Sunday 23 December 2012

Christmas stodge!

No, I've not started over-indulging, yet - the title relates to the state of the ground - our property has a rounded ridge, with a northerly slope and a southerly slope - after rain, it stands on the top and on the slopes - water is defying gravity now! Needless to say, we have no white alpacas for the time being. Since moving them to the new paddock, we've barely had a night when I've not brought them back to the shelter to avoid heavy rain. On the positive side, we are past the solstice, and the days are lengthening!

Mrs. Smallholder spent an evening explaining colour genetics to me - very worthwhile, and we looked into the BAS pedigree database to test the theory - there IS complete logic to colour genetics after all, it's the ancestry that can create uncertainty.

Cake by Mrs. Smallholder, Marzipan and Icing by yours truly.
Fortunately, my son took this picture today - the clean part of Autumn Gold:

"can we come in tonight?"
Wishing a Happy Christmas to you all, from Dave and Joy.

Sunday 16 December 2012

Ten, Tango and a Triangle.

We've been busy in the last few weeks using every spare daylight minute, and days off the day job, fencing one of our new paddocks to see us through the winter - yesterday, we released the herd into the paddock:
The charge of the light (and some browns) brigade.
Today we gave them all ADE injections.

They now have a south-facing hill.

"Race you to the top!"

Discovery galloped, pronked, and threw sideways 'shapes'

I collected Camelot from his agisting farm yesterday, and he met the herd from a distance - we're very pleased with his fleece too:
Camelot stays in his quarantine paddock, while Discovery checks him out.
...and the title? All ten of the herd are together again - the new paddock is a triangular because it suits the final layout of lanes and paddocks - and the tango? I'm 'Strictly' settling down for the dancing and Sports Personality!

Most fields in an agricultural holding have names which the farmers through history have evolved to identify them. When you divide a field, you then have to come up with new names - we currently have the Orchard Paddock and the Top and Bottom paddocks (creative aren't we?). The new field we will be dividing, but so far only has a triangular paddock, which we have ended up referring to, as 'the pi-angle'...have you some 'interesting'names for your paddocks?

Monday 3 December 2012

'Movember' rain.

One of the roads out of the village lies under this water.

View towards the Quantock Hills & Exmoor beyond.

View towards the Blackdown Hills.
Fortunately we are located way above The Levels, so the flooding is just a picturesque inconvenience to us, but many others have suffered worse. We had Camelot castrated a couple of weeks ago on the wednesday when the flooding began to hit, and I couldn't get to the farm where he is agisted, due to flooding 2 miles from the farm - very frusttrating and disappointing not to be with him (the vet had to delay his trip until the afternoon, by which time I was 35 miles away). Then I was unable to get to the SWAG AGM on the following sunday, after more torrential rain the night before. We've put in the fence posts for the first paddock in our new field, and I've installed the gate connecting to the field - 3 more gates to fit, and then the badger-resistant fencing. Joy had seven ladies visit for a felting class on saturday, preceded by a couple of evening classes last week. I grew a 'mo' for Movember and before shaving it off, I offered it for spinning or felting but apparently it was too coarse, too short and with no crimp...