Friday 21 January 2011

Frosty days

Life in Tarset is frosty. Not the frosty, cold shouldered type of frosty, y'know, the anti-social don't want to speak to you sort of frosty. No, it's natures frostiness, cold, minus figures on the thermometer, frosty.

Why should Shep be surprised that after the cold snowy spell and the hard frosts endured on the run up to Christmas that life in Tarset is still frosty?? Well, due in main to the fact that Shep and the other half disappeared for the first fortnight in January, we left the snow and frost behind and departed for warmer climes. Camping, followed by budget back packers accommodation in a country where the temperatures ranged from the high 20's to mid 30's made me forget about the cold, until our return and we find that little has changed!!

That is grossly untrue. Much has changed. The snow has all disappeared (an odd little bit can still be seen in a sheltered spot), we returned to flooding, rain and mild conditions, enough rain to see the North Tyne river burst its banks and have those that know better than I say it was the worst it has been since Kielder Dam was built. Still 'jet lagged' after 36 hours of travelling and five different flights the floods were of little concern to me, I seemed to be in some sort of comatose state, which I now regret as there were some good photo opportunities.

So by the time Shep regrouped and felt like she belonged on this planet it had once again turned frosty, -7 and -10 being recorded at the back door over the last couple of days. Brr.. my tan is fading rapidly!!
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I'm obviously slow in coming to my senses at the moment, this frosty photo was taken at lunch time, does show how much rind there was still remaining at midday but I'm sure the picture would have been far more dramatic earlier in the day. These cold days are giving many hours of sunshine during the day, although it struggles to burn the frost off, especially in the more sheltered areas.
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The above photos were also taken heading into the afternoon, moss and grasses growing on a wall which were slowly loosing their frosty burden.

'Tis the time of year for fluke dosing of sheep, some have already dosed as their tups came off, others have yet to start. It depends on how badly your ground is affected with the fluke parasite and how your sheep are looking. Some will try to hold off until scanning time, those who scan later wont want to wait that long as their ewes could lose condition rapidly if they have a fluke burden. All in all there will be many sheep dosed in the forthcoming weeks.
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The cold days are leaving us with some beautiful sunsets. How does the saying go? "Red sky at night Shepherds delight"? - sounds alright to me, we all appreciate a spell of settled healthy weather.