We have officially started our happy christmas holidays. Friday was the last day in the office for 2 weeks!
We had a few things to sort out in town so we didn’t set off for our little corner of the countryside until Saturday.
Friday saw considerable snow fall in some parts of the country and the crossing from Dover to Calais in Kent has become a car park of holiday makers. Some poor devils were even stuck in the tunnel underneath the english channel over night. Not a very good start to their holidays.
Conversely for us, the painting of the country in white fluffiness has made the start to our holidays quite beautiful and very relaxing. As soon as we had unpacked our bags and put the heating on to take the chill off the house, we set out for an afternoon stroll.
The ‘furry one’ loves the snow almost as much as JC & I do and is very funny playing in it.
The covering of snow has exposed a lot of animal tracks that have told us a huge amount more of the places they go than we knew before the snow. Those that rely on their surrounds for disguise are hugely exposed. We saw a hare laying low (middle left of the top picture) and just when we thought he was going to stay sitting tight, he shot off in his quirky zig zag fashion to get out of our way.
The local deer families are using the frozen surrounds of the pond for shelter and feeding a lot more than we thought and their tracks are absolutely everywhere.
There are pheasant tracks across the fields closely followed by fox tracks! The swans are struggling to find gaps in the frozen river and they are no longer using the pond as it is completely frozen over.
It is a beautiful time but it is very tough for our small wildlife.
The farm horses are now wearing their natural winter coats as well as a bit of help from the local tack shop and those pretty boys are looking quite a bit different to when I blogged about them in October. Their coats are thick and shaggy and their pretty faces are not as well defined. We met up with the farmer whilst he and his wife were putting them in for the night because the forecast was very cold for Saturday night and one of the mares is lame with laminitis.
We won’t be able to walk down to the pond or the spinney any more over the holidays as the pheasants are using the copses and spinney to roost at night and the ‘furry one’ tends to roust them from their rest. The farm has a shoot later in the month and they could all move off if we don’t leave them undisturbed.
We got to see a lovely sunset and the walk has tackled some of the stress JC and I suffer from through work.
What a lovely start to the holidays.