Wednesday, 24 February 2010
Snowdrops, Antipodean Heat, Increasing Egg Yield, Marmalade Time
The snowdrops are coming on well everywhere now and the old orchard has great masses of them under the old mossy trees.
The daffodil shoots are appearing in the hedges along the drive and stand like sharp green sentinels up through the dead ferns and clusters of leaves that blanket the banks.
In the hedges I also found the first leaves emerging on the honeysuckle and buds on the hazel bushes.
We have heard from Elder Son & KT who are now in Sydney where it is an appalling 38degreesC. I think Elder Son is finding the heat difficult and a huge city of sky-scrapers somewhat daunting, though they are having a marvellous time. This is the last stage of their trip and we are looking forward to hearing travellers tales when they return shortly.
Younger Son phoned us today and it is also very hot in New Zealand of course. He is busy working very, very long hours , fortunately in an air-conditioned tractor, baling grass. Thousands of bales, on a scale unimaginable to us here in Wales with our small fields and small numbers of cattle.
KTs' hens are laying well and I think I've looked after them well in her absence...certainly the number of eggs each day is increasing though I can't take the credit for that; its all to do with the lengthening days. Last night the Farmer came in after milking (about 6.15pm) and said it was the first night he had been able to shut the hens up without using a torch to light his way. Long light evening are awaited with such anticipation after what has been a hard, difficult winter.
We were given some Seville oranges the other day and the Farmer has just made his annual batch of marmalade. He loves the whole process of marmalade-making and filling the house with the delicious scent of hot oranges. I do all the jam and chutney making but he insists on doing the marmalade himself. I think he & Paddington Bear have a lot in common when it comes to a passion for marmalade...I haven't got him into red wellies and a duffle coat yet though.