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Posted: Mon Jan 14, 2019 2:41 pm
I know it’s an English obsession but it’s a white over. Always feels like the real start of winter once that happens. Should all be gone tomorrow but it was great crunching through it when I took the dog out first thing. Don’t know whether it’s all the reflected light but the cockerels have discovered their voices.
Posted: Mon Jan 14, 2019 4:11 pm
Down here in Hampshire, it's a balmy 6C, and after a long run of dry weather I'm working on clearing some waste ground to plant a shelter belt area of native flowering and fruiting trees - rowan, wild pear, and cherry plum, plus native juniper, oak and birch. The earth is warm and shakes easily off the fork - in summer, it gets too hard to push a fork in, so it's great to be able to work on it in January, when normally it should be too cold and frozen or else very wet.
We had the first proper snow for nearly 20 years last Spring - it blocked our road and people living down a nearby narrow lane weren't dug out for 2 weeks. It totally filled the chicken run, blew in through the willow screening from the East, and it was a real pain to dig it out, so this year I have plastic tarp ready to put up if any snow is forecast.
Is it getting any lighter up there yet, HenGen? When I look out of the bathroom window at 7.00, I see a torch bobbing its way up the field behind the garden, presumably someone taking the dog out early. I need to do the hens before 3.00 p.m, in December, to make sure they have time to eat a good hot mash before bedtime, but that's slipping to 4.00 by now.
Posted: Mon Jan 14, 2019 5:43 pm
It’s still pretty dark though it is improving. I look forward to March 21st when we overtake you in daylight hours reaching our max in late June with no real night at all.
The older hens are coming back into lay now and the snowdrops should be flowering soon. Though the worst of the winter is probably yet to come these little indicators of Spring lift ones spirits.
Unusually I have pre bookings for pullets this year so my oldies, well 3 years, must perform well in the fertility stakes. And though his crossbred daughters are popular I can’t wait to get that Araucana cockerel in the stock pot. Not keen on lavender chickens. Must try to get some Black Araucana hatching eggs this year.
Unsurprisingly after such a good summer the hay that the supplier imports from southern Scotland is of superlative quality this year. The sheep eat up every strand so no wastage. But because all the grass has gone they nearly have me off my feet. And the ram, which I borrowed from a neighbour has a nasty glint in his eyes. I wouldn’t trust him further than I could spit. One neighbour this year had his leg in strapping after a ram attack. Another had his hand in plaster. Don’t let anyone tell you that sheep are harmless. Some years back an elderly woman was killed by her ram on the next island.
Posted: Mon Jan 14, 2019 8:23 pm
I was butted on the side of my knee by a friend's ram. He was in the filed housing the chicken enclosure and was fine when I went n on my own - let me scratch his head and the wandered off. When the two of us went back 10 minutes later, he let me scratch his head then took two paces back and WHAM! I was on the floor. No real damage fortunately!
Posted: Tue Jan 15, 2019 10:16 am
Weather here has been really mild so far, although it's forecast to get much colder from tomorrow night, with "warnings" of heavy frost - it's mid January, so heavy frost is really to be expected! But the tabloids are going on as if it's the coming of the apocolypse! "Sub-zero temps!" "Widespread frost!"
Posted: Tue Jan 15, 2019 10:19 am
It's gong to get colder here too and the long range forecast is for possible snow at then of January beginning of February. Well it won't be the first time!
Posted: Tue Jan 15, 2019 2:01 pm
They are forecasting snow in Dordogneshire on Saturday- we're well South and won't get any. It's 12C air temperature here and much warmer in the sun. 'T' shirt weather it is, but has to be covered with a quilted shirt!
Seen on the news, in-between the Brexit farce, there are going to be restrictions on open fires and wood burners. Now that's long overdue as air pollution in the UK has been terrible for years- it stinks when I go over, so the figure of 60,000/year premature deaths didn't surprise me. But no mention where and how- I'm guessing burning ordinary coal and wet unseasoned wood will be top of the list. What about bonfires?
Apparently domestic wood burning here in France is responsible for 10% of the air pollution and that's with well seasoned dry wood and high efficiency burners- the government has also announced that within 10 years oil heating will be phased out because that's another 25% of the pollution. But they will then use wood pellet burners and wood is running out (forests have been quietly/ discretely decimated), so how is that going to work?
Posted: Tue Jan 15, 2019 3:42 pm
They are forecasting snow in our part of the world for Tues, no doubt it will be a light dusting which will send everyone into panic mode. It is getting colder though.
I always have a sneaky peek at the headlines on the Express as they are obsessed with the weather, always good for a laugh. For weeks they have been saying London will have 30 cm of snow on the 22nd, and it will be colder than the Arctic circle in Scotland along with 50mph winds, this is all going to last until April. When no doubt they will be forecasting temps of 100 + for the summer.
I don't think they know where Shetland is Hen-Gen otherwise you would be getting tons of white stuff and the four horseman of the Apocalypse for good measure
Being fed up with the persistent grey days, a few frosts and sunshine will be welcome
Posted: Tue Jan 15, 2019 5:41 pm
The worst place I go to for air pollution (not like I go there for it!) is Birmingham center. That's traffic, of course. London too. Its a great place but getting off the train when I get back its amazing how fresh the air is here in comparison.
Flat, grey with a bit of wind and slight dampness here too.
Posted: Tue Jan 15, 2019 7:09 pm
Thurrock must run Birmingham close on the pollution front especially near the Dartford crossing, on warm days the smell of fumes and the grey cloud of pollution is something else