Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Life back to normal, Looking forward to Lambing, Snowdrops


Now that the snow has all gone except for some rags of white under hedges on the higher ground across the valley, life is very much back to normal. The Farmer & Eldest Son are getting the daily chores finished rather earlier now that they are not battling to get tracks gritted  and water running.
The Farmer & I, yesterday, went up to the small grey university town of Lampeter to meet Eldest Son who had taken his pride & joy, his Big Blue Tractor, to a mechanics' yard for servicing and needed a lift home.

We are due to start lambing on 1st February and we saw some early lambs out the fields yesterday  and our neighbour who keeps his sheep indoors, was lambing before Christmas ...I have heard his lambs but not seen them. Our ewes are looking good and hopefully all will go reasonably smoothly. They are still going out every day and coming back into their poly-tunnel at night. Poly-tunnels are ideal lambing sheds being light and airy making them good spaces to work in. Lambing is always a time of hard work though we are lambing only about 30 ewes this year so it will be a lot easier than when we had a 100 or so. The arrival of the first healthy lamb is always a good day.

Eldest Son & KT are off on their trip to New Zealand tomorrow and E.S. is quite convinced that the place will fall apart without him! We will just have to prove him wrong...after all we have been doing this job a lot longer then he has.

My gardens are looking very bleak at the moment with everything just recovering from the flattenng by the snow. I found snowdrops coming up and daffodils shoots have been visible since before Christmas. In an old, old orchard that we have, there is a large area that each year is a lake of snow-drops and after searching carefully throught the  grass this morning I found the first shoots; it is always so encouraging to see that spring is on its way, though still a long way off.

After the silence brought about by the snow there seems to be a constant chatter from small birds in the hedges now and we hear pheasants clattering across the fields now and then.
Yesteday a skein of geese flew across the valley, which is always a beautiful sight, even if they are Canadas which are considered such a pest.
I spent 5 minutes or so the other afternoon standing at our dining-room window watching a vole being very busy darting in and out of a stone wall at the edge of a flower bed. It would make a mad dash into the grass and quickly get back to the crevice in the wall and then reappear  little further along from another gap between the stones. There must be be whole vole city in the stones. It is amazing to think of all these tiny creatures going about their daily lives oblivious to our huge shadow, yet such a life, being constantly on the look out for predators.

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