|A few pics from the square before people were out and about|
|The main road through the village|
It wasn't heavy but because the night temperatures were so low, down to -15, it lay straight away and after the first light but steady fall there was 8 or 9 inches, then went up to about a foot. Dave cleared the paths as Bonnie and I are rather wobbly on our pins, with the days being sunny once cleared, the paths dry during the day. But we had a fall of rain which upset the apple cart, meaning Bonnie, who still insists on a morning walk, having to be carried up the steps out of the garden which were a sheet of ice first thing. But we are now on the way to a thaw and the nights are not as cold.
|The girls supervising|
|Waiting for their walk|
|Life in the old girl....|
|Freedom on the lane|
|Spud was playing in the snow...but too quick for me|
|Charlie keeping warm|
|You'd think they were friends....|
|Charlie keeping warm (2)|
The ducks' initial reaction was one of horror! They came out, jumping up and down , trying to get away from the cold....and made their way straight to the hen shed where they stayed, being waited on by Dave as they need their water replenishing constantly so they can not only dip their heads (they don't do tears and need to wash occasionally) but they need water to eat too. The first night Dave chivied them back to their own quarters but they are now allowed to sleep with the chickens...as long as it works OK and the chooks get their rest. A couple of bales of hay were sacrificed for walking on and scratching through and when he could, Dave made a path to the water pond and sorted the well pump which had stopped working. Happy ducks.
|All glad of freshly cleared ground|
The chooks take everything in their stride and the three Sussex have now got the small pen since the ducks moved out. They are laying well and Dave has set a few eggs in the incubator to see how it works, not necessarily expecting any chicks, just so he knows what's what before he sets eggs in earnest. And yes, we were supposed to be stopping this breeding lark, but it will be just Sussex and ducks as we think there might be a market for them.
|They won't get cold with those fluffy bloomers!|
The rest of the chooks are laying well and we are getting a bit of an egg mountain, but they will keep fresh in the fridge for a while and a couple of people are having them from us.
The goats have hibernated. They have plenty of space in their stable and they jump up and down from the bench if energy takes them. Milly is still giving around a litre of milk a day so must be happy enough. They get a lot of attention from Dave.
And the garden...well there's not much to say really. We had a solid frozen cabbage one day, from the polytunnel, and we have sprouts which are better for being well frosted. I have tidied all the geraniums and chilli plants overwintering upstairs and they are looking great. Some seeds are germinating, onions really, so they are not too unhappy up there. The nights being not so cold will make a difference.
|After the rain there was a weird texture in the early morning light|
One thing about the snow is we are seeing more birds in the garden. They keep the cats amused as they try to raid the walnut box outside. Because of this I thought I would make some high protein treats for them, mostly great and blue tits and hedge sparrows, but I have also seen lesser and greater woodpeckers, jays and other small brown birds, hard to distinguish and impossible to photograph for ID with the glare of sun on snow. The fatty, fruity and nutty treats, with added flax and sunflower seeds....have been totally ignored by the hungry birds, though because of the cats we have had to hang them on the washing line instead of the tree. I have seen one great tit and one blue tit have a look, but that's all. Ah well, I tried. They will just have to make do with hen food! There are tracks of animals passing through the empty garden behind us, but owls are all we really see there. The owls in the square just watch on, almost invisible unless you know they're there.
|This is a Syrian woodpecker but we also get greater and lesser spotted woodpeckers in the garden|
|Lots of lovely goodies|
|Bella says she'll have them!|
|A lone blue tit looked and went|
There have been a couple of orthodox religious name days this last week. On the 6th is is Jordan's day, where young men (these days with a health certificate) gather by the river, (representing the river Jordan) a cross is tossed in and all the chaps try to retrieve it. Flipping cold this year! I think there must have been a few cancellations. Then the next day was John's (Ivan's) day. I confess I am not a religious person and only have a passing interest in what all the days are for.
Dave went to the village cafe, sliding over the ice, where Baba Danka's 40 day do was, a day to say goodbye to her spirit and marking the end of the mourning period. It was also as I said above. John's day and as Dave was waiting outside the shop for Venka, both he and Yordan were accosted by a Priest and whacked across the face with some herby twigs and blessed. A bit alarming at the time. He came home with a share of the meal for me and a poster to put on the gate for Baba Danka.
We are having some cracking sunrises. This is not unusual but I never get tired of them. They often don't come out well in pictures...then there's a good day!