Up with the larks!

I was awake and up before the alarm went off this morning! Most unusual for me, normally I am still in bed half an hour after it has gone off, however I need to get used to the earlier mornings as we are only a couple of weeks away from early morning feeds for the lambs 🙂

It is a hard frost this morning but that is a more welcome sight than yesterday morning when we were greeted with snow, the wet slushy stuff that just made the ground wet and luckily didn’t settle. We have had a good bit of rain in the last few days and as a consequence the fields are back to being muddy again, the only difference this time of year is that when we a have a few dry days the ground dries quicker, that’s how I console myself anyway. It meant that any plans to drag and roll paddocks, were not going to happen, instead Hubby chopped wood, just as well because we are running out and finding, with the weather all over the place, we still need a fair amount to get us through.

I have set a clutch of eggs in the incubator this week, Cream Legbars, I found an app called ihatch which shows you day by day how the egg is developing and sets reminders for keeping the humidity up etc, today is day six and the legs and wings begin to develop, it takes twenty one days for chicks to hatch , that is a pretty quick growth rate! The laying hens are still popping them out at a great rate, luckily we have sold sixteen hens this week alone but the egg pile is growing daily and now the ducks are also back in full lay I have more than I know what to do with, I think I may have to make a few Madeira cakes, they use a fair few eggs and are yummy for Easter.

The veg garden is the main cause for concern at the moment, it is still too wet to do much, I think we have been spoilt by the lovely weather during March in previous years, most seeds are not due to be sown until April or May anyway so I should stop worrying. The tomatoes and pepper seeds have gone with my Mum to be started off on her windowsill, it’s too cold here, the greenhouse roof is still not back on yet and my windowsills are draughty. I might consider putting as much as I can in the poly tunnel, it might be all we get this year if we have another awful one like last summer.
There is still plenty of tidying to be done and a bit of mending, so for the time being that’s about all we can do, traditionally the potatoes go in on Good Friday but I think the ground will still be too wet, we have a couple of weeks yet so who knows the weather may take a turn for the best for a change. Plenty of signs of Spring, tiny buds on the nut trees, the daffy are still tightly wrapped in green at the minute but I can see they are just waiting for the right day, some of the perennials are beginning to put on some growth so it’s all warming up for sure.

Mia can’t work out why, some days she does not have to have a bath and then other days, sometimes two or three in a row, she is forced into the torture room called ‘bathroom’, she absolutely hates having a bath, she would rather walk around with dried mud clinging to her looking like a street urchin. She has got the the age where all she wants to do all day is play ball, no matter what job you are trying to do she is throwing the ball at your feet, or anyone who happens to be here, she would carry on all day if you indulged her, I wish I had that much energy. It is lovely to start with then becomes a nuisance when you are mucking out stables and she is tossing the ball in among piles of poo you are trying to rake up. She loves the farm life so much though, she spends all day outside, she has a good bond with the sheep that consists of 50% affection and 50% teasing, its quite funny to watch the sheep chase her when they have had enough of her. Normally when I go out to call her she comes pretty quickly but one day last week I called her because I was having hay delivered and didn’t want her in the way of the trailer, I called her and called her, nothing, I started to worry a bit and walked around the from to look in the front paddocks and in next door, nothing, then I heard one tiny yap, she was around somewhere and shut in, I checked all sheds and rooms etc and eventually found her sat in the fox trap, I should have guessed that would be the obvious place to look really!

Halfway though writing I stopped and opened the back door where I saw……….A RAT! I was quite wrong about the squirrel obviously lol, that is the first time ever I have seen a rat here, I checked the bait box and sure enough it’s all gone, so I have re baited them and hopefully there will be no more uurrghh.

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