Tag Archives: snow

First snow fall for the year

On Sunday night the rain and the cold met and formed the first snow fall of the year. It wasn’t anything to write home about and as quickly as the large white flakes had settled they disappeared leaving just an icing effect to untouched grounds…

The day light had already faded before the flakes began to fall so I only have a few photos of the garden taken under the flood light;

Snowy icing over wallflowers - 26th January 2014

Snowy icing over wallflowers – 26th January 2014

Night time snow fall - 26th january 2014

Night time snow fall – 26th January 2014

By the morning the snow was more like a thick frost and the roads and paths had cleared under the weight of morning traffic and walkers. It’s now back to the wet greyness that has mostly been this year

Snow days

Snow covered Oak at the edge of the woods - 18th January 2013

Snow covered Oak at the edge of the woods – 18th January 2013

We have had snow for the last three days here; along with most of the rest of the South West and Wales I think. There was snow forecast for last weekend which never came to anything, thankfully as that would have left everything to mother and MYS with me away working until Wednesday this week.

Thursday was spent preparing, and saying goodbye to Dougle (Bella’s goat kid from last year) who went to his new home just before the heavy snow set in. We ordered some extra round bales of hay so as they could be left with the sheep and not wheelborrow small bales to and from and there was extra for the goats at home. The extra hay and a 4×4 has made this spell of deep snow not easy as such but much less stressful than it has been in other years and even left room for some playing.

Back garden snow - 18th January 2013

Back garden snow – 18th January 2013

Friday morning we woke to about 2 foot of snow, I managed to get from mine back to mothers using a mixture of my van and mothers 4×4. Everyone had hot drinks, the large bales of hay were opened for everyone to help themselves to and me and my brother gritted the main road through the village so I was able to get all the way back the next day. Then I went home and met with some friends and their children in the park to play sledges and unsuccessfully build snowman, the snow was far to fluffy to stick together very well.

The march up to their big round bale of hay - 18th January 2013

The march up to their big round bale of hay – 18th January 2013

Since then it has been days of filling containers with hot drinks for everyone (goats, ponies and checking on everything. The sheep are not convinced that we don’t have something better to offer them as hay and stock cubes are not what they like to eat, they like sugar beat and lots of it too but it would seem we are going into a shortage as it was a bad year last year and they haven’t been able to get much out the ground this winter.

Snow days - 18th January 2013

Snow days – 18th January 2013

There is more snow forecast for next week but so far that is being moved back each day so we shall see and I shall be keeping my fingers crossed for a thaw as I am back at work tomorrow

snow

We seem to have escaped the worst of the bad weather so far, we’ve had some snow, some ice and coldness but nothing to write home about until mid-day today when on cue about three inches came down in not much longer than half an hour.

Stressful? Not one little bit. All the rounds were done well before the snow arrived, we’ve a big pile of fodder beat, bins full of grain and the second part of a big hay delivery arrived yesterday and we have a 4×4! It is not the greenest of cars but we so need it; today I even enjoyed being out in the snow kicking my way through the falling snow knowing that getting out wasn’t going to be a problem. 

Things are very exciting right now, but I don’t want to share until the Is are dotted and the Ts are crossed incase it jinxs it

Snow – the start of another cold winter?

We have also had snow but gladly it has not felt like such hard work this time.

This mornings bright start - 5th December 2010

This mornings bright start - 5th December 2010

We now have one 4×4 vehicle and our feed and hay deliveries have still made it through to us.

Making the most of the corn whilsh the other hens waited by their pop hold to be re-opened after cleaning out their house - 5th December 2010

Making the most of the corn whilst the other hens waited by their pop hole to be re-opened after cleaning out their house - 5th December 2010

The animals have not been impressed and on the coldest days I have kept the chickens in.

Friday night we had our thickest fall of snow, about 2 inches in a few hours but it was wetter than the other snow we had have had and so was only really a problem when driving through it and when it froze the next evening.

Today has been the warmest and a lot of the snow has gone but any snow that is left has turned into glassy looking ice under foot and on less used roads.

Jack Frost

Frosted window leaves - 28th November 2010

Frosted window leaves - 28th November 2010

Look out! Look out!
Jack Frost is about!
He’s after our fingers and toes;
And all through the night,
The gay little sprite
Is working where nobody knows.

He’ll climb each tree,
So nimble is he.
His silvery powder he’ll shake;
To windows he’ll creep,
And while we’re asleep,
Such wonderful pictures he’ll make.

Across the grass
He’ll merrily pass,
And change all its greenness to white.
Then home he will go;
And laugh, “Ho! Ho! Ho!
What fun I have had in the night!

Lambs, potatos and studies

I have not meant to not post for a week, but it has been very busy here.   

The snow that fell last Thursday stayed around until the middle of this week, with more falling on Tuesday but not sticking.   

On Friday morning the snow was almost as deep as it got in the last lot of snow. And it was with, umm, say 5″ of snow on the ground that lambing started.   

Our sheep graze on the common land near to our house and we lamb outside and then bring ewes and lambs in as they are born. It is very interesting actually, lambing outside means that lambs are almost always born in daylight and mother has kept a note of where each ewe chooses to lamb for the last few years. Some of our original flock come from a sheep farmer whose land edges part of the common and ewes that were born on this farm seem to lamb as close to his land as they can get, normally under his hedge.   

We also now have some second generation ewes that we have breed, these ewes seem to go back to where they were born to lamb themselves. The older ewes also seem to have an order that they lamb in, possibly because of when their seasons are but it doesn’t change much from year to year.   

Our first ewe to lamb this year was Charlotte, whose a first timer. She is a Cotswold cross ewe, so is quite big, and noisy too. Not surprisingly really, as she had ring-womb and so was unable to deliver. After a while trying to deliver the lamb ourselves it was a nerve racking drive to the vets along icy roads.   

Charlottle with her lamb - 19th February 2010

 

It was bad news when we arrived, the lambs tongue was blue and dry and the lamb was mostly likely dead already. Our vet spent some time and delivered the little black ram lamb, who still had a heart beat! He was very weak and the nurse took him and put him on oxygen and bullied him back to life.   

The lamb was small, and showing signs of being premature. The vet checked for any other lambs and found a funny colour ‘water bag’ but no sign of another lamb. It is mostly likely extra strain and stress from the snow that has cause her to pick up some sort of infection and miscarry a lamb and go into labour early.   

The nurse bought the lamb back and we gave it to Charlottle who seemed pleased enough with it so long as she didn’t have to get up and was happy enough to carry on cleaning him.   

We bought them home and put them in a house together so as they could bond and we could make sure the lamb got extra top-up feeds as Charlotte didn’t have much milk. All seemed fine until Sunday night when mother went to give him his last feed and check of the night and found him dead. He had been doing so well and acting just like any other lamb until then too.   

On Tuesday morning we had our next lot of lambs, Cobweb and the Cotswold both lambed on their own. Cobweb, who normally has triplets and spends the whole summer losing lambs, had twins girls and the Cotswold also has a female lamb. All nice sized and doing well, although Cobweb is not at all happy about being brought in and isn’t sure how many lambs she has. Today they came out whilst I cleaned their house out for the first time, it was nice seeing the first of our lambs out on the green.  

The Cotswold out with her lamb - 27th February 2010

 

The Cobweb with her lambs - 27th February 2010

 

Yesterday also saw our the first of this years goat kids born.  

Lenka with her first kid a few minutes after it was born - 27th February 2010

 

My mothers British Tog, Lenka, had twin girls. These are Lenkas first kids and she is doing well with them.  

My mum got Lenka two years ago, she has very good breeding but before she came to us she had just been kept as a pet really. She was very over weight and was already possibly to old to become pregnant. It was a little disappointing when she didn’t kid last year but not really suprising given how over weight she was, and it just makes this years kids extra nice. 

 

Lenka cleaning up her second kid less than a minute after it was born. 

During the week my seed potato order arrived, also a package from the Potato Council containing loads of information about potato growing, recipes and two varieties of seed potato to try. There is also a massive wall chart to record the weather during the growing season and the final harvest weight. The info says to start earlys chitting on March 2nd, which happily is the right moon day for starting root vegetables off so I will start all my earlys chitting on that day. 

This weekend we have made big progress on the new goat house, and this evening we finished putting the first section of roof on. Yay! 

The other thing that has been keeping me busy this week is ‘course work’. I am a month through a three month intro course with the Open University. I am finding it hard going at the moment, partly because I am not studying what I really want to (but doing this course means I will do better at what I want to do, weather science) and because of all the other day-t0-day things that are going on.

It happened again

Snow - 18th February 2010

Well, we are one of the worst hit areas of todays snow and the world outside is now white once again.

The sheep are already feed up and waiting at the gate for us to get on and do something about it. The geese (still no gander) are shut away again with chickens of all things, what do we think they are? And the goats are stood in the house looking out with “if you think I’m going out in that you can forget it” looks on their faces.

The pigs, however, where having mad races and were happy enough when I took them some extra bedding just before it got dark.

My seed orders have arrived though, just waiting on the seed potatoes now.

Febuary already

I had so much I wanted to blog about in January. My ‘being more organised’ has been working and I had it all planned out, the part where I think it has fallen down is my time management skills. 

Hopefully my being more organised skills will start to work some magic in this area… The hardest thing for me is taking account of how long things take. For example in my head I work 10am – 6pm Mon – Weds, but it just isn’t the case in reality, I often have meetings that start before 10am or I have to travel to and I don’t really finish work ever until 6.30 – 7pm by the time I have packed up and sorted any last little bits out. Then there is the journey home. 

Then on my days off, sometimes feeding the animals will take half an hour other times it could be spread out over a few hours. And my days off aren’t always days off, Thursday is a day off in my head but this Thursday I am working some extra hours so it isn’t really, but come Thursday morning it will feel like a day off because I don’t have to leave for work until 2.30 (but in my head that is 3pm because thats when I will arrive at work) 

There are all these half an hour here, and hours there that I have just not learnt to factor into everything. 

I want this blog to be up-to-date and current but I think with my being organised head on I am going to have to say that, yes, there are lots of things in my life that I would like to blog about, but I don’t always have time to write about them on the day, or sometimes even week that they happen. But to solve this, it is alright for me to write about things after they have happened, maybe even a while after they have happened. And maybe having time to reflect on something will mean what I am writing about is more enjoyable to read instead of just waffle… 

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Icy snow - 30th January 2010

The was more snow on Friday, only a dusting but it turned to ice as soon as the sun went down. 

The roads all weekend were icy with patches of black ice everywhere. There doesn’t seem to be much road sense among a lot of drivers, young and old, I’m possibly an over careful driver. If it is dark I slow down, if it is foggy I slow down more, if there is ice on the roads, it is foggy and it is dark I only drive if I have to and SLOWLY. I’m not talking a walking pace here but maybe 30 – 40mph on open country roads (where there are deer or wild boar to jump out on you even on clear nights) and maybe as slow as 20mph on single track country roads. I drive like this because I feel it keeps me and other people safer and I get so annoyed with silly idiots who over take me to speed off at 60mph in front of me. Where is it they have to be that’s so important any way? Wherever it is I have been left off the invite list. 

Sheep herding: walking the mischief makers home - 30th January 2010

Of course on Saturday morning, when the worst black ice was around, four off the ewes decided to head off towards out of common. I walked them most of the way back to where they should have been, with only one scary moment when a van came over the top off the hill, onto a patch where there is normally water across the road which thankfully wasn’t there as it would have been an ice patch, far too fast for the conditions towards us. 

(here ends the unplanned rant about other drivers, I only meant to post the nice photos I took, honest!) 

Normally I completely agree that sheep are stupid, I am a goat person so I would, but they did seem to be listening to me. I would say things like “car move over please” and they would form an orderly line, all on one side of the road so as the car could pass safely. Our sheep are free-roaming out on the common so I guess they are use to roads but I was very impressed with them.

Allotment 18/01/2010 – The first visit of the year and a seed plan

On Thursday me and mother went to look allotment, which had started to defrost like everywhere else. The brook, or possibly drainage ditch, on the other side of the hedge was full to bursting with the amount of water that was following down the field, there was still a lot of ice that was laying unmelted on the ground so we left the van at the gate and walked onto the site and up to our plots, it wasn’t good news when we got there.  

The rabbits have had EVERYTHING, and I mean everything. They had ripped through the nets that were keeping them off and eaten it all to the ground, they really must have been starving. On the way back from the allotment we saw a lone rabbit out on the first part of green grass busily eating, it was so busy it didn’t even run away from us.

I am annoyed, but not as mad as I have been other times that they have eaten crops. I feel sorry for them really, the snow has been covering the ground for so long now and wildlife has probably been hit the hardest. We had a look around and they have even managed to get onto others plots who have rabbit fencing up so we are not the only ones and knowing how much some people have spent on rabbit fencing there are going to be some really mad people.

During the last of the cold weather I spent an evening going through my list of things to grow, my seed boxes and seed company websites. This is what it looks like;

To grow, along with current seeds I already have:

Potatoes – chosen

Peas – Half Pint, Bulmoral, Oasis, Juguar

Runner Beans –

Courgettes –

Squash – Bon Bon (open packet), Scallop (op)

Kale – Red Russian, Nero di Toscanna

Swede – Virtue (op)

Leeks – Musselburgh, Elefant

Carrots – Afghan Purple, Early Natues 5, Chantenay Red Cored 2, unmarked packet, Cosmic Purple, unmarked packet, Dragon, Flakkee, Janne du Doubs, Atomic Red

Beetroot – Burpees Golden, Chioggia, Detroit 2, Perfect 3, Pronto, Cylindra

French Beans –

Cauliflower – All the Year Round (op)

Parsnips –

Cabbage – Roodkap, Golden Acre Primo 2, Offenham 2, Durham Early, Greyhound, Wintergreen, January King

Broccoli/Purple Sprouting – Autumn Spear, Raab ’60 Days’, unmarked packet purple sprouting

Sprouts – Falstaff (red), Evesham Special Green

Garlic –

Onions – Spring

Sweetcorn – Incredible F1, Supersweet

Mustrooms – Agaricus, White Button, Chestnut Button

Real Seed Company shopping list:

Cosse Violette Purple pole bean, Boston squash, , Waltham Butternut, Striato d’Napoli courgette, Tender and True parsnip, Golden Sweet Yellow podded mange-tout pea, Temuco Quinoa

Thompson & Morgan shopping list:

Potatoes, Sun Bright runner bean.

There are somethings like sweetcorn and cauliflower that I had planned on getting special seeds of but I already have two boxes of seed so am going with what I have for this year. For runner beans and french beans I already have seed but I want to change to climbing beans as the dwarfs haven’t done well for the last few years. Parsnip seeds are also some that I have a packet of but it is already an open packet and everything I have read about parsnips say use fresh seeds, so they are on the shopping list. I will still of course try the open packet just in case as I can’t throw seeds away, it is just something that is completely against my nature.

The next plans to make are a) where am I going to put all this stuff, and b) how am I going to keep the rabbits of it!

From white to wet

Coats and hats drying by the stove - 16th January 2010

Yesterday we had our thaw and it turned from white world to very wet world. There was rain, often heavy rain timed just right for when we happened to be out and furthest away from shelter. Other than the rain it has been very foggy, a damp heavy fog.

A day to stay inside…

Today it is sunny and clear. The world has change to an odd green colour, with white patches dotted here and there. And so warm,  enough not to need a coat.

A day to be outside…

Everything is wet but has survived the snow. Apart from maybe the roads which are in need of great repair works.

It is time to finish with Christmas and New Year, the snow and ice and start 2010 with a deep breath of sun warmed air.