Archive for January, 2013

January walk up Staple Hill

Today the sun was shining and as most of the snow has cleared we took ourselves up to Staple Hill for our favourite walk.  It is about 900 feet high at Staple Hill and some of the snow was still lying in the hedgerows and on the paths.

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There was quite a chill in the air.  I think you call it bracing!!  As we rounded the corner we saw more lying snow.

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As we walked up the hill we saw that 2 trees had fallen right over the path, probably weighted down by the snow and then the winds we have had.

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One of the trees you could easily walk right under as I did.

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On the upper level the sun was peaking through the trees.

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Freshly invigorated after our walk, we made our way home via The Candlelight Inn in Bishopswood, where we stopped for a quick lunchtime bevy!!  And the best bit was that as we had the car we didn’t have to walk up the hill back home.

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At last a thaw

Today the sun is shining and the sky is blue instead of grey.  We can hear the gently drip, drip, drip as the snow is starting to thaw. There are long shadows across the land.

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In both directions………

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The snow is melting off the branches

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And the sky is bright blue

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Even more snow

Yesterday we had even more snow in Buckland St Mary, all afternoon and evening, until all the footprints were covered again and we just had a complete whiteout. And then more snow this morning.

This is the view out of the back door.

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and looking down the garden…

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The next photo is taken from the front door.  You can see from the snow on the table how much has fallen.

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Our lane outside our front garden is impassable, the snow is 8 to 10 inches thick.

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It’s very pretty to look at.  This is the view over the fields…

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Good job we have no B&B guests booked in the moment.  Firstly they wouldn’t be able to get to us and then would they find us?  Even our signed is partially covered up.

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Poor Tarquin the cat went out the front door this morning, and the snow was so deep it stuck in clumps to his underbelly and we had to go out and rescue him.  I don’t think he’ll be going out again in a hurry.

This is the view of the front of the house…

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We’ve not been out in the car since last Thursday and I think it will be a few days yet before we venture out again.  Good job we are well stocked up.

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More fun in the snow

After lunch today we went to clean the chickens out.  Even though the snow is still thick, it had to be done.  Because the chickens aren’t venturing too far into their run at the moment, they really don’t like treading on the snow, Neil managed to pick up Big Chook.  This was one of our chickens hatched from an egg last Summer which has grown into a hen one and half times bigger than all the other hens, hence its name.  We still don’t know if it is a hen or a cockerel, although it is not showing any signs of being a cock. It’s a beautiful bird.

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Tia followed us all the way down the back.  She is polydactyl, ie has extra toes, so she is also known as little big foot.  Of course she is ideally suited to walking on the snow as she has her own “snow shoes”.  I also call her my little snow tiger.

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As we walked towards the woods there were lots of animal footprints.  I think these are from a fox, although luckily he had stayed away from the chickens as they have an electric fence around their enclosure.

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This was the sight as we walked down into the woods, just beautiful….

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We noticed that a couple of trees had broken boughs where they had cracked under the weight of the snow.  Perhaps they were old trees anyway and not in a very healthy condition, but Neil will have to go in with his chainsaw when the snow has melted and cut them down.

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The sun was just shining weakly through the trees and the snow was just melting a little bit.  You can just see our well to the left of this picture.

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I really liked the look of these branches with snow on.

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Of Bees and hens and pheasants in the snow

None of the snow has cleared today.  It’s such a cold day, it’s just sitting where it fell.  Neil went down to clear the entrance to the beehive which was blocked with snow.  Not that the little bees want to come out and fly today, but they need air to circulate so they don’t suffocate.

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We’ve tried to entice the hens outside, but they don’t like putting their feet on the snow, so we cleared an area just outside the henhouse to encourage them out to scratch around and at least eat their food.  Big Chook was eating the snow.  Their water had frozen up so we put another smaller container of water nearer the hen house.  We still got 8 eggs today.  I thought they might go on strike in this bad weather, I’m surprised they are still laying.

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We have been feeding the birds, hanging up nuts and seeds. In particular we  want to ensure that the woodpeckers have sufficient suet and nuts to eat so that they won’t attack the beehive in search of honey and bees to eat.  This has happened to one of the beekeepers in the village last year.  The seeds disappear at the rate of knots, so we have also sprinkled some on the ground for the ground feeding birds like the blackbirds to peck at.  And then alongs comes Mr Pheasant thinking he will have a go at the seeds too.  He’s just like a big chicken scratching around on the ground, only he doesn’t mind his feet in the snow!!

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Our little monkey puzzle tree covered in snow looks like a mini snowman, very cute!!

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The woods look so beautiful with all the snow…..

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I particularly like this view of one of our gates in the snow.

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On the stables the snow has dripped, then frozen again, so there is quite an overhang.

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The forecasters say we are in for several days of this cold spell, so we may be snowed in for quite a while, but luckily we have plenty of supplies.

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Snow, snow and more snow

We woke up this morning to a blanket of white.  It had been forecast so we were forewarned and had stocked up on groceries.

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The UK never copes well with snow.  Schools and airports are shut; workers have not gone in today; roads are in chaos.  I’m jolly glad we didn’t have to go out in the car today.  I think the UK just doesn’t have enough snow ploughs or snowblowers, so every time we get snow the country grinds to a halt.

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The hens were not at all happy, never having seen snow before they didn’t want to venture out.  We tried to tempt them with food but only a couple came down the ramp.

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The Fruit cage has collapsed.  The weight of the snow on the nets has pulled it down.  That’s going to be a big job to mend that.

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We donned our hats, scarves, coats and boots and went for a walk, crunching through the newly laid snow.  It was not so nice with the snow blowing onto our faces, but envirgorating to be outside.

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I love making footprints in the snow……

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Not much traffic had been down our lane.

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We must have had at least 4 inches of snow, more in some places.  It’s beautiful the way it sits on gates and hedges.

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Walking back up the lane towards home, we got a view of our house in the snow, a welcome sight, knowing how warm it is inside.

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Luckily we don’t have any B&B guests booked in at the moment, as I think they would struggle to get here today.

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Winter walk up Staple Hill

Today the sky is clear blue and the sun is shining even tho’ it is only 1 degree C – a real change from yesterday when it teamed with rain all day.

Being such a beautiful day we took ourselves up to Staple Hill for a brisk walk to take in some cold but fresh air.

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This view is taken as you start the walk from the car park.  You then reach a kissing gate.

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Through here takes you onto the loop walk which is popular with dog walkers, runners and walkers alike.  It’s a short walk but takes in wonderful views.  On a clear day you can see over to Wales.

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Today was a bit hazy but still a lovely view.

We met a man walking a lovely Newfoundland dog.  It was big, he said 9 stone, but quite gentle and friendly.

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The sun was shining through the dense pine woods.

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When we left Staple Hill, rosy cheeked and invigorated we made our way to our local pub, the Candlelight in Bishopswood, and called in for a quick drink.  Neil had a pint and I had a Winter Pimms, lovely…

We are only 6/10ths of a mile from the pub, although it is an uphill walk home.

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