Sunday 30 January 2011

Eye in the sky.

The week began with a Burns Supper in the village hall - it's an extra special date, as I met Mrs. Smallholder at a Burns Supper, so it's an easily-remembered date (that's handy!), and great fun if it's done with all the traditional aspects.  It's continued cold and frosty this week, mainly over-cast, but today has been sunny all day. The alpacas all had a good roll in the rolling pit now that it is drying out. I gave them all their monthly ADE paste, and all were well -behaved.

Yesterday the South-West Alpaca Group held a Fibre-to-Market day at the premises of Classical Mile End Alpacas. It was well-attended, with talks on all aspects of fleece production and processing, and as always, good for socialising. It was bone-chillingly cold, so much so, that with frozen water pipes, we had to flush the loo by hand with jerry-cans - Rachel ensured we all kept warm with a great lunch.

On friday, I scored a hat-trick, having watched three films in the last couple of weeks, without falling asleep! In the past, I've even  fallen asleep during a James Bond film, to mention just one - but we've just seen all of the trilogy of The Girl with the Dragon tattoo, The Girl who Played with Fire, and The Girl who Kicked the Hornets Nest - Mrs. Smallholder had read all three books in six days over Christmas and the New year, so they were highly recommended.

Just as I was coming in at sunset this evening, a flock of Starlings flew over, heading towards the nature reserve that was shown on Countryfile last week, where they perform their roosting aerial ballet - the flock must have been two hundred yards long and twenty-five yards wide- in the garden, Starlings are the bullies, but their air displays are amazing.

Sunday 23 January 2011

Potty trained?

With all the recent talk about egg-laying, I had to share this with you - the eagle-eyed Mrs. Smallholder spotted this tiny hens egg in the chicken-run - now you know how newspaper reporters compare the size of things with Olympic swimming pools, elephants or double-decker buses? well, here is the egg with a normal egg and a double-decker bus...

I was poo-picking outside of the alpacas shelter this afternoon, when Autumn Gold sniffed around the bucket, reversed, and promptly deposited her contribution into the bucket, saving me the effort! I didn't have the camera with me, and let's face it, who would have believed me anyway?

Sunday 16 January 2011

Eats, shoots and leaves...

To give an example of  being thrifty, the newspapers always state that the Queen saves pieces of string to use again - I have coat pockets and hooks in the shed full of baler twine - after all, it comes in useful for tying up sacks of hay, gates, this, that and the other, and of course, my trousers - but I'm still accumulating faster than I can use it, so rather than make a New Years resolution this year, I've decide to search for a new use for baler twine - current possibilities are perhaps a woven fireside rug or maybe a beach mat...

Today, I noticed some grass seed that I had optimistically scattered around a newly-planted tree in November has sprouted, and daffodil leaves have poked through this week - even the birdsong today sounded optimistic - yes, it's still the middle of January, but we're over the hump, and it's great to be looking forward to the year ahead - at least a wet sunday afternoon in January is an excuse for indoor planning.

We gave the alpacas a pedicure this morning - three of them decided to kush, which is more awkward, and Minnie put up her usual resistance, but we managed without getting kicked, while the air turned green around us.

All of a sudden the next six months looks busy, as we were trying to find a convenient period to take the herd to another field to rest our paddocks, while accommodating all the herd-related husbandry events coming up. We've resumed the lawn grazing treat since the snowfall, and the girls love it, though we had to go to great lengths to cordon-off the laurel (poisonous), and the garden shrubs.