The temperature has plummeted and Finestrat is now under the gloom of dark clouds heavy with rain, rolling in across the Aitana with wave after wave of torrential downpours. The Spanish weather forecasting agency AEMet gives a very reliable forecast for the Finestrat area and it is easy to keep ahead of the game. The donkeys get very unsettled by changes in the weather. They are conservative animals and they like everything to be the same every day. When it isn´t, and the field is full of puddles and mud, it is all my fault and they glare at me in such an accusing manner that I feel quite guilty. I get close to apologising and admitting to them it is indeed my fault they have wet hooves.
From my point of view the rain is good. I have planted a winter crop of broad beans and the rain is all I needed to complete my ideal vegetable patch, with the soil well-fertilised with donkey manure. Donkey manure is now a source of irregular income. Last week I sold two car-loads of manure to a neighbour who loaded his car with big plastic tubs filled with donkey dung and gave me twenty-five Euros for the lot. (That helps off set-the cost of feed which has now gone up with increased taxes and more food is needed for the yearlings who eat almost as much as the adults now.)
The main thing to watch out for in the video is Rubí donkey taking a piece of carrot from my mouth; a trick I learned from Barbara, who does this with Dalie without getting her nose bitten! It is the first time I have tried it with Rubí. She got the carrot and I still have my nose, so success all round.