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1st: Wildlife 2nd: The Land 3rd: The Land 4th: Wildlife 5th: Sheep and Alpacas 6th: Rhea 7th: The Land 8th: Goats 9th: Sheep and Alpacas 10th: The Land
12th: Rugs and Fibre 13th: Dogs 14th: The Land 15th: Poultry 16th: Dogs 17th: Sheep and Alpacas 18th: Sheep and Alpacas
1st: Starlings
A not terribly great video of a few starlings from this morning, and showing a fraction of the numbers we have around at the moment. The noise this morning from Cadbury Wood was just fabulous. We don't see starlings all year round any more, these are all winter migrants and we just love having them. There must be rich pickings on our very sodden land just now!
2nd: Feeling grateful
Jack has started a sketchpad journal - she is not a natural artist but the sentiment behind these drawings is very real!!
And a lot of fun is being had in putting pencil to paper like this.
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3rd: Colours against the grey
Daylight is in short supply just now as most days are full of grey clouds, wind and rain -
but just look at the colour of the willow here - it is positively glowing!!!
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4th: The first snowdrops are starting to appear
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5th: Sunshine
Sunshine has been in very short supply these last few weeks but after days and days of mainly rain and wind, we are now forecast some dry - and with added sunshine as a bonus. What a difference it made to the morning rounds!!
We moved the sheep and alpacas into Fruit Field from Goat, as they won't now need all the inside space Goat offers plus the grass is a wee bit longer here. It is just as wet underfoot, if not wetter, but with some minus nighttime temperatures forecast, we may get lucky and the land may dry up a bit. Here's hoping.
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6th: Outdoor feeding
Another bonus to the drier weather is being able to site the rhea feeder outside once more, as opposed to inside the field shelter. We think the rhea prefer it as they are not keen on 'enclosed' spaces and feel far more secure being out in the open - where they can run away!!
It will also be better for the land as the shelter entrance was very very muddy. We also think a few rats has taken up residence due to the feed being inside the shelter all the time so they may now move on. The rhea were very happy about the new arrangement and all came up to feed at once.
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Meanwhile, over in Fruit Field, the sheep and alpacas were very appreciative of the addition of a new bale of hay in their feeder!!
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7th: Frosty
Our first frost of the new year!!! In places the land was crunchy, a complete joy after the squelch of the last few weeks
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8th: More frost
Another stunning day from start to finish - everything was out enjoying the crisp grass, water drinkers had to be de-iced and hay racks, once again, had to be topped up. We also fed a bit of hard feed to the sheep and alpacas now the temperature and the grass are much colder - the goats already get some twice a day, not that they didn't protest when they saw us head up to Fruit Field with a bucket that obviously 'wasn't' for them.Relaxed at Home
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9th: Approval?
Hegemone and Muckle deciding the new mud mats in their shelter are perhaps acceptable.
Since installing them there hasn't been the opportunity to test them out 'in anger' as it were, i.e. when it is raining and the land underneath gets wet, but we hope they will pass the test them too!!
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10th: Sleepy hollow
We have been cold and frosty for a few days now. It's always fascinating to see how the land reacts when we have a frost. Here at the bottom of Oak field, the effects are often quite mild. It's a bit of a sleepy hollow down here and when it's cold, this is often the place the animals retreat to to be warm. The cows used to sleep here when we had them, and the rhea sometimes do too. This morning, this part of the fields was way less white than nearer the top! If we ever rewild this field, it would be fascinating to see how it grew!!Relaxed at Home
 
12th: Finished - at last!!
Due to a certain person spending eight days away in his 'hotel-with-benefits' (Exeter Hospital!!!), the rug making had taken a bit of back seat. Finally today though, this graduated rug saw the final knots being tied so it can now be posted off to its new owner.
What was amazing was how within an hour of posting it on Facebook, we had an order for another one!! Wow!!
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13th: Poor mice
Not sure what was hiding in the grass here by the allotment fence but hopefully it beat a hasty retreat - and it's not as though digging along a fence line is a great activity anyway - for the fencing that is, the dogs loved it!!
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14th: Looking west morning and evening - stunning!!
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15th: And then there were five
Just before the New Year, we had decided to cut back our poultry again and just keep a few to provide eggs for the dogs and us occasionally. We have been selling eggs via Lynda and they had proved popular, but we never really covered our costs and as we now eat less and less eggs, it felt a bit daft keeping more than we actually need.
It's all part of the plan to make sure we adapt the smallholding to our current needs and wants which, since David's HA no 3, is now more prescient!!
It's lovely having just five - need to name them now!!Relaxed at Home
16th: We do love a good recall
17th: Evening feeding - just magical
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18th: Juniper and Peppercorn
These two (pure Gotlands) are a fine looking pair of sheep, sadly, as we review our animal numbers and workload, they may be two that we look to move on!!!!
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