Monday, 29 March 2010
It would appear that spring is upon us - if only to leave us again midweek this week with heavy snow forecast, I hope temporarily.

You only need to be in the same postcode as the ponies and you are covered in hair as they start to lose their winter coats- Mr P has started complaining- I think that the main problem is that the hairs are mainly white so show up easily on everything. I had forgotten in my previous post, about mud, that there is an overlap period with mud and moulting- I couldn't help thinking my top paddock would be great for anyone who is restoring a Tudor building, the clay mud and horse hair mix would be perfect for the walls. We have some lovely white fur mats too, where the ponies have rolled, obviously to get rid of the itchy loose fur and left a round patch of white.
Along with all this mess though are the first green shoot signs that the winter is coming to a close- the birds coming to the bird feeder at the stable are fantastic, ranging from our resident Jenny Wren and going through a whole kaleidoscope of colours to peachy pink chaffinches and pretty blue tits. Mr Forks (the pheasant) and his wives have survived the shooting season and now grow fat and appear more colourful and iridescent than ever as the mating season gets underway- I look forward to seeing the big footed, long legged babies darting across the field before too long.
The field is still predominantly mud- however I live hopefully that this week will be the week to see it return to its glorious buttercup gold studded green. Then Riley can go back on his antihistamines early so we don't suffer with his buttercup allergy like last year. He had awful crusty rashes and scabs on all his legs and his nose - it was really painful for him and left him with a very pink nose- poor boy! Both Romeo and Riley now have wolf teeth signalling that they have stopped growing- hurrah! Romeo is quite tall enough thank you! Their mouthes are no longer sore with the teeth coming through so training can begin again- watch this space.
On Sunday we took a day off and went to Chatsworth House- we had a lovely day complete with picnic. We even went to the farmyard, I'm really missing the chickens at home since the ferret incident, and I was thrilled that they had some tiny, tiny fluffy chicks under a heat lamp. Also and heart-wrenchingly a whole load of tiny orphan lambs- they were too cute for words! Unfortunately, I didn't have my big handbag with me to pop one in to bring home... besides MrP is saying that we have enough animals for the time being thank you very much especially with two more foals due in the summer.
We wandered around the kitchen garden (my favourite bit of all of the gardens there) with me explaining to MrP that this is exactly what I want the garden to look like at the new cottage, on a much smaller scale obviously. MrP wasn't convinced though, as at the moment the kitchen garden at Chatsworth looks very bare, we will go back later in the summer then he will see what I mean.

No news on moving yet, hopefully the Easter weekend will get us a buyer for the other house and our advanced day-dreaming about the cottage can really take off...


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