So yes, the snow has arrived. A few days late this year but it started with a flurry yesterday, coming down from the top of McIntyre Mountain as the propane guy topped up our tank for us.
Today the mercury (or red alocohol as it is) didn’t get into the positive figures, not even the round one at the bottom and by evening it was snowing properly. Should have a nice photo for you tmorrow and will try some tracking of the animals that cross our land.
We kind of had another foray into the woods today but were turned back by a combination of woodland and cold boys, not before we found some interesting poo and some very big paw prints – about the size of my hand with three big toenails sticking out in front. I’ve had a look at the chart and it’s not a bear, unless it’s one that lost a toe. The print we saw was in the muddy bank next to aour brook, just up from a tree that had it’s bark stripped up a good 8′-9′. We couldn’t get on the other side to confirm what caused it but it did look like scratches, from claw or antler we couldn’t say.
On our way back through the pasture we also found plenty of deer tracks & still moist poo and, ominously for them some fresh coyote poo right on the same ‘path’. Coyotes here don’t resemble to desert foxes of western North America – some time back they mated with wolves and are genetically a separate entity from both creatures. They are about twice as big as your standard coyote though and we’re coming into their breeding season, which is when they’re most active and brazen.
This is a photo of the ‘little’ barn, which we should really just refer to as the barn as the big one is just a debris pile spread across our field. If you click on it to enlarge it you’ll see that the roof doesn’t quite meet in the saggy middle part. We had a chap called Brian come round to look at it in the auspices of him being a local carpenter. He’s suggested two things, one it would be a shame to lose it and two, it’s too dangerous to try jacking it up from the inside so he’s suggested we get a crane over to lift it back into position and then we can get in and put some braces in to tie it together again.
For comparison here is a picture of the ‘big’ barn, or the big pile of splintered wood with an unhealthy amount of rusted metal jagging from it.
On a positive note our rooster Halfpenny learned a good lesson last night. Firstly, I’ll explain that he earned his name as you can chase him round the field all day long but it would take a superhuman effort to lay your hands on him. Bearing this in mind (and ignoring the predator comments I’ve made above) he found himself a safe haven under the front porch last night so I left him to it. It was about -5¤ last night. Tonight, when I went to tuck up the hens he fixed me with an indignant eye from his roost in the corner of the coop… Jamie 1, cockeral 0.