Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Working late last night

After a couple of days off (rain and a road closure at Natland) we've started on the final first cut acres. James mowed until dark and is finishing off this morning, ready for picking up later today.

And in the porch our Blackbird family were back, also working till dark, adding another layer to the nest, ready for the next clutch.

Saturday, 28 May 2011

One fine day

I forgot to say last night, we snatched another 20 acres of silage yesterday. Cut in the morning and picked up in the afternoon, with Henry rowing it up just ahead of the chopper (in case we were caught out by the rain).

There's still about 40 acres to go, but I don't think we'll get any today (still raining) which will be a relief to those of us wanting to watch a Football Match tonight.

And, for an update on the lack of rain in France look at Derek's comment to the post with the video on earlier this week.

Thursday, 26 May 2011

Empty Nest

The blackbird nest is now empty - breakfast time this morning there was just one chick left. And when I looked out just now he seems to have made a bid for freedom. He (or she?) has not got far - still in the porch, underneath the nest. Maybe he hasn't quite got the hang of flying (and he doesn't look very aerodynamic). I hope the parents know where he is and guide him to somewhere safer. It's a tough world out there. There's a ginger cat that hangs about and a handsome, but threatening, magpie staking out the bird feeders.

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

A Day In The LIfe

or Twenty Four Hours From Strickley.

First  - apologies about the quality of the video (the original high definition version is much sharper - but still the same content, with the same shaky camera work - my hands were very cold), but I can't upload too large a file. And, in the end the only way I could get it to work, was as a link to You Tube.

It's 9.30 pm and the pit's a lot fuller than in the video - 57 acres of grass. Now all we need is another two fine days to finish off.


It's a day for watching -

Birdwatching - much activity in the porch (see below)
Silage watching - video camera in hand, I'm stalking the men at work (video later today)
Weather watching - will it stay fine so we can get all the grass we've got down? I think it could be a late night

Just because you've left home, it doesn't mean your parents won't look after you!

And if I had still been at work I would have missed all of this!

First away

Ready to leave the nest?

and don't leave your wellies underneath the nest!

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

It's fine and sunny (mostly) . . .

. . . so what are we up?

Apologies for the quality of the video, but as we have such a slow broadband connection,
 I've uploaded a very low definition version.

Archived weather

While we cannot show what the weather is like today at Strickley, we can still show what it was like in the past 5 years (from March 2006 - when I dipped my toe in the website water).

So, if you want to see what it was like back in the day (what on earth does that expression mean?) click on the "Archive Weather" link on the links list on the right.  Or click here. It's not quite as tidy as I wanted (I've tried to omit blank graphs etc).

When you're on the Archive Weather page, scroll down to where it says "click here for daily averages/extremes to date for the month". Then go to the bottom of the page (control/end is a quick way) and select the year/month you want.

Sorry it's a bit messy. But watch this space for further updates.

Monday, 23 May 2011

Weather report

We've no technology - not even a windsock or bit of seaweed - to corroborate, but today seems to be the wettest day for ages and it's very very windy.

Wind and rain

But if you're commiserating with us, check out the comment from Derek to a post a few days ago. No rain at all can be worse.

Thursday, 19 May 2011

Growing fast

All the effort the male blackbird is putting in is obviously worthwhile. The young are growing fast and constantly on the lookout for the next worm delivery.

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

End of an era

 - well a smallish era.

Weather watchers will know that the Strickley weather site has been up and down for the past few months. We had problems with the computer that deals with it (got very upset after an unexpected power cut), but got it back on it's feet again. We then had problems with the data from the weather console "flat lining". We fixed that. Then the computer decided that enough was enough and packed up again. But, being a hoarder I had a spare. Not exactly a "hot spare", but more a luke warm spare in the guise of a very old and slow laptop. Eventually we got that setup and provided we didn't burden the laptop with anything too onerous, weather data flowed again. But then there was trouble with the temperature sensor or sender. Three times we got it working (Henry out in the field with a screw driver and me inside resetting the console). And just after it failed for the third time the pressure sensor stopped updating. And to emphasise the point that we were losing too many battles in this war the laptop died. I think it resented being brought out of retirement.

So, enough is enough and Strickley Weather is officially offline.

I think I have removed all links to it from our main site and this Blog, but apologies if you find a broken link.

Never say never, and if we decide to dip our toes in meteorology again we'll let you know.

Thank you to everyone who has visited the site during the past 6 years, but remember there's more to life than weather.

And the Blog continues - so keep reading!

Monday, 16 May 2011

Believe me, it is summer

It might be exceedingly cold and miserable weather, but we're planning for the warm dry spell that is surely round the corner. We're tidying round the silage pit and getting the machinery and tractors ready, so as soon as the weather is favourable we're ready to go (as long as it's after Sunday when James gets back from his holiday down south). I'm checking my stack of plastic lunch  boxes and planning on a mammoth baking session to fill them. No shop bought cakes this year now I'm a lady of leisure. But somehow the leisure has passed me by.

Oh, and we had our annual Soil Association inspection today and we're still Organic. Keeping the faith is more than just ignoring weeds and being kind to cows. If you're really interested, click on this link and then on "Full set of standards for producers". We also comply with Farm Assurance standards, then click on "Full standards manual".

Happy Family

We've had a bit of trouble trying to photograph the blackbird nest in the porch. It's too high to be able to get the motion-sensor camera pointing down into it. But we have (at last) got it set up to capture the birds coming and going. The eggs hatched some time last week (we think) and since then the male has been kept busy fetching tasty treats.

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Fields ploughed and seed scattered

Over the past couple of weeks three fields have changed their appearance - from long green grass (grazed), green splattered with brown (muck spread), furrows (ploughed) and now as smooth as they'll ever be. We've sown Triticale and undersown with grass. It's rolled and stones picked (those we can see) and now all it needs is "Soft refreshing rain" - not too heavy as we don't want all the careful field work washed away. And as it's mostly visible from the road, we hope it comes up OK - no gaps and no weeds.