|Dalmation in reverse? Bracken coming in|
|The cornel before the snow was removed|
|One branch of one of the plum trees|
|Venka and Yordan's icicles|
|Around the village|
|The steps behind the post office|
|Main road, day one|
We have had damage in the garden. The polytunnel couldn't cope with the weight and is now a very large cloche, completely flattened. We will have to wait for the thaw to find out if we can salvage anything. Trees have also been damaged, a huge branch from the cats' favourite apricot tree has broken off and we will have to assess it later to see if we can safely keep it. So sad, it's the centre of the garden. Also the pear tree with the little summer pears which are so good bottled has lost a large branch. It's all down to the sheer weight of the snow. There may be even more casualties as the plum across the garden and the cornel by the gate a very heavy with snow. All the chain link fences are solid white.
|The odd shaped thing behind the well was the polytunnel!|
|Broken apricot tree|
In the village people are digging to find their cars as the snow drifted over them. Many people have been without electricity for a couple of days (we've been lucky) and internet is sketchy at best. We were OK the first day but now we have none. The roads have been ploughed but with more snow coming down it hasn't really helped. Still some people have to get out, especially as there were funerals planned. And of course they need to get bread, have a coffee and chat about the weather! The chap who looks after the internet cables has been round trying to dislodge snow from them. Our's came on again but went off within half an hour, then Dave saw him going up our lane so he might have dislodged something. Amazing how lost you feel without it.
There are lots of small birds coming and going and we have set up a simple feeding station, stocking it with freshly shelled walnuts, any seed that's hanging around and the final fat treat. All hung on the washing line meaning the cats get entertainment but can't get anywhere near to catch. So far I have only seen blue and great tits on it, with chaffinch picking up the pieces underneath (cats allowing, the path is cleared so they are easily seen) The sparrows are happy with chicken feed...Charlie has been seen trying to use the ducks as a shield to get close...but the ducks are noisy and it doesn't work! We have also had a few serin about which is nice, but they aren't brave enough to raid the feeding station. Photos are a bit hazy due to them being taken through the cheap double glazing which is never quite sparkling. We have also seen a few skeins of geese flying over, hundreds of birds. They pick their moments....usually when I have no camera to hand.
|Cracking walnuts for birds wild and domestic|
|Serin, a pretty little visitor|
One thing which would suffer if the electricity goes off are the eggs in the incubator, so fingers crossed it won't go off. (It did, but not for long, about an hour)
The animals thought it was great at first. Bracken is a real outdoor boy and follows Dave around for as long as he's allowed. He and Bella got a bit playful but Bella is still wary of the big lad, having had a couple of tellings off over the years and she doesn't know why. Bonnie had to bounce through the snow to go for a pee, which is exhausting for the old girl. Day one and she had to be carried up the steps to go for a walk. It gets a bit confusing as there have to be two walks because Bracken goes on a flexi-lead so is not used to walking to heel in his place, as the girls are, and things are inclined to get a bit muddled. Poor Dave...well he does complain he has nothing to do in this weather! But the girls don't understand why they can't go with Bracken, Bracken doesn't understand why he can't go with the girls. But I value my husband and really don't need him going head over heels!
|Round three of path clearing and he still has a smile on his face|
|Checking the paddock.....|
|.....and down came a branch, just where he had been standing The goat bench was nearly covered here|
After the initial horror at what was happening outside, the cats eventually braved it, Spud keeping to the chicken run and dust house, Charlie using the tracks the dogs left in the snow. He has an amazing thick and soft coat, much better protected than Spud. Both cats are watching the birds of course, easy to see in the snow, but they are safe enough for now. They do, however, need to let off steam. They are still young cats and luckily they seem to have become buddies since we started the bad weather and play for hours, using the chairs, cat flaps and any feet and legs lying about as obstacles, jumping on dogs as they pass (dogs are not happy...scary kitties!) and at night charging up and down the stairs and especially Spud. up onto chest of drawers, headboard, bedside table, whatever, but usually settling on the bed eventually, leaving Bella a nervous wreck.
|United in disgust! Two very different cats|
|With his super thick coat Charlie soon ventured out|
|And came in to attack my shoes. He does this sometimes with my feet in them! Ouch.|
The outside animals are complaining a bit but generally they just get on with things. The duck pond is lost again so they are keeping to the chicken house with a trough of water for washing, the Sussex are happy enough inside, the chickens are scratching around in the dust barn and the goats are quite happy munching on hay and veg all day.
So with some of the country being given warnings about strong winds and other areas declaring a state of emergency due to over full rivers, we should count ourselves lucky. We have heating .....we don't have central heating so no water pump to worry about if the electricity goes off. The heating also has an oven and we can cook on top. We have plenty of candles and a full gas bottle for the burner we use for bottling in summer. We have plenty of our own preserved food and flour for bread etc. masses of eggs and milk for our needs, plenty of animal feed and bedding etc, etc. Over the top? Maybe. But who knows what will happen in the next few days, or even weeks as the temperatures are set to plummet.
|Fed up ducks|
Now, the one thing I might have a problem with....a stir crazy husband, already going bonkers with little to do outside, there is only so much snow he can shift and once the animals are fed. And it's only been three days since he can't go out!
|Stunning icicle from the gutter|
|Some of these were three feet long but they had to come down after the photo as they were starting to fall and we don't want any accidents|