Saffron Snacks Anyone?

Today the sun shone and the temperature soared to a dizzying 11 degrees.

Time for a bath

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and a good flap

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Down at the hives things are on the move

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Word has got around of a feast to be had

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Arriving to take a look

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Investigating

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These anthers can be a bit bendy

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but the pollen is certainly getting transported

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Full load and setting off for home

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This snowdrop clump was bouncing and vibrating with all the bee activity

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and a contented buzzing was rising up

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We are five days off the full “Snow Moon”

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We, and the bees, hope it does not live up to its name.

Houdini is at it again

As you can see here, from an early age Houdini lived up to her name (or rather she was named to fit her behaviour)

Today she persuaded Cagney, her (foster) mother, to fly over their fence, walk across our field and then fly into the field next door

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where the grass was not greener.

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They had to be walked

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down to the bottom gate

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round the corner, through our gate

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up through the meadow

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past the reception committee

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and back inside

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to be checked out by their favourite drake

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and a little wing clip

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Elsewhere, signs of life are increasing

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Double Figures!

As temperatures soar into balmy double figures

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there are just a few remnants of the last week’s permafrost

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Life comes bouncing back

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Time to relax…

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or to scrub the greenhouse roof

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as promised

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because the first inhabitants have poked up their shoots

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The Camellia buds will now benefit from the warmer weather

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The hens are pleased to be able to peck and scratch without bending their beaks and toes

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while the Woodpecker still opts for the lazy option

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So we welcome the new moon for a new start to what soon will become Spring

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Unfreeze Please

Never has a forecast looked so enticing as the one for tomorrow

Sunday

After a week of freeze, day and night

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with all water solid

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meaning much toing and froing taking water to animals

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Some birds took it in their stride

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But some who are normally heard but not seen became bolder

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Some animals seemed dressed for the weather

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but we will be grateful for the cosy prospect of two or three degrees above freezing

Cold Comfort

During this week’s freeze the local birds have been both bolder and more numerous in their use of our feeders.

With ground frozen solid both Blackbirds and members of the Thrush family have had a particularly hard time.

Over the last few days this Fieldfare has been among those taking advantage of the apples we put out

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It is unusual to see one individual by itself

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Has it lost its flock or is it disabled in some way?

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Whatever the reason, it is getting what it needs as it keeps coming back.

Frozen Light

We are frozen

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Only a light speckling of snow – which suits the Speckled Sussex flock

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But when we look up we can see light in the distance

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sometimes in unexpected places

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Here old snow and new glow coexist

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Even this monstrosity can be seen in a new light

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Shadows and Light coexist

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but watch out for black shapes overhead

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Sometimes light is at the edges of things

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and sometimes you have to look out for the hole where the light gets in

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and you can always come home to the Glowing Goose

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Ready, Steady… Sow!

Propagators… ready!

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(Yes, the greenhouse roof will be cleaned very soon)

Seeds… ready!

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Potting bench… ready!

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(the roof will be cleaned)

Sowing schedule… ready!

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Carol… ready!

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First off are the Aubergines

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Tucked up ready to go at 25 degrees – that is a lot warmer than we get in the house

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Broad Beans are not so sensitive creatures

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First Radish and Salad in the polytunnel

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We are on our way.

Let’s Pretend…

Let’s pretend we can see signs of Spring.

Jessie is setting an example:

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Things were happening under the snow

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and now it has receded to hillside patches

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things have a chance to emerge

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These will soon be gone

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The rabbits are asking

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when they can have babies

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So, for the time being, the grass maybe green

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but who knows what’s over the horizon

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