Monday, 30 January 2012

Little Creep!

The Tree Creeper we saw a few weeks back has continued to visit us from time to time, but they move so fast that I never seem to get hold of the camera in time. Finally I managed it today.

Considering they are insectivores, it's amazing how much interest it show in the nuts that are strung up for Blueys, Woodpeckers, Nuthatch etc

Presumably the nut shells are harbouring a whole host of minute snacks

And after lunch, it's back to work, creeping up the tree

Saturday, 21 January 2012

Final Piece In The Jigsaw

Since Paul came up at Christmas and did the alterations in the Scullery, we have been looking for a coat rack to put on the wall to hang the multitude of mucky coats we have, currently in about 4 different places. Antique centers, internet, pine shops, Penrith auction rooms, Cockermouth auction rooms (thanks Bilbo!), all with nothing that quite fits what we had in mind - at least not the right size.

In the end, defeat has been admitted. A plank of wood........

some cast iron hooks............

some antique wax, a drill and a few screws and: Hey Presto........

At last!

Monday, 16 January 2012

A Man on A Mission

Frosty winter mornings were just made for chopping wood and Husband likes nothing more than to get his felling axe out slicing through some nice bits of ash

By lunchtime all was chopped and stacked - I do have my uses too

After a quick sweep of the drive, that left us plenty of time for our daily walk!

Sunday, 15 January 2012

Pay Back Time

Our dear 'French' friends kindly left us with a pretty big timber pile as a result of our joint efforts in September 2010
We were planning on tackling it fairly soon although we were kind of hoping to borrow Andrew's quad to bring it down to the house. Fran however had other plans. Andrew was not going to lend us his quad on this occasion, he would log it all and bring it down to the house for us. No amount of arguing would change their minds - in their view this is pay back for help with sheep and cattle (which is very willingly given because, strangely we enjoy that kind of thing) and occasional help with hens. Anyhow, our chainsaw decided to die this week, so actually, it really was a huge favour - and a family do as well.
Andrew at the helm, ably assisted by 'Husband' and Fran

Ellen and Lewis pulling the wood from it's current store and sorting out the bonfire bits
Laura waits patiently to load the trailer
An afternoons work and the drive is covered in logs ready to be stacked tomorrow.

Now THAT's what friendship is all about!

Friday, 13 January 2012

Living In An Inversion

Living relatively high and sandwiched between the Pennines and the Lakeland Fells, we often find ourselves above the clouds, looking down into the Eden Valley which is submerged in an inversion. In fact on a number of occasions I have driven off to ride out, leaving here in bright sunshine, to get to the foot of the Pennines and found it 5 degrees colder and cloudy.
Briefly today, we had the eerie experience of an inversion rolling in on us. I'm sure these pics won't do it justice, or make the drop in temperature apparent as the
cloud rolled in

Then, just as quickly as it appeared, it was gone, leaving us with another beautiful sunset (spot the Robin)

Then another inversion started to swallow us up.

Just to prove I wasn't cloud watching all day - the first seeds of 2012 are now planted.........

Thursday, 12 January 2012

Red Sky at Night

After another wild night (weather, not our behaviour) we have had a belter of a day today. Clear blue sky and wall to wall sunshine. By sunset, there was just enough cloud around to deliver a spectacular sunset.

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

One Thing Leads To Another

Having secured another source of Willow, the obelisk gets finished off

All this pruning of friends Willow Sculptures has given us an idea...........
We wouldn't want a fence here, it would get blown away anyhow. A hedge would be too wide. So why not have a living willow screen instead? It can't be that difficult?
Time will tell whether or not the willow will take, time will also tell if we live to regret it. But for now, we think it could just be what was required.

Monday, 9 January 2012

Can You Tell What It Is Yet?

Finally we get a day when:
a) The weather is playing ball
b) We haven't got anything else planned
c) I'm in the right mood.
First we go to the goat paddock and raid their stick pile

Then we go up the road to the farm to prune the Willow sculptures in the garden
Then the 'Genius!' gets to work

By dusk we have three windbreak hurdles to protect our veggie seedlings from strangles

and an obelisk to give the tropaeolum something to climb up when the conifer gets the chop, and the replacement shrubs are still small.

Not the most professional specimens, but them I'm not a professional and frankly, I really couldn't care! Having exhausted one supply of willow, that will do for now, but more may be added if/when we find some more suitable and I can be bothered!

Sunday, 8 January 2012

Harbingers of Spring

One of the reasons why I wouldn't want to live abroad, is that I love the changing of the seasons here. Having had such a long autumn this time, and with no winter to speak of so far, it seems a bit premature to be thinking of Spring. We could have an awful lot more winter yet!

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Unwelcome Dinner Guest

It is inevitable that if you feed birds to the extent that we do, you will attract Sparrow Hawks. We certainly do that. There is rarely a week goes by when we don't see one in the garden, and more often they are at least daily visitors. The latest culprit is a Juvenile who must be pretty hungry - maybe still perfecting his hunting technique. He often flies in and sits either on the stile, or wall, presumably waiting for some unsuspecting little bird.

Once he realised I was there, he was off in a flash as usual. But as he was unsuccessful this time he will undoubtedly be back very soon

Sunday, 1 January 2012

2011 Rainfall

In the year in which much of the country has had horrendous drought, Cumbria has lived up to it's reputation. Our local farmers are all saying (and have been for months) that they have never known the land this wet - and some of them have seen a fair few decades. Despite this, we have only had slightly above average for the village rainfall. It isn't even obvious from the records that it has fallen in any odd sort of pattern. It just never seems to have had chance to dry out in between.