Sunday, 10 February 2008

Mild weather at last and visiting fellow smallholders

This week has been, on the whole, dry, so the land is starting to dry out. The down side to this is that the mud is now clinging to everything especially the sheep's feet and 1 or 2 of them have been limping. A quick check of their feet reveals, great clods of mud stuck to their hooves. It takes no time to clean them up, though it takes the sheep a few steps to realise there is no mud between their toes!!!!! We also moved them into another field as the one they were in, the grass is getting quite short. You don't want to get in the way when 24 pregnant ewes are in full flight running towards a field of fresh grass. They take no prisoners!!!!!!! But there is always a few ewes who run up the wrong side of the fence and then can't understand why they are not in the field with the new grass. A bucket of feed usually gets them going in the right direction.
Yesterday we took advantage of the fine weather and trimed back a couple of trees that are at right angles, to the hedge on the common land, that we are in the process of laying. The braches are laid on the bank side, lined up like bodies. We can't move them as the land is still very wet, but hopefully another week of mild weather and it will dry out nicely.
Letting Holly and Deefa have a run in the back field, we discovered that the snow last weekend has toppled a couple of trees along our boundary taking the fence with it. We will need to repair it before the lambs are born, as this is the field they and their mums will be going into. Yet another job to add to the list!!!
Today we went over to Teesdale to visit fellow smallholders and friends, Richard and Stephanie. We had a wander round their farm, in the sunshine, looking at their sheep, pigs, horses and cows, who were fastened up in the byre. You don't as much wander around their smallholding as climb, it's very hilly. Richard did regal us with the tale of getting his tractor stuck on the hill side, unable to get it started again and it sliding down the field towards the fence and stone wall. Thankfully it went through the fence, but was then stuck with it's front against the wall and it's back against the fence. Richard had to dig out the back wheels so he could reverse it round. It took him a week!!! He was also telling us that with the recent snow, getting the bales of hay to the sheep in the bottom field, was a doddle. Just use the bale of hay like a sledge. It takes no time to get to the bottom!!!!! After a lunch of home made soup we caught up on the gossip how things had gone last year, what we're all getting up to over the next few months. Next time we will probably see each other is at Woolfest in June.
Not much else happening, the Hobbits arrive next weekend, just for the weekend followed by the Resident Vandal and Kiera dog for a week, but more about that next weekend.

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