boer I asked my parents to buy died of pneumonia. The continuous wet weather, high temperature, high humidity and cramped living conditions may have contributed to their untimely demise.

It is now early December but the strong rain still keeps coming and going, a very sharp contrast from just a year ago.

The farm is still healing from the deep wounds inflicted by the October cyclone. With so many things to do and so few workers (no budget to hire more), the farm is just barely crawling towards normalcy. It's been over a month now since the storm and yet there is still no electricity. They're relying on a 4 Hp. generator which we had to buy because of this long and continuous power outage. It is only used a few hours in the evening and switched off before bedtime to conserve on fuel.

On the brighter side, Mom said it's like spring in the farm, the surviving leafless trees are sprouting new leaves.