Thursday, 11 April 2013


I was telling a friend about the albino badger that visits our garden and she remarked that at least it will be less likely to get killed on the road.  Needless to say, the next day, there was a beautiful albino badger laying dead in a nearby lane. I was very fed up as I had really enjoyed watching this funny little chap as he dug up my lawn, snuffling for goodies.  However a couple of days later the security light went on, which is my signal that there is wildlife in the garden, and there was an albino badger..??  Looking back at my photos I now realize that there had been two albinos visiting the garden. They were more or less identical apart from one had a faint grey spot on its rump. I now only have three badgers visiting at various times of the night... or do I?  There's Norm the normal, Half-n-half and Al the albino but I think I need to look more carefully at all my photos as although Half-n-half is unmistakable there could be any number of Norms:)

All this cold weather has been making life difficult for animals and humans alike but one good thing is that it often brings different birds to the feeder.  Last week we had a Brambling visit.  It is perhaps not that exciting to most people as I think they are fairly common but it is the first time we have had one in the garden so it was exciting to me.

It has been a busy time 'down on the farm' as lambing is imminent.  All the hurdles have had to be scrubbed and disinfected...

The barn had to be cleared, the floors swept and scraped, the sides washed and the whole lot sprayed with disinfectant...

Then all the mothering up pens had to be constructed.

Don't underestimate what hard work this all the end of the second day hubby and I were so exhausted we had to resort to whisky and a take-away when we got home!!

Then there were the Herdwicks that needed a worm egg count which entailed my husband and I standing for two very long, very cold hours, in snow and freezing wind, waiting for ten sheep to do some droppings....thank goodness for my ski jacket that I bought for £20 in a sale a few years ago.....

And then there was the glorious job of crutching the breeding ewes. This is where the fleece is removed from around their backsides.  It helps to see if the emerging lamb is correctly presented or not and makes it more hygienic and, with the fickle British weather, if it should suddenly turn warm, it helps to prevent fly strike.  It was while holding one of the Jacobs that I suddenly found myself flying through the air!!!!! :)))) Another Jacob Ewe (after telling its flock mates to, "watch this for a laugh,") had crept round behind me then made a dash through my legs totally upending me.  I am sure it was the same pesky Jacob that managed to knock me over TWICE last year by neatly hooking its horn behind my knee and I am also sure that, like the last times, I heard some sheepy sounding chuckles too:)  I am now covered in bruises and ache all over but I think I got the last laugh as at least I don't have to go around with a naked backside:))))

It has been a hard week or so and not helped by the torn cartilage in my knee.  This is an injury I sustained during lambing last year but it has taken all this time for the consultant to write saying, ' for the sake of speed I am writing to you to recommend surgery.'  I can't believe it....for the sake of's only taken a whole year to get to this point and now I am on a waiting list for goodness knows how long!  That's the NHS but I suppose I should be grateful that something can be done and I don't have to pay for it.

Anyway, I am very pleased to say that everything is now ready to go now and looking back it has all been quite enjoyable work.  My next post should have some cute lamb pictures in it but meanwhile here is a cute calf picture taken on a rare sunny day giving these City of London calves, that were born at the farm over the winter, their first taste of sunbathing....Ahhhh.


Anonymous said...

Hi Helen

I didn't realize so much went in to lambing.I thought you just slung a bit of straw around:))Hope it all goes well. How is your mother these days?


Helen said...

Hello Sam...thanks for asking about my mother. She has now been moved into the Dementia Support Unit and seems a bit happier (twice as expensive though £4000+ per month!!) However she is still causing problems with aggressive behavior which is an awful worry. Goodness knows what will happen if she hits someone. Its very sad as pre-alzheimers she was such a kind gentle person:( Regards Helen