There’s always a slow period in winter when necessary renewal needs to occur at a fundamental level. A kind of hibernation. I find that living close to the land it’s easier to get a sense of this.
Does anyone else feel like this dormouse? (No, not you, you southern hemispherans…)
But jobs still need to be done.
The incredible amount of rain we’ve experienced over the last year has not made things easy.
However, in the last couple of weeks a few projects have started to get underway.
Digging out the corral and filling with crushed stone to make hard standing instead of quagmire.
The small gap to the left of the gate is where the crush will go.
Hedge cutting before the nesting season. We cut ours every two years to allow the animals and birds a chance.
I also move the cows to the Triangle Field to graze down the grass there. It’s only just across from the Cow Field so I hope it’s going to be pretty straightforward. I get some sheep hurdles at our local farmers shop which provide, along with a couple of cars, a corridor to the Triangle Field.
They follow the bale of hay quite obediently (I make sure there is a long interval since their last feed) until H’s dog gives an excited little bark which sends Belita (the nervy shy one) careering back into the Cow Field. She then becomes very distressed at being separated from the others and runs up and down the boundary on the other side. H rounds her up and I keep the other two from escaping while calling her name at the same time.
Gratifyingly, she is following the sound of my voice and then H says I should show my face to her (she’s a vet so she knows the ways of animals well) so I leave the gate closed on the others and go towards her. As soon as she sees me she comes running and lets me guide her into the new field. And very glad to be reunited with Lucy and Mary-Rose.
They are all quite excited by the abundance of grass and after a few high kicks get down to munching, moving excitedly from place to place as if they both can’t quite believe it or get enough, snatching mouthfuls from each sweet patch. This is before they realise that there is no shelter in this field. They have now been out in the open for a couple of weeks. They really don’t like the rain on their backs.
But I am very pleased that Belita trusted me enough to come with me. This is definitely progress.
H manages to capture the moment on her phone
The girls taking advantage of some morning sun after a hard night
This is where they try and shelter from the rain.
I also went over to T & N’s where I was able to catch up with Herald, our bull. Unfortunately he got lice, possibly brought with him from the other farm, which has left him a bit patchy but it’s all been treated now. T says he is very good natured and doesn’t mind a stroke.
Moose, their gentle shire horse whom they rescued when they found her in very bad shape in a field not far from them a few years ago, towers above all the others. She is definitely the top four-legged-hooved-animal in the pecking order here.
Moose, Daisy & Herald (looking very small!)
They really like hay
Aw look at that face…
Moose leads the way
Before this current sweep of arctic air the temperature was unseasonably warm for a few days ( = more rain). This has confused the frogs and the tulips. There was much croaking from the pond and when I went out in the middle of the night there were lots of frogs congregating for a bout of procreating. The pond is now full of spawn. The tulips are poking their heads out too.
I only hope it doesn’t freeze in the next couple of months.