Tuesday, 4 March 2014

March already?

Well Christmas came and went without a blog post, as did New Year, January and February and as I perused the blog to see what the weather was doing this time last year I realised that I was missing keeping my little photo journal and would have nothing to refer back to this time next year! Actually it transpires that this time last year I was planning to get the outside into shape and was unaware that we were heading for a lot of snow! I hope we don't have a re-run this year, although March has certainly come in like a lamb.
So I've finally revved up the old keyboard and decided it's catchee upee time.

Today (so far) and yesterday are the first days that it hasn't rained heavily since November. Me and my little band of beasties have been relatively lucky as we've escaped the severe flooding that is happening both locally and throughout the U.K. So it seems somewhat churlish to complain about the misery of incessant rain and mud when people's homes are underwater. But the garden and fields are waterlogged and churned into a sticky, clagging mire. Out beyond the mire a couple of ponds formed and then merged into a small lake. As it grew and drowned all the grass I started calling the paddock Lake Superior and idly wondering about a boat. It's fair to say there is no grass left out there. So the paddock has gone from this...

with so much grass that the ponies needed to be restricted and the horses vanished when lying down...

to this...

      Litchen- Don't stand there with the camera - put some hay out! I'm starving you        know!
      Me -       There's a whole big bale open in the yard - just go in and get it!
      Litchen - No chance. You think I don’t know it’s a trap? I'm going to stand in the       muddiest bit and look all neglected.

Although to be honest it turns into a quagmire every winter, even without this years persistent deluge. Here's a reminder of 2012 when the Aberdeen Angus girls were wading about out there.

But it somehow seems worse when it's nearly up to my teeny ponies' bellies! 

Prince - I can't find any grass. I'm going into the yard to eat hay.
                              Litchen - No don't ! It' might be a trap! Come back!

Fortunately they have access to hardstanding and hay at all times and come in at night even though Litchen remains very suspicious. Actually coming into the yard is a big step for him even though Prince bumbles in and out regularly throughout the day as well as foraying into the front garden, the back garden and the conservatory. Prince doesn't share Litchen's suspicion of anything and firmly believes that if a door is open you should go through it.

Prince - Yum yum. Nom nom nom.

Litchen - Is this a trap? I think this is a trap! Look out Prince it's a trap!
                   Prince - Huh? nom nom nom - delicious!

I'm looking forward to lighter nights (which are definitely coming) and better weather so I can spend some time with the ponies 'doing things'. I'm keen to see if I can get Litchen a little more trusting and Prince is so naughty that I'm sure he'd benefit from learning something. He always joins in with whatever I'm doing outside and generally gets in the way! He often tries to get inside as well. He is affronted that dogs are allowed in and ponies aren't and squashes his nose against the glass door, waiting for the opportunity.

Meanwhile over in the Hen Run, a couple of weeks ago the suspicions that I've had ever since the chicks hatched back in September were confirmed when Tweetie Pie started crowing. I say crowing, at the moment it sounds like a cross between a pheasant, a peacock and a flat battery, an odd noise that goes with his distinguished good looks. He is an oddly handsome devil and very friendly and full of character.
Then last week the little fluffy black chick formerly known as Fluff Ball who grew into something of a giant monster gonk and is now known as Sumo, also started crowing. A lovely musical cock-a-doodle-do. Little Pom-pom stayed petite and delicate as expected with a beautiful pair of blue ears. So although these breeds (Silkies and Silver-laced Polish) are supposed to be extremely difficult to sex until they either crow or lay eggs I never had any doubts that Sumo and Tweetie Pie were cockerels. They behaved like belligerent little fur balls from day one. Here's a couple of slightly blurry photos from today and a reminder to never take your camera on the beach in a hurricane if you want the auto-focus to keep working!

Tweetie Pie - Ah slave, I hope you've brought mealworms?
Slave er Me - But of course Oh Beautiful One.

Tweetie Pie - Jolly good, in that case I'll pose for you. Does my hair look OK?
Me - It looks ...er... yes..I think stunning is the word...

Me - Pom-pom please try to stand still long enough for me to get a non-blurry photo of your lovely blue ears.
Pom-pom - Stand still? I never do that. There are bugs to find. And my ears aren't blue they are turquoise but yes they are rather lovely. Have you caught my top-knott?

Sumo - Don't bother pointing that thing at me! You know I don't like it and all the mealworms have gone - If you're not even going to bribe me I'm going to merge into the dark background and hide my magnificent walnut wattles...

Their mum, Evie, moved out of the nursery and back into the other 'adult' coop with her sisters some weeks ago now but the triplets still live where they hatched and are generally always together. For some reason known only to hens the girls all stopped laying their eggs in the usual nesting box and moved over to the nursery coop for egg laying activities at that point and now use the adult coop solely for roosting. I don't think Pom-pom has laid an egg yet but at least when she does she'll know where to go for the event. Who knows why they do the things they do?
 I hope the boys don't start fighting and they can live in harmony but I guess time will tell. Reading up about them it seems that sometimes they are ok together. The triplets are certainly all very entertaining and rather glamorous I think. Ex-batt Evie did a sterling job.


  1. I've definitely lost my blogging mojo this year, I think the weather is mostly to blame (and being let down on two foal sales didn't make the festive season that cheery!!). I know exactly what you mean about feeling guilty about complaining when people are flooded out their houses but the constant slog of the weather and ground on the west coast is wearing me down.

    I keep my blog as a diary and slightly tragically get it printed out once a year to keep and look back on! It is interesting to see when it was dry (ha ha) and when we started rugging/feeding etc.

    Love the little ponies and Tweetie Pie - McFlurry and my big cockerel live together no problem, hopefully yours will too. Thought I might go to Longtown for the poultry sale on Saturday... just to look of course!!!

    1. Poultry sale at Longtown? No! I must stay away!
      Good idea to print out the blog, guess what I'm going to be doing....

    2. Great idea, Laura, to print out your blog. I wish I'd thought about it ages ago. I've done 650 entries since Feb 2010 and I think it just might take too long and far too much ink to start now!

  2. Great to see you back! Loving the pics of the triplets... those guys are certainly a good looking twosome and Pom-Pom is gorgeous! Well done Evie!

    1. I think I turned into a bulb Vee, dormant through the winter but showing signs of life now.

  3. Great post, I know what you mean about being a bulb.
    Flooded out last night. Water came in off the hill, rushed into the back door, ran through the conservatory. Mud, bits of other stuff, and just mess. Spent the night clearing up. Still could be worse, I keep my tack in there, could have got wet! Lol!....

    1. Oh no! Hope it didn't get right into the house? Some serious water came down last night! And freezing hailstorms today then snatches of warm sunshine?? This weather ...