Thursday, 31 March 2011

It's not 9.8 degrees

Sorry - but more weather station problems. The temperature has been stuck at 9.8 degrees all day. It seems that the indoor console is not picking up the remote sensor. We will investigate further tomorrow.

The wind, rain and pressure are OK (so far)

Monday, 28 March 2011

A long project

Nearly six years after we first started, and at least six months since we last touched it, we have started this year's work on the patio. It's not just a patio (though there is a large blocked area at the back of the house), but connecting paths round the house. Last summer we finished off the steps to the paddock and laid a temporary surface round the NE side of the house (re our Big Party), but yesterday Henry did some proper leveling and started laying more blocks. One day it be be finished; but there's no rush.

P.S - when I say "we" - I really mean Henry. I was an observer, basking in the early summer sun.

Friday, 25 March 2011

This week . . .

. . .
We've been
spreading slurry
filling holes in the road down the fields
spreading slurry
tidying hedging sticks
spreading slurry
and filming wildlife
(well, only squirrels - the camera will be somewhere else next week)

Click to see a slideshow

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

It must be Spring

There are daffodils out in the garden
Garden bird activity seems to have stepped up (and they're staring to leave messages on the car)
There's more day than night

And - there's a very agricultural whiff in the air. Definitely not a day to dry washing outside (despite the sunshine).

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Visitors from far and near

Some days the only people we see are from as far away as Wellbank (or maybe over the hill at Over Bleaze - but does that mean they're "over the hill"?) - but today visitors have come a bit farther.

This morning a young German studying Countryside Conservation at Aberystwyth Univeristy, came to see us as part of an assignment on Organic Dairy Shorthorns.

And this afternoon, out of the blue, we had a visit from an American (Bridget Machell of West Point, Georgia) who was researching her family history. Her (8x?) grandfather lived at Strickley from at least 1717 to 1720. She took a photograph of the house and I'm going to look out as much house history as I can to send to her, and she is going to send copies of her documents relating to Strickley - so watch this space for news.

And we also had a visit from Leon (from Kendal).

Saturday, 19 March 2011

Yet more wildlife

In our efforts to capture the otter or kingfisher on film we've been trying a different location for the camera. So far both have been elusive, but this week other species have popped into the frame.

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

For Sale

2 Pedigree Dairy Shorthorn Breeding Bulls

Click on the name to see their details on the Shorthorn website.

Strickley Perfect Ten. 3 1/2 years old. Light Roan. Dam Ex93. Calves on ground.

Strickley Bruce. 17 mths. Red & little white. Dam Gold Cup Winner.

4 year TB area

This month

This month we've mainly been talking about -and if you fancy a challenge, click to rearrange the pieces.

Click to Mix and Solve

Ready to roll

Our new wrapperuper, unwinder, rollouter, whirligig thingy is ready to go.

It makes the bike look a bit scruffy (only surface dirt!)

Update - I've just been admonished by one who knows - it's not a wrapper-upper - more of an unwrapper.

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Lost and Found

Found - by Arthur in the Pylon Field - two stray Spaniels (one beige, one black). Collars but no  tags. Now up at Strickley (howling very noisily). Awaiting collection by the Dog Warden

Updated - the dogs have been collected by the SLDC Dog Warden. He scanned them and neither were microchipped.

Water on tap

After much digging of trenches, laying of pipes (and digging up existing pipes), the borehole water has now reached the "Cattleplan" (main housing for the cows in milk). Hopefully we will now have more pressure in the house, as 100 cows drinking approximately 10 gallons each a day should ease the demand. The next stage is to take it to the Volume Washer in the dairy (and that might even mean I could have a shower during milking!)

Sunday, 13 March 2011

Beck Watch

The camera has been fixed to a rail on St Sundays Beck for a few days and it's been a quiet few days for wildlife. Maybe everything is very camera shy. We did catch this glimpse of a pair of Goosanders.

And just missed something dipping beneath the water. Do you think I should send it to the Gazette - maybe Bownessie has moved south.

Friday, 11 March 2011

A Notice For Moles

If you're a mole - now's the time to run amok (or tunnel amok) as the Mole Catcher has brought home all his traps. Total this year (so far, as I don't really know if they will be laid again) - 26.

All the clues are there . .

- - -  well, I cropped the picture so you can't see the biggest clue.

Ready to paint

Thursday, 10 March 2011

Can you tell what it is yet?

This is the latest ingenious product from the crack engineering team at Strickley.

Maybe all will become clear when it's finished.

Monday, 7 March 2011

No kingfisher, but - - -

- - - other wildlife captured on film.

We've had the Wildlife Camera set up at a likely spot to catch a glimpse of the kingfisher, so far with no success. But over the past two days, it has snapped some other wildlife, including the mole catcher and his assistant.

Click on each picture to enlarge

Friday, 4 March 2011

Spring in the air?

It's still cold (and often damp) but I've just spotted one of the first signs of Spring - Henry is chain harrowing muck and mole hills in the meadows. From now on we'll be doing more and more "Spring Work" as the weather picks up. Grass doesn't quite grow itself. It needs to be fed (organic muck and slurry only - a whiff of which has been in the air this week), sometimes aerated (not sure of spelling) and always rolled. There's a window of opportunity between the ground being too waterlogged or frozen after winter, and the grass growing too much.

This week we've also being busy connecting the borehole water to the main cattle housing. This has meant digging trenches from the bottom of Wellbank, down the side of the lane, across the lane and round the bottom of the slurry tower and onwards through the Barn Field. The main water pipe comes up from the road through this field and we knew vaguely where it was. Very vaguely. I think we had three direct hits with the digger (but in some cases it was only about 6 inches deep). So the water supply was on and off all day. Planning the route and buying the right pipes, bends and junctions was rather like looking at the Windows screen saver (the "pipes" one). It's nearly there now and soon most of the stock will be drinking our own water. We know that the cows like it, as we've had a couple of temporary troughs outside the Cattleplan, and the cows seem to prefer the water in these to the troughs inside.

We're still trying to get the settings right on the wildlife camera. We set it up by the beck in the wood again, but pointing in a different direction. Twelve hours later we had 4317 photographs of the beck: very scenic - but the only moving things were water and leaves. Maybe next time.