Posts Tagged cold weather

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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The bulbs are coming up

We’ve  had a mild spell of weather recently and the daffodil bulbs in the ground have responded by starting to come up. It’s too early, it’s still Winter, it’s only the beginning of January!!  Any blast of cold weather or frost will damage them.

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When we were driving back from Taunton yesterday we saw trees in blossom.  The season’s are all upside down, the plants are confused.

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I wonder how soon it will be before the daffodils are in bloom?

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Of Snow and snowdrops!

Last Monday we had snow.  Not the thick sort, but the watery sort that settled on the grass, hedges and rooftops but not on the paths.  Then it was bitterly cold all week, going down to minus 7 degress C.  Thursday and Friday the sunshine was lovely, inspite of the bitter cold, then Saturday we had light snow which turned to rain and in the course of that one day the temperature went from minus 6 degrees in the morning to plus 4 degrees by the evening.  Elsewhere on the East side of the UK they had 4 to 6 inches of snow on Saturday evening. My Dad sent over some pictures of where he lives and it was thick with snow, so here in the southwest we were lucky to escape that. And today it is a mild plus 7 degrees C, so back to suitable weather for working outside again.

The spring bulbs have been pushing through, confused by the relatively mild weather we have been having until last week.  There are carpets of snowdrops all over the place.  This is just by us.

snowdrops in bloom

We have 2 half moon baskets by the front door and they have crocus coming up.  It’s really too early for crocus, but this is a sheltered spot that faces south and gets the sun when it is out.

crocus and pansies

We have got wallflowers in bloom and the daffoldils are in bud so will be out soon.

Wallflowers and daffodil bud

Also our Hellebores have been flowering for a couple of weeks now.

Hellebores in flower

We have been putting food out for the wild birds all winter, but last week we were diligent in keeping it topped up as it was so cold.  Mr Pheasant discovered that there was always lots of dropped seeds on the ground under the bird feeders, so he regularly pays us a visit.  This picture was taken through the kitchen window so not the clearest.

Mr Pheasant comes to visit

The chickens havn’t seemed to mind the cold weather too much.  We have had to break the ice on their drinking water every morning, and take down warm water.  The mud in the hen run has frozen over but they seemed happy to continue to spuddle about.  We have been getting between 10 and 12 eggs a day out of 15 hens, even in the cold weather, so can’t complain at that.  We stew up potatoe, apple, carrot and other vegetable peelings for them and feed them that for breakfast, which they love, but the other day my neighbour gave us some cooked peas and chips that were left over and they loved that.  You should have seen them picking up a pea and running off to eat it then coming back for another one.  They are funny!!  They have layers pellets on free demand all the time aswell, but we just use the veggies to supplement their diet, and we do get lovely yellow yolks from them.  There is nothing like a freshly laid egg from a free range hen!!

 
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