Tag Archives: weather

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

So, it’s 2014 is it?

I’m not really sure where to start this year off…

The year began with such a bang of drama and craziness that all idea of time to reflect and plan got pasted by. None of the drama was my own but for those I care deeply about, and it was badly timed with some overtime shifts which left me feeling completely useless and unable to help.

Still standing back now and counting my blessings reminds me that I have come some way in gaining a work life balance as this time last year if I had been at work I would have been there for at least a week which seems like a life time compared to the day away I was…

The swollen river Wye last week - 17th January 2014

The swollen river Wye last week – 17th January 2014

The swollen river Wye with the first signs of spring: catkins - 17th January 2014

The swollen river Wye with the first signs of spring: catkins – 17th January 2014

The weather this year has started off rather wet. With a second year of flooding over the festival period. Again this was not really something that had any major effect on me personally but it’s something I feel it’s important to record.

There were not really any frosts until after the New Year and even now most mornings are wet and cold instead of cold and frostie. The ‘snow’ word has been mentioned but I am still to spot any on the forecasts for the area; a contrast to this time last year when we had a few feet of snow. This year the ground is just water-lodged.

23rd January 2014

23rd January 2014

I have lots of plans again for this year and will hopefully be able to put them in some order, before sharing them over the year here.

Lambing will be from the end of February… kidding will be in early May… seed sowing with start soon enough.

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.

More about… snow

I having just gone back through my posts to see when the snow first started, the 17th of December. By Sunday we will have had a whole month of this. Rain is forecast for Saturday so hopefully it will not go that far but there is more snow forecast for the middle of next week. And when all this snow melts there are flood warnings…

This morning we were talking to the couple who run the feed merchant and they are well and truly feed up with the weather, they have even decided to reduce their own stock later in the year because of it.

I heard on the news the other day that they have snow fall somewhere in Spain for the first time in fifty years.

Life is on hold until the weather clears, but it is still carrying on. Still, this cold spell with have a great impact on the garden pests that need a cold spell to kill them off, and the midges that carry Blue Tongue will also be killed off.

Hoo hum…

Brighton

Me and Rhys went down to Brighton on Friday. Rhys was playing a Halloween show so I went as well. We’re there for less than 24 hours but it was still nice to get away. It was the first time I saw the sea this year, I like the sea better in winter. There’s something comforting and peaceful about feeling the wind and the rain while watching waves and seagulls on an empty beach.

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 I also like visiting bigger green grocers in cities; they have such magical looking fruit and veg, some of which I can’t even guess what it is or how it would be used.

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Catching up on the last couple of weeks

Well my wish was granted, I had the last two weekends off and both have had good weather. It’s been so nice to be able to be out doing things.

The last week or so has felt very strange, it’s been busy but is hasn’t necessarily felt like it was busy. Everything feels like it is slowing down for winter now.

The weekend before the one just gone was mostly spent re-doing the goat pen, putting up a new pallet fence and digging out the wet mud that’s built up over the last two wet summers. There’s now paving down over half of it and we’re going to try grass seeding the other half and see how it takes.

We also threw a surprise party for Rhys, it’s his 30th this year and even though his birthday isn’t until this week his party was last weekend as I couldn’t get the hall I wanted for this weekend. It was a good party, lots of his old friends came and he didn’t know a thing about it until me and him got to the hall. Keeping him out the way broke up the time on Saturday in a strange way, when I have time off I hate leaving home unless I really have too as I always have something that I want to be getting on with even if I’m not getting on with it, so we don’t normally go out together much, especially in the day, but it was a nice afternoon. We went and picked somethings from freecycle up and then had a picnic.

Sunday I had a cold and Rhys was hung over so not much work got done. I started cutting back all the caterpillar eaten purple sprouting and sprout plants and sprayed them with a mixture I made up from a recipe out of an old gardening book, boiled tobacco, to see how well it works. The plants have started growing back and I think they will come back but of course they are going to crop late. I’m still not daring to plant out the kale or spring cabbage just in case but I will have to do it this week really, there is only so much growing on they can do in pots and it always takes them a while to settle after re-potting. 

I got my strawberry plants; I had bought 50, not 30 like I thought from ebay. I can’t remember which day they arrived, or which day I potted most of them up but they are really nice plants all very well rooted and not at all dried out from being posted. The last few plants are in a bucket of water waiting for me to finish the job off. I started off by sorting all this year’s plants and runners out, I got 5 free plants from a magazine and they fruited well this year, even though they were left in the same bucket I had put them in ‘for the time being’ when I got them last autumn and they’ve produced some good strong runners. We’re going to have so many strawberries next year!

During the week I’ve carried on with freezing courgettes, the plants still have plenty of fruit coming on them and, touch wood, the sweetcorn should be done soon as well. The chickens have started getting on the bed (the old muck heap bed) and seem to like the mystery squash plant that’s on there, I don’t think it’s going to manage to fruit. My bucket of Christmas carrots are doing really well, it looks quite impressive.

I’m going to sow some more carrots in buckets and start them off in the poly tennel, they should over winter in there alright. I’ve been picking a few runner beans as well, the plants went in really late, at the time that other plants put in at the right time started fruiting but they are doing well and still have plenty of flowers on. The bees seem to like them as well.

On Friday I had arranged to go and see a male goat, I need to get a new one this year as my last year kid is ready to breed from this year, but what sounded like a much better one for me came up, so after pottering in the garden, I finished cutting back the sprouting plants and did some weeding, I went to see my half sister and helped her start putting up her poly tennel. It was a really nice afternoon.

On Saturday me, mother, middle-sister and my brothers girlfriend went on a puppet making workshop which was really good fun, then we came home and I ended spending ages washing up, not the normal day-to-day washing up but emptying the cutlery draw and cleaning that out and the plate racks.

 

And on Sunday, this is very exciting, I got my new stud male goat, Kniteshade. He’s gorgeous. A few years ago I saw a male who I really liked call Holdbrook Ghost, his farther, Fungus was breed champion and also nice but I really liked Ghost. I never stood a chance of getting him though has he was exported to a herd in Holland (or somewhere like that) not long after I had ‘found’ him. When I bought my last male, the breeder that I got him from also had Fungus. I bought a female from him that was put in kid to him, Fuscia, but she started to kidded over a weekend when it snowed, we knew something was wrong with her but we weren’t 100% sure she was kidding. We called the vet but they had just called all the vets back in as the snow was getting worse. We did all the things they suggested, including give her lots of sweet black tea to drink which she now loves and will do anything to drink if you go near her with a cup, but she wasn’t ‘open’ at all so we hoped that one of the kids was just laying in odd way and she was uncomfortable. A few days later she started to kid properly and pushing, but again was having problems and after me, mother and middle-sister had done all we could (me and my sister have been kidding and lambing since we were little and my mother has for even longer) the vet was called again and after a lot of trying delivered three massive male kids, all dead. The vet said that two of the kids had tried to come out at the same time, one over the top of another, and got very stuck. They were all very pretty but none of them were like Ghost. Any way, Ghost is the grand-father of Knitshade, and his great-grand-farther is the half brother of my first goat who I lost during foot-and-mouth. So not only is he gorgeous, I would have had him just for his breeding even if he didn’t look as good as he does.

(Photo of Knitshade taken from his breeders website)

When the sun is shining…

I’m working.

It feels like every time there has been even just one day of reasonable weather, and I don’t even mean sunny weather, I’ve been in the middle of working flat out for one reason or another. This weekend is was because the museum that I work for was taking part in Heritage Open Days, up and down the country buildings or sites with ‘heritage’ interest were open for free to encouraged people to visit. Of course unless you are a museum in Wales (and Scotland ?? ) or are run by a council and are luckily enough to have all your running costs paid for, if you’re not taking money on the gate for visitors you have to some how make some money to cover running costs.

This time it was a ‘Forest Fair’, we had duck races round the mill pond, face painting, milk a cow, hoop-a-frog, etc. and the weather was good, not sunny all the time but it wasn’t overcast or about to rain and at some points the sun was even out. Which made the event even better, but I did keep thinking about all the out door things I could have been doing at home.

Don’t get me wrong, most of the time I really enjoy my job, I get on with the people I work with and the site is beautiful but now that the nights are getting darker again then days off are becoming more precious, and days off when it’s not pouring with rain even more so. A weekend of dry weather could have made a big difference too, at the moment we are re-doing the gate pen so as it drains better.

Last weekend it poured down, and when it wasn’t pouring down it was building up to the next down pour, but still me, Rhys and middle-sister were out there.

A few more sets of water-proofs are on my list of things to get when I next get paid.

There is also a large corner of the veg garden that needs the nettles pull, a bonfire and a few tip runs with the rubbish from it, it’s half a dry days work. And then there’s the private tree that needs cutting out, and the strawberries to re-pot… and I want to sow a few more buckets of carrots to grow in the poly-tunnel… and so on.

It wasn’t all bad though. One of the days another LETS member came in and I’ve got an order for some more paper pots for the next meeting, which is a nice ‘watching-TV-in-the-evening’ job, and I do like working. I can’t imagine not going out to work at least part-time, I just wish that I could enjoy the work and have more time for the outdoor things at home. With the same (or more!!) pay.

A rambling update

Life if very much about being outside at the moment, as might have been guessed from my lack of posts lately.

 

Even when it’s raining it still nice outdoors.

 

There was a big event at work over the Bank Holiday, when it chucked it down of course, and then I started my new job which is working out really well & at home things feel like they are getting done. In a very un-organised way, must start making lists again, last weekend I spent most of a day on the veg garden, which has exploded mostly with weeds in the last couple of weeks. Last year I tried growing potatoes for Christmas, it was a challenge on a forum I belong too, but when nothing happened I thought the potatoes must have rotted, Wrong! It’s just the poatoes from this year that don’t seem to have come up. I managed to plant out the rest of the Garlic I started off in paper pots and have been sitting in trays in the garden. They’ve done really well though.

 

I’ve mostly cleared the base of the old chicken shed & the meat chicks have moved onto that off the veg garden and some of the quail have moved from the house outside as well.

 

I’ve planted loads more seeds& bought plants from the carboot & some from Lidl that were reduced.

 

We’ve got two broodies that I’m trying to find eggs for, I want to breed some Silver Dorkings to go with the hen we have but there are a few other breeds ‘the family’ would like as well, middle-sister has some hen & call duck eggs in the incubator. One of her oldest cockerels died so she’s trying to hatch some of his off-spring before it’s to late. It would seem that I wasn’t the only person locally to have a rubbish hatch at the start of May, so it must have been that weather.

 

Muma has a pair of geese, nasty, sharp, hissy things, that were being given away in the local paper. So the meat-eaters of the family are having goose (not these two, our own hatched ones) for Christmas dinner this year. Last year they had the same, just bought in.

 

Rescue ewe, now called Iris, & lambs are doing well. My ‘spoilt AN’s’ have reached over the wall & eaten the hair along her back (they don’t much like sheep.)

 

My weekend starts again tomorrow.

A weekend of half dones

Last weekend was hot, I was off Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday and I think only on the Thursday was it cool enough to be outside working all day. The other days had a few hours mid-afternoon that just had to be spend sat inside in the cool until outside was cooler.

So really it doesn’t feel like much was done, Rhys did very well at cleaning the kitchen. We started taking down an old chicken shed ready for a move round and new goat pen, we collected and shredded a load of gorse for the goats and picked branches for them all but Sunday, changed over the water butt by the goats as the old one had started to drip and we were given a much bigger one, gave most of the sacks of muck that had been collected away on Freecycle (me and mummy were told a very funny story about mice and shampoo), I picked out wood for splitting one of the goat houses in two ready for kidding at the start of next month but we didn’t actually manage to split the house.

I half-heartly started planting some more potato’s in sacks (we eat alot of potatoes and I can’t bare the thought of any being left in the ground so they’re all going in sacks) but gave up because of the heat. I thought about planting some carrots and beetroot in the garden (cats have messed mummy’s up) but never got out there to do so.

Ooh, I did pick up some ‘new’ hutches for the quail to go in from someone belonging to LETS, it’s my first time spending Deans and the people I got the hutches from had an interesting holding and might want some quail…

…Basically lots of things got started and were on My List but never got finished.

Thunder storms and hatching

There was a huge thunder storm on Sunday morning. It had been rumbling away since about 10 o’clock the night before and finally started raining at about 6 o’clock in the morning, really raining. It was raining so heavily that there was a mist as tall as the parked cars coming off the road where the rain was hitting the surface so hard. The power went off and a few seconds later there was a huge thunder clap which felt like it shook everything at set off a neighbors car alarm.

It took me about a minute to manage to drag myself in to a sitting postion, muttering about bloody power cuts and how my eggs were never going to hatch at this rate and thinking that the thunder might well have done something major leaving us with no electricity for days, ready to find a jumper or something to put over the incubator to try to keep the heat in until the power came back on. It had already come back on.

About 5 minutes later the power went of again and the car alarm went silent, within a few seconds there was another huge thunder clap. As the noise finished the power came back on again and the car alarm started up, the rain slowed and the storm cleared up leaving the rest of the day sunny-ish.

The weather really hasn’t help my eggs, two days before the thunder storm happened the temperature when down for no apparent reason, the weather outside was reasonable, then the humidity shot up and dropped right back down again after the storm. Even with putting extra water in it’s not got back up to 70% yet.

Even so, two eggs started piping Sunday evening and one has hatched so far. The other eggs are all very still and quiet. Normally the eggs jump around before they hatch and once the chicks start coming out they call non-stop. I really hope even just one more hatches, just so as the one chick isn’t all on its own.