Monday, 6 February 2017

The proof is in the.... tilth

Another week has gone by and it's been another tough one all round. I'll be keeping this brief again to get it out there (I copied the pictures off my phone and camera yesterday but didn't even get anything typed up so I'm later than I wanted to be). You'll have to wait for the end to understand the title though.

The icicles fell and shattered
The icicles fell and shattered
A very slight smattering of snow
A very slight smattering of snow
Seamus' face has melted off
Seamus' face has melted off
Lovely open fire, just very smoky indeed
Lovely open fire, just very smoky indeed
The melt has very much set in this week and from having a full whiteout at the beginning, right now there is hardly any snow left. The first thing to go was the big icicles hanging from the edge of the wood store. On Monday there was a very slight fall of snow which fell for a few hours and it was cold enough to settle however it never got past a slight smattering at any point. Seamus was continuing his face-melting experience showing that we get more sun in the afternoons as the side pointing east was totally fine and the side pointing west wasn't there any more. The less said about the rest of Monday the better but it was a pretty terrible day and we'll leave it at that. Tuesday was almost a total write-off however we did try and light the open fire again but once more the amount of smoke that escaped into the room made us sadly close it up and let it go out; we WILL get that sorted as we love having it lit but right now choking on fumes isn't a nice way to live.

Disc-sun through cloud
Disc-sun through cloud
Sun sparkling on the snow
Sun sparkling on the snow
It turned into a beautiful day
It turned into a beautiful day
Broken windows on the raised beds
Broken windows on the raised beds
Lettuce has done well
Lettuce has done well
The remnants of the day
The remnants of the day
A holding Thelma (to stop her jumping up) and Louise
A holding Thelma (to stop her jumping up) and Louise
Rambo came out so we said hello
Rambo came out so we said hello
It was a hazy start to the day on Tuesday but that rapidly burned off and the afternoon was once again glorious with a really warm breeze, the first of the year, and beautiful blue skies. The snow was sparkling while I was doing my washing up as the sun made its appearance and that brought a smile to my face. A got outside and cleared the snow off the raised beds and found quite a lot of damage to the glass; the old windows are showing their age and the weight of snow for so long caused about half of them to shatter and fall through. Fortunately none of the beds with things growing in them suffered this fate and the garlic and lettuce are looking excellent. I was just slightly too late onto the roof terrace to capture the full glory of the sunset however it was brilliant to be up there feeling the fresh air (A would say "freezing" but I prefer "fresh") and looking once more at the beauty in which we live.

I ran onto the balcony to get this picture
I ran onto the balcony to get this picture
The morning sun shines onto the bank
The morning sun shines onto the bank
The garlic has survived really well
The garlic has survived really well
Wednesday; who knows what happened on Wednesday, apart from it was a very hazy sunrise again but this time a colourful one. I rushed onto the balcony with the camera and enjoyed the fact that finally we have no snow on there as it has all melted. The sun was shining on the snow-covered back bank, however, and prompted a second picture looking away from the sun. It won't be long before we're having our morning coffee sat on the balcony again - how I have missed that! There isn't much else to say about Wednesday apart from A got a picture of the garlic growing well; that'll be another good harvest and once more we'll not have to buy shop grown bleached garlic this year.

Mist in the valley, cloud above; sun in between
Mist in the valley, cloud above; sun in between
A huge sun glimpsed through the haze
A huge sun glimpsed through the haze
It must be Spring!
It must be Spring!
Thursday was another glorious day and we even managed to get Pat out and on the road (though she won't be trying the lane again any time soon; it's VERY muddy and there was much wheel-slippage as A guided her along the lane). The sunrise was once again beautiful and once again I was out onto the balcony first thing to capture it. We met up with SandS for lunch at our favourite restaurant and that was just lovely; they brought their baby who was a bit unhappy but looking so well and we loved seeing them - it was a delayed birthday meal for S and so she got her present as well, finally. While I was getting ready to go out I decided that after the warm breeze of the day before Spring must have sprung so the clippers came out and my winter plumage was removed. I feel much better now, back to "normal".

Louise trotting along the patio in the sun
Louise trotting along the patio in the sun
Thelma has Rambo's huuuuuge kong
Thelma has Rambo's huuuuuge kong
She can just about carry it around
She can just about carry it around
We head up the hill for a leg-stretcher
We head up the hill for a leg-stretcher
We had to carry the girls as we went past the cows
We had to carry the girls as we went past the cows
It is melting fast now
It is melting fast now
Rambo bouncing in the slush of the stream
Rambo bouncing in the slush of the stream
The snow still hadn't melted up the track into the mountains
The snow still hadn't melted up the track into the mountains
We were back out for lunch again on Friday meeting the new family relatively local to us who have bought a school and this was another lovely time; really enjoyable. It was a glorious day again and we spent the morning out with the puppies throwing toys and getting fresh air for ourselves. When we got back from our lunch we went straight out again and walked up the hill a way, though not all the way as the snow was still quite deep up there and the going was not easy, but it was beautiful and really worth while to get the fresh air and stretch our legs after being cooped up for so long over winter. Rambo in particular really enjoyed jumping in the snow and the fact that the stream has water in it that he could run through. The girls were also having such a ball as they ran far ahead sniffing everything and racing each other through the snow. It was just what we needed and we both felt the better for it.

The snow has almost all gone
The snow has almost all gone
Muddy driveway by the parking area
Muddy driveway by the parking area
The turning area is filthy too
The turning area is filthy too
Lots of rubble spread to improve grip
Lots of rubble spread to improve grip
The first humanure collection point is ready to be emptied
The first humanure collection point is ready to be emptied
Look at that lovely soil! AWESOME!
Look at that lovely soil! AWESOME!
Starting to fill up the raised bed
Starting to fill up the raised bed
The chickens go digging for grubs
The chickens go digging for grubs
A peck of hungry birds
A peck of hungry birds
A shifting soil around; it is really good quality now as well
A shifting soil around; it is really good quality now as well
And so we get to yesterday and it was a pretty good day; as I said at the beginning of this update the snow has largely gone now and the rain that was falling was hastening its departure. A went out to town first thing to do the weekly shop and while she was gone I got my rain hat on and went to start work on the drive which is holding up well with all the rubble put on it last year but getting muddy in places. I spent about an hour or so with the wheelbarrow shifting material from the big dump mound and spreading it onto the drive and when I reached the end of the green building I went inside for a brew and a rest. Technically I'm supposed to finish this job today but that may end up happening tomorrow now. The early rain cleared quickly and by the afternoon it was a truly glorious day and so we both went outside into the garden. And now we get to the meaning of the title of this post. I opened up and made use of the first humanure collection point and wow, what awesome quality tilth it has produced! We have filled the new small raised bed entirely with it, as an experiment, and I've also added some to a few of the other raised beds. There's still more in the collection area though so we'll have to work out what to do with it. The chickens were loving this task as I found about fifty of the grubs that they love to eat so much and eventually they worked out where I was getting them and started digging for themselves. We went over to the neighbours for a coffee during the afternoon and this put an end to our efforts but it was good to get out there and feel the energy of a new year start to flow.

The promise of a lovely day, not looking like it'll happen though
The promise of a lovely day, not looking like it'll happen though
And so we get to today; it's a grey day now, cold and miserable and looking like it may rain, but first thing when I got up it was glorious and my decision to run back up the stairs with the camera was a good one. The fire is snapping and heating us up and I think the rest of the driveway can wait a bit unless it does brighten up or I get a sudden surge of energy.

Here's to Spring and things growing and the sun shining once more.

6 comments:

  1. That's shit and you know it!

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  2. Just a thought; the smoky stove reminds me. Do you have a carbon monoxide warning device?

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    1. Yes. We have several of the "black spot" ones and we have bought a battery powered one as well.

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    2. Ive read that the battery operated ones only work for seven years or so, after which they should be replaced.

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    3. Yeah think that's about right... well we only bought this one a few months ago so it's got a while to last yet :)

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