Saturday, 23 June 2012

Mid winter

The winter solstice occurred here last Thursday.  It was a cold wet wintry day, and in fact,  it has been like that for most of the week.  In the last three or four days,  we have had jsut over 30mm of rain.  In the week before that,  we had had about 11 mm, so I am hoping that I have finsished watering for the season.
The wattle has been flowering for a few weeks...
 ...  it looks a little bit bedraggled after the rain,  but it certainly indicates winter.
The other interesting plant right now is this tubular flower that comes from South America.  i have forgotten the name.
 It does not survive frosts very well,  and usually has lost its leaves during the winter and "revived" in the spring, only to look equally precarious in the summer if the weather is too hot or dry.  We have had a couple of frosty nights, and the potatoes have lost a few leaves (though they seem to be ok again now) but it has not been cold enough to do any real damage anywhere.
The lack of very cold nights is an issue for some fruit trees that need cold nights to fruit and for brussels sprouts that need to be frost bitten to make those "fairy cabbages" but in recent years, it has not been cold enough for those  around here.

This morning I fed the animals as usual, leaving a "compressed bale" of hay in the goat feed bin.  When I camd back with their water, I found Gertrude and Flossie doing their best to open it up....
 .... I usually leave these bales as a solid lump in the half 44-gallon drum in their secind shed.  They spend quite a while breaking into it,  and I figure that they have the time and inclination to do that for themselves...  it occupies them for some time.

Gertrude is getting fat.  Admittedly she has her woolly winter coat now,  but she is definitely looking quite solid.
I don't know whether it is the competitive eating,  the good hay diet or just middle age,  but she is looking ok.  Flossie,  in the background here, is actually quite a bit larger than Gertrude,  though she doesn't seem to get the same woolly coat as the weather turns colder.  They seem to have settled in together quite well now, and it's jsut as well because I have difficulty managing two of them on separate leash and collar set-ups at the same time.  

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