It’s been a while since the last post – January and February were hard going here for lots of reasons, and I seemed to be stuck at the computer a lot more than I would like. Aside from the first couple of weeks of January and one week in February, the weather here has been good: very cold, but dry and clear, and great weather for clearing brambles, felling trees, and minor building projects. Frustrating then to miss most of it! It now feels like full steam ahead to get as much done as possible before the spring sets in.
If it weren’t for the freezing nights (-6 on Sunday night) you would think that spring was here already. I’ve had a couple of pretty idyllic afternoons in the wood bundling faggotts from last years sticks. Gwen has had an equally good time trying to undo them all again of course, but it’s been really lovely just working quietly in the wood, with the sun coming through the bare trees. A good reminder of why we are here. All of the trees that are coming down this year are now down, so the wood looks like a real hive of activity. We’ve felled a couple into the lower wood, which was necessary, but has forced me to address the challenge of how to get the logs out of there – it is so steep and there is no easy path. A welcome break from logic and databases, nevertheless!
Another sign of spring is the yearly incursions of the sheep. Today there was a little gang wandering down the road, down our track, into Wolf’s field and then heading back up the road through the wood. By evening they were back in Wolf’s field. They’re not Wolf’s sheep, by the way.
Yesterday one particularly stupid sheep found it’s way into our field via a dodgy hedge, and all the farmers on the surrounding hillsides were treated to the sight of two men, a dog, and a herd of alpacas all trying to get the wretched thing out. Actually the alpacas were more bemused than bothered and stood there gawping at us, along with half of Talog … one of the drawbacks of being highly visible on a hillside.
Speaking of the alpacas – they’re all doing well. Well fleeced now, so we’re not at all bothered by the cold temperatures. As it’s dry they don’t bother with the field shelter and are now hanging out at the top of the field again. A favourite spot, generally, and right now the place where there is the most grass. I shall be glad when it starts growing again. We do have enough, but with very little to spare. The two cria are both very impressive as quality animals and as characters to spend time with.
But back to the wood …. the ravens have returned. Not as many as last year, but then there are fewer lambs in Huw’s field. Maybe more will come (both ravens and lambs). There’s still enough (ravens, not lambs) to make you very aware in the wood – amazing cronking and vocalisations that really do sound like a conversation. Thankfully there’s been no carnage yet, but I doubt if it will be long before we’re stepping over the remains of their dinner …
At the house, I’ve done a few more jobs, but there is only so much energy. (I’m feeling it at 51!) Finally though, I’m getting the stones cleared up!