Snow, a puppy and that damn fox again!

Where has the last week gone, it seems to have flown past very quickly! We have had all kinds of weather, bright blue skies with frosty mornings, plunging freezing temperatures and now a blanket of Snow! I prefer the warmth the snow brings to the bone chilling cold that we had just before it, it makes life seriously difficult when every water holder has to be defrosted because the ice is about 4 inches thick and no amount of kicking it is going to smash it. Of course you always get one bright spark that puts his foot through the bottom of not one but two buckets :p 

The horses have been bought in and stabled whilst the snow is on the ground, partly because we weren’t sure how much we were really going to end up with and partly to save the total destruction of the fields when it begins to melt again.  They were given a chance to ‘play’ in the menage, they do like a good roll in the snow, it is funny how snow brings out the playfullness in people and animals, our oldest dog, who is 13, comes alive like a puppy in the snow.

The beastly fox has struck again, this time he has had a Goose, despite the traps both being set, he must have come early in the morning as we found the headless body in the small paddock still quite fresh, the Fox had tried to get it through the stock fencing, it was obviously too heavy for him to jump up and over the fence with it in his mouth. This one seems to pick off the birds just one at a time and he is about at all times of the day, I will be glad when we have finally caught him and hope it is before he does serious damage to the flock numbers. He is quite brazen, one of the liveries was filling hay nets in the barn turned around and there he was just looking at her, she said it was the biggest one she had ever seen.

Only a few more weeks until Spring, which will hopefully bring warmer weather and the start of the growing year again. We still have a freezer full of veg and fruit that were processed last year which gives me a great sense of achievement during the cold months, those long Summer days of picking, cutting, blanching and freezing were well worth it. The Snowdrops have appeared at the front of the house and next will come the Daffodils and Crocuses, at the end of this month it will be about the right time to begin planting the seeds that will take longest to produce anything, Tomatoes, Aubergine, Melons etc. I am planning on making a mini hotbed inside the greenhouse in order to raise the temperature, this is a Victorian method using manure in its fresh form, as it begins to break down it will release heat, normally you would put earth on top and plant into it, but I just need it for the heat source so I will use an old dustbin, I should also get a thick black liquid from the bottom of it that will provide me with a  free fertiliser too.  We have had a flock of Long Tailed Tits here this weekend, I had never seen them until we moved here, they are lovely little birds but they don’t stay around for very long, we also had a visit from a Red Kite which swooped very low over the hay barn, they are huge and extremely graceful in flight. I was told that there is an albino buzzard living in the area but I have yet to spot it, we have a small number of albino rabbits living about 2 miles up the road, they are very easy to spot in the middle of the field and I wonder how long they will last before they get eaten!

Alfie has arrived at the farm this morning, he is not one of the farm animals but he does spend quite a bit of time here, he is a brown and white collie puppy that belongs to my daughters boyfriend, he is a clever little fellow that is already learning his commands, he is learning all about life on the farm and at the minute is most scared of the sheep!!














Thats about it for this week as the dogs are barking because the puppy is here and I cant really concentrate, plus the puppy is about to start chewing the carpet!



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