20 December 2010


As I write this, it is currently -6 degrees centigrade. The earth is frozen as solid as the twelve pound Christmas turkey I bought from "Iceland" at lunchtime. Afterwards, I drove up the hill out of Woodseats to Graves Park, donned my trusty boots and went for a wander. This is what I saw:-
A Kerry Hill Sheep at the door of her designer dwelling

On Frozen Pond - desperate ducks

A Middle White pig called Robert outside his comfy hut

Highland cattle clustering together

The domestic animals are being properly cared for. I saw two farm workers using a butane blowtorch to melt away thick surface ice in the cattle's water trough. The pigs and the sheep had fresh straw and friends to cuddle up with in the children's petting farm. But like all wild birds just now, the ducks are having a hell of a time of it. They can survive short cold snaps quite tenaciously but if sub-zero days turn to weeks, the cold will claim many casualties.


  1. i ALWAYS loved seeing how well the animals were cared for up there!though we didnt visit very often as it was across the city from us!

    ducks need freash water to clean their bills ..mind you, there is no mud around to actively get rid of!!!

    I may try the torch thing
    at the moment I am breaking the water on 20 water feeders



  2. To me, that is one of the worst things about long cold spells....how the animals survive. Sometimes, in Colorado, it is so cold for such a long period of time that volunteers will get in helicopters and try to drop berries and grains to even the wild animals such as the bear and elk and moose. Quite an undertaking.

    And, of course, if the power goes off and the ranchers can't pump fresh water for the stock....that could be a real catastrophe! The vets will volunteer to trudge to the ranches and keep the cattle and horses moving. If they stay in one spot behind a boulder or shed trying to keep out of the wind and blowing snow, they might die of pneumonia. Gotta' keep 'em inside or moving outside.

  3. Weather again YP! We all do what we can and the rest we just have to leave. It's like the great toll drought and bushfires take down here but it's hard to watch isn't it?
    Your farmers have a hard life in Winter don't they?

  4. JOHN With all this snow and ice around, I bet many people imagine that drinking just isn't an issue for wild and domestic animals. Every day I pour hot water in our bird bath but it re-freezes very soon afterwards. I especially pity the poor dear starlings.
    MOUNTAIN LADY We're moaning about the cold weather here in the UK but I'm sure Colorado knows a lot more about the cold and its effects than we do. However, no way am I hiring a helicopter to drop berries and grain!
    HELEN of OZ I feel so sorry for you over in Queensland - you may have to don a raincoat over Christmas and the barbie might not ignite outdoors. Tough life babe!

  5. pud
    I know you love starlings so very much
    I will have a dozen ofmy local ones stuffed and sent around!

  6. Put the heaters on, we'll be landing in South Yorkshire soon ... if you're at the Peter Pan panto in Sheffield, say hello. I'll be the one in green tights.

    Bon Nadal (i.e. Merry Christmas)

  7. I know you probably don't celebrate it, but here's wishing you a wonderful Christmas season there in coldest England. Health, happiness, safety, and all that. Maybe even a little prosperity. A package of warmer weather is in the mail.

  8. Anonymous2:57 pm

    passez un bon fétes de fin d'année.


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