Monday, 28 January 2013

Thaw underway

It was surprising how rapidly the snow cleared off wide areas yesterday, and sheep suddenly lost interest in gobbling hay bales!
Yesterday the cows managed to jiggle open the cubicle house door and had a 10 minute gallop around the field as if it were spring. They soon came back in when a sleety hail shower lashed down.

 It is still extremely wet with many fields having areas of slushy snow sitting in pools of icy water.
The road up to Ralphs Cross is still blocked by drifts, I suppose they may get it done tomorrow when it is expected to get near 10C!

 I need to go to BATA at Kirkbymoorside for a few bits to tide us over until main delivery early February which will be Thursday next week.
I see there is a hint that a further cold spell is likely in 10 days or so, at least we are getting nearer to spring now and the sun has a little power so prolonged freeze ups get less likely.
However the snowiest spells of winter often occur in February or even March ...

Saturday, 26 January 2013

Last of the snow?

For a while maybe. There was probably only 3 or 4 inches more through the first part of the night but the drifting was severe. The lane to the village became impassable before 9pm as our neighbour discovered.
Meanwhile the vet next door who had sensibly left his Landrover Discovery in the village managed to get his tractor stuck while by-passing a drifted section. It actually drove out on it's own later when I had cleared up to the front of it with my own Zetor + loader bucket.
It's been up to 4C today so a proper but slow thaw is underway.

Friday, 25 January 2013

A drifting day

Wind got up today and there is some concern the last years lambs (=hogs) might get buried despite being fed down near Tower Beck.
The wind is sweeping straight down from Ralphs Cross this morning and a significant further snowfall is expected this evening before slow thaw tomorrow.

Thursday, 24 January 2013

January snow and slow

January started with the usual post Christmas and New Year problems as routine deliveries of feed and the like were somewhat out of sync.
Worst of all were the binmen who seem to have been completely at sixes and sevens since the first slightly icy day in early December! Although it is hardly serious it does grate when the farm pays SBC about £250 yearly to collect waste such as silage wrap but they either don't come or whiz past on random days later in the week when bins have been brought back inside so as not to get blown over.

The first markets after the break don't much appeal as it is easy to imagine sellers overly keen to push stock away to bring some cash in. 
Lamb prices seem rather ridiculously depressed with the last sale at Ruswarp (21st) showing very few making more than £50. This is very disappointing as costs have been high this year with difficult lambing season, wet summer and autumn and generally much increased feed prices.

The weather was reasonable until mid-month when a quite severe spell descended suddenly - with significant snow then some very cold nights. Lowest temperature was -11.6C which is enough to make keeping water troughs running difficult even well inside the sheds.

The sheep suddenly went from a bale weekly to a bale every other day and it is troubling seeing the shed emptying much faster than previously.
It sounds like we shall have a sudden thaw during the last week and will be more worried about mud, floods and gales again.