Snow, but not a lot.

The forecast was showing 24 hours of snowfall from yesterday evening so we woke up expecting (hoping?) to be snowed in.  However the ground was still visible through the snow that had fallen. We quickly found out that reason we had not got the snow was because it had all gone to – Sheffield.



More snow did fall during the day but the temperature only momentarily dipped below freezing:


Which meant the day was as much marked by the drip drip of melt as by falling snow.


There was much bird activity around the feeders including this great spotted woodpecker on the peanuts:


Snow of this consistency was not to Maisie’s liking, turning her feet into collections of ice balls:


Snow is falling again this evening and at the moment we have three or four inches – nothing to match Sheffield I know.

Molly and Dahlia update


Molly and Dahlia have now settled happily into their new life (although they might not be sleeping so soundly tonight had they seen the weather forecast).  Each day they leave their enclosure to scratch under a patch of conifers at the north-west corner of the site.  Here they have both interesting morsels to uncover and shelter from the buzzards.  They don’t roam far from this area but did once or twice come down to try scratching up some bulbs – a bit of netting has been successful in heading them off, for now.  The most exciting thing is that their combs are bursting into renewed redness – a sign that eggs might be on the way again.  Not bad for a ten-year old hen, as Molly is.

Nothing like a new home


“First we were stuffed in the back of a van for hours and hours – we couldn’t even see out of the window. Then we had to sleep in a greenhouse – ok, windows to look out of but absolutely no privacy.  We then moved indoors, which was better, but still stuck in our cage – we really began to doubt all those promises of a better life.  Then our cage was moved to a shed shared with toilet rolls and boxes of soap – as if we were some kind of commodity to be shelved in storage. But things looked up a bit today:


A bit improvised, still sharing a shed with household stores, but we do like the cardboard insulation and we have a new tube that can go round corners.”

Yours squeakily

Anna, May and Flo



Snowdrop arrived – Snow drop coming



Family come visiting bearing a most amazing Christmas present – a Vipukirves Leveraxe.



Rather late as it had traveled slowly overland from Finland


“The function of the axe is based on the blade’s one-sided design. When the blade strikes a log, it begins to incline, creating torque, which multiplies the splitting force and enables the blade to detach the log wood. Kinetic energy ends on top of the log so the blade will not slip.” – that’s science that is.


Becoming less dense

We have moved from somewhere with a population density of 4000 people per square kilometre…

2015_01_24_02…to a region averaging 26 people per square kilometre.
2015_01_24_03However, we are overpopulating our patch of three and a half acres which, according to the above average should support 0.3 of a person.



This morning the white foreground merges seamlessly into the white background.  It is as if the safety curtain has descended as a break between dramatic landscape enactments,  The air is motionless which accentuates the busy twittering of birdlife marking out territories and checking out mates.

The bare necessities

Moving out of the city one very quickly realises that the basic necessities of life, previously taken for granted, have to be actively sought out and provisioned in advance – running out at a critical time could have life-threatening consequences.

So it was with some anxiety we realised last night, with heavy snow forecast and our escape route becoming more and more icy, that we were down to our last aubergine:



A quick check with local provenders deepened our despair –  the nearest branch of our troubled national retail giant did not list them (or indeed any vegetable beginning with a) on their website.  Our network of like minded contacts reported that as they were not growable here (a problem to be addressed later) they were not part of the local currency.

So up at dawn today to start foraging.  After travails and tribulations we tracked down our quarry:


So tonight all is again well with the necessities of life flowing nicely: