Friday, 30 January 2015

The snows back with a vengeance, but it hasn't put off some of the wildlife. I found two slugs mating and found a caterpillar on one of my chinese cabbages, in the polytunnel. The garden looks very Narnian and the deer have been visiting. We had a brief thaw and it revealed lots of vole holes and tracks showing just how active they had been under the snow.

Monday, 26 January 2015

The snow has been with us for several days and its amazing how busy the garden is with wildlife coming in to feed. The first to come and the last to leave are always the robins and a party of Long Tailed Tits. The pheasants, rabbits and deer leave plenty of tracks and are getting very tame. I've got some new pastel pencils and had a go doing a quick pastel portrait of one of the Texel tups that are up here.

I used Derwent Pastel Pencils on Daler- Rowney Pastel Paper

Pheasant and Rabbit tracks

Ewes enjoying their extra winter rations

Saturday, 24 January 2015

We put wire baskets round some plants to protect them from rabbits and have been putting food in some for voles (so the pheasants don't eat it). They leave little muddy trails as they come and go in the snow. In the morning there are always fresh deer tracks in the snow, especially by the allotment.

Deer tracks

Vole run

Friday, 9 January 2015

The high winds woke us up at 5am this morning, though we seem to have got off lightly as we can't see any fresh tree casualties. It's wet and dreary so stuck inside, but at least finished off a sheep painting. I also collected some owl pellets to pull apart and see what they have been eating. I think they must be from two species as one is mush larger than the others and was found separately.

Winter sheep

Owl pellets

Thursday, 8 January 2015

So happy that the days are lengthening even if it is just a few minutes each evening. I have the sunrise and sunset times pinned up on the wall in the kitchen to cheer me up. It's that time of year again to start browsing seed catalogues and manuring the garden. The farmer very kindly dropped me off an enormous pile of manure - keeps your feet warm when you're shifting it. My lovely friend Jan made me the Panda hat for Christmas (along with a delicious bottle of Blackcurrant gin that's very welcome when I head back indoors). May we all have a happy, healthy and peaceful 2015.

Smells wonderful!