The Muddy Season!

We are well and truly in the season of mud here, for a time during Autumn we get some mud but the Sun comes out and dries it up again, from here on in that wont happen again until March, unless it freezes! It is a daily case of slipping your way to the fields. I try to find a positive in everything and the only thing I can say is that by the time I have finished feeding I am about two inches taller from the mud on the bottom of my wellies, a great thing when you are only 5’2″ but it is not a look that will go nicely with a party dress and so I am unable to use it to my advantage!!

We have a new ‘resident’ at the farm, Kevin the Crow, I did check with one of the girls that come down if she had noticed the same thing as I had, she confirmed my thoughts and so I will relate the story to you. We have huge mirrors in the Menage, they are used in the same way a ballet dancer uses mirrors, the rider can see if, both themselves, and the horse are in the correct riding position. Kevin has taken up a permanent position on the rail next to the end mirror, he is either very stupid or very clever, I can’t decide which, I think he may have decided that his reflection will do very nicely for a mate, when he flies off, so does his mate, when he comes closer, so does his mate, as far as he is concerned, it’s a match made in Heaven!! The other thought is that he is using the mirror to deflect heat and thus keeping him warm, very clever, whatever the reason he is there every time I go out to the back paddocks, I assume that eventually he will give up on a mate that gets close, but not close enough!!

The Country is taking a battering weatherwise this week, the North, worse than the South, but it is still very wet and windy here this morning, we have had a couple of  small branches down but nothing major as yet. We are a little concerned about a row of 40ft conifers that are about 15ft from the building, we need to take the tops out of them and bring them back down to a level that will be safe so that is a job for the New Year and fingers crossed in-between. With the amount of rain we had overnight, I quite expected to see the fields beginning to flood this morning but although they are wet they are not too bad, the water table has been very low in this area and hopefully the rain will run off for quite a while before it begins to saturate the ground. The only animals that love this weather are the ducks, they are in their element, plenty of water in the pond to splash about in and plenty of worms coming to the surface, they spend most of the day grubbing around for food and by the end of the day their crops are bulging and they go to bed happy. The chickens on the other hand couldn’t look more dejected and forlorn, they hate the rain and the  mud, they spend their day huddled underneath the chicken house or any available shelter, they do run around frantically when I first let them out in the morning looking for worms though, then end up wet and ruffled for the rest of the day. A chicken that has found the first worm is a funny sight to watch, she pulls the worm out runs around with it in her beak, unable to stop and eat it because she is being chased by the other 29 hens! Sometimes she is lucky and manages to gobble it down, other times it gets pinched from her and then that chicken runs around followed by 29 too! Finally they work out that if they stop chasing they can look for their own 🙂

Rosie the Rayburn is working flat out at this time of the year, although we had to let her out at the weekend and extend the length of the flue to get more of a pull in order to get a better fire going. Hubby spent Saturday morning cleaning her out as the soot had built up quite a bit in the flueways, when I came in from outside there was a fine layer of soot all over the kitchen! I wouldn’t have minded so much but I had completely cleaned the kitchen the day before (not happy). According to the instructions she needs to be cleaned out once a month, no wonder people switched to gas, but it all adds to the experience I suppose and next time I will leave the kitchen cleaning until after the flue cleaning :p It is quite difficult keeping the room temperatures up in a wooden building, especially one that was not originally built to live in. It was literally put up as a shed, and when I first came down here to visit that’s exactly what it was being used for, only the kitchen and bathroom were built for purpose. The rest was gradually changed into ‘a dwelling’ as time went on, so now we have walls that are plastered and a floor on top of the shed floor, next year we are replacing all of the wood at the front of the building and will insulate it at the same time to stop the draughts, unfortunately this will mean that the birds will have to find new places to nest so I will need to put up a few bird boxes to accommodate them! At this point I have spent 15 mins trying to upload a photo but WordPress is not playing ball so maybe next time 🙂

I have had two cups of coffee and can’t put off the inevitable any longer, I have to go out and muck out the stables, the weather looks awful out there so I may procrastinate a little longer 😉 I look forward to coming back in to the warm and dry, I think the rest of the day I will spend wrapping presents and watching daytime tv 🙂

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