This week Hannah got a severe fly strike. We almost lost her.
Monday 7 August
This was our second week of holidays at our Swedish farm. I started the day by finishing the geo survey of the property's borders. There were a couple of points I still had to do. This took almost the whole day.
When I was done surveying, I was in the neighborhood of my parent's house, so I went to DM and DF. They had a dilemma, especially DF. One of the fascia boards on their house was rotten and had to be replaced. They were particularly anxious about the board's place, which slightly surprised me. It was conveniently accessible from another part of the roof, relatively flat.
I was eager to help them; it was just one issue. The rain. The weather forecast promised rain for the rest of the week. That is usually the situation after a storm. On Tuesday, Storm Hans was predicted to arrive in Sweden; it is usually wet after a storm. The tail of the storm brings a lot of rain with it. I decided to act immediately and remove the defective fascia board. I went home with the survey equipment and returned a crowbar. When I was ready to climb up on the roof, a thin rain was drizzling. Hans had already begun; we were not aware of it just yet. My calculation of the complexity of the task was correct; it was not difficult, it was easy. It took less than 20 minutes to remove the plank. That was good because the rain increased gradually.
With the defective plank on the ground, we decided to bring it to the big barn, and there DM and DF could find a replacement, if we were lucky, and paint that there. No less than an hour after DF expressed his concern about the facia board, the replacement was lying with its first layer of paint.
In the evening, I worked on the survey data. I wanted to have a CAD program where I could manipulate the data and make calculations. It was so complex with QGIS! My frustrations were annoying, not only for me.
Tuesday 8 August
This morning it rained. The storm Hans was on the way in over Sweden. We had not experienced so much wind when the first news updates came with a derailed train because the train bank had been washed away. That was clearly not on our part of the country. It was raining heavily, and I used that time to learn to use QGIS. It is a really complex program, but if you know me, I am all in for figuring out how to use a complex program; if it is worth the effort, that is. Here it is worth the effort because the nearest competitor, you pay two hundred euro per year, and it is not even close to all the free version's options. It has other things, though. I worked on this almost the entire day. Outside, it was storming. Hans came over to our region of Sweden.
DF and DM painted a second layer on their replacement fascia board in the barn. When that was dry in a couple of hours, the board would be ready to be put on the house, and all would be fine. It would rain continuously until Thursday, so Thursday is the only logical moment to climb the roof and mount the board.
It stormed considerably. No trees around the house fell over; there came down smaller branches here and there. Especially the European Beech tree near our cottage releases branches and twigs.
The next part of this blog is a bit hard to talk about. I will do it anyway because this has shocked us, and it was important for the turn of events for the rest of the week. DD came to our house in the Netherlands. This was about eight on Tuesday evening. She immediately noticed that something was wrong with the sheep Hannah. Hannah had diarrhea, and flies had started nesting around her back. She had suffered from a severe fly strike. We called the veterinary, and she could arrive after 45 minutes! Right away, we also called a neighbor. I have experienced the weight and strength of these sheep, and it can become handy with a strong full-grown man. The veterinary and the neighbor arrived at our house in the Netherlands. The veterinary, DD and the neighbor started treating Hanna. They made a disinfectant bug-killing bath for Hannah in a large bucket. She got antibiotics, and bugs were removed from the wounds.
Our respect for our dear daughter DD increased to new heights. We were sitting a thousand kilometers away and could only hope for the best. It was rather late and pitch dark when the patient's treatment ended. Luckily it had not rained when they worked on Hannah in the Netherlands. We got reports on what they had done. The veterinarian predicted that the patient could survive, but the morning after, they had to continue the treatment. At that moment, they would decide the fate of Hannah.
Wednesday 9 August
The rain continued in Sweden. In the Netherlands, it was dry. The veterinary arrived. It was decided that Hanna would not be euthanized. Today. She had to continue the fight. So had DD and our neighbor. They had to cut away more wool on the back of Hanna to make clear that there were no more hidden wounds. Luckily Hannah was in better shape, but she let this happen. There were no more wounds found. The batch had disinfected her properly, and all bugs had died. They were not entirely removed yet; that was still a task.
Being in Sweden while our loved ones fight for their lives is frustrating. We decided to stop our holiday and go home. But first, the fascia board had to be mounted; rain or no rain, it had to be put up. I went to my parents with the board and explained the emergency situation. I climbed up on their roof, and they helped me as much as possible. The board was successfully mounted without anyone falling from the roof. I even painted a part of their wall.
Then I went back to the cottage. DW had already started cleaning and packing. We cleaned and packed. 4 PM, we started driving towards the Netherlands. We brought a coolbox with frozen huckleberries that mostly DW had picked in the forest.
DDs friend arrived at our house in the Netherlands, and they cleaned the wounds of Hannah more thoroughly. They applied ointment that will repel bugs and make the healing quicker. We are grateful for how she took charge of the situation and the help from her friend.
We had a meal in Malmö half past six in the evening. At 9 in the evening, we arrived at the Danish harbor Rödby. We had decided to go by ferry and check in to the Hotel in Puttgarden in Germany. There was one ferry every half hour, except when it was not. It felt unfair to see ferries leave and arrive without us. We arrived at the check-in desk at eleven in the evening. I asked the receptionist if putting a bag of frozen things in the freezer was possible. They agreed on doing that!!!
Thursday 10 August
We had a good breakfast at the Hotel. Then we got the bag of frozen things, which was still frozen. It was wonderful to still have the huckleberry harvest in good condition. I placed the bag in the cool box. Then I started driving. I had not thought I would drive the whole way, but that was how DW wanted it to be. I managed to get to the Netherlands. I had problems with an aching left eye. Have I contracted some eye infection, or is it just a result of the ventilation in the car? She drove the last leg of the journey.
We arrived at our house at four in the afternoon. The Huckleberries made it to our own freezer!!! Hannah was out and about walking. Her wounds looked terrible. I will not place any close-ups of her back here. She had a pain stiller injection and was mainly looking happy, actually.
DD and her friend had bought more ointment and a fly trap capable of trapping twenty thousand flies. Interesting.
There were a lot of things to talk about with DD. She had to teach us how to take care of Hannah. DD gave Hannah a syringe injection of antibiotics this evening. The veterinarian had instructed her how to do this.
I discovered ten giant courgettes. I decided to give them all away as soon as I had a chance to do so. Over the next couple of days, this was a successful strategy. As soon as a neighbor stopped to chat, I usually asked them if they wanted to get a monster courgette, and they all wanted that.
Friday 11 August
Today we went to the recycling center with our small trailer. We brought the liquid Hannah had bathed in to kill bugs and infections. It will not be suitable for our filtering system to let it out there; it will kill all organic matter. We also had other things in the trailer. It was feeling good to get rid of this stuff.
Suddenly I urgently need to take photos of the three sheep when they are together. I suppose it concerns the feeling that one could have been lost. Appreciating the family around you is crucial when you still have it!
Hannah got treatment two times per day. We apply ointment to keep her dead skin together so that new skin can develop under the dead skin. This evening Hanna got a painkiller injection from DD. This will be good for three days, and after those days, she got enough time to heal enough that she is not having constant pain.
Today I harvested Sevilla potatoes for the first time. They looked fantastic. I bought them on 20 May and planted them on 25 May. The taste was good, and they undressed spontaneously in the pan. That was convenient!
Saturday 12 August
Today DD gave Hanna the last syringe injection in the series we got from the veterinarian. This time it was antibiotics. Hanna is together with her sisters more regularly, and she eats and drinks and poops perfectly shaped poop nuggets.
I made sure there was no poop where the sheep usually lay. That felt better.
We worked in the garden, removing weeds and tying up things that had started to fall over. The garden exploded while we were in Sweden. No wonder Hannah had problems with flies; it had been wet and warm, like in a greenhouse.
In the evening, I worked on the map I wanted to produce as a product of the surveying project in Sweden. It is a tedious, complex process.
Sunday 13 August
Hannah is doing really well. She is with the sisters and doing everything a sheep should do.
It was feeling a little sad that the holiday was over. I could have used a couple more days to care for Hannah and remove weeds from the garden.
In the evening, I finished the map of the Swedish surveying project!
This week did not go as planned. It was challenging to be far away from Hannah when she needed us the most. We turned around well. The sheep is alive and doing fine. It is still unclear what lies ahead regarding the healing of the skin. We do what we are told, and the sheep appears happy.
Here ends this week's blog.
I was born 1967 in Stockholm, Sweden. I grew up in the small village Vågdalen in north Sweden. 1989 I moved to Umeå to study Computer Science at University of Umeå. 1995 I moved to the Netherlands where I live in Almere not far from Amsterdam.
Here on this site I let you see my creations.
I create, that is my hobby.