Tuesday, 19 October 2021

Cooling down

At least here they are just chasing each other
around. It will do some of them some good and
a good work out to warm themselves up.

We had a heavy frost this morning and several, large flocks of geese were making a determined headway southwards. Yes! Winter is creeping up. Not quite here yet, but you can hear its whisper in the cold northerly breeze, or the crunch of the ice underfoot on a frosty morning. Today was one of those glorious late autumn days, crisp in the morning and bright sunshine all day. The boys came out fighting, only Turbjørn didn't join in at all. Something was in the air as they are not normally like that. The younger boys usually get a bit argumentative in the evenings, but never in the mornings. The nip in the air didn't leave all day, but at least it was better than the damp, wet days, which we've had a few too many of just lately.

The physio came out to see Turbjørn this last week.
He had a painful spot on his neck, not just the 
stiffness he normally has these days. She gave him
some laser heat treatment on it and Ian is giving
him regular treatments with the heat pad again. Mind
you, he's not that bad as he's still sitting outside when
it rains. He was so wet one morning that Ian couldn't
use the heat pad - he would have sizzled.
Oh oh! This is looking serious

Sunday morning I cut down the shrivelled remains of the Jerusalem artichokes and started the process of digging up the tubers - at least enough to clear some ground for Ian to dump the alpaca manure and expand the bed widthways. The rain set in for the afternoon, but fortunately I had some proofreading to occupy my time. I also dug up the dahlias that I raised from seed this year. The tubers are drying off in the little greenhouse ready to be taken back to the apartment. I also cleared and mulched another bed and so now nearly all the beds are settled down for their winter sleep. 

Not just the odd flock of geese this time. Lots
of flocks have been flying over. Winter won't 
be long now, so they say!
Wish vegetable gardening was this easy. Just
put the animals out on the grass and let them
eat it down. Not much mowing goes on these

I need to work on the garden for next year, as it has started to get out of hand and take too long to deal with. I'm thinking of a very low maintenance to no veg gardening next year to give me time to get the flower and herb garden sorted and make the veg beds more manageable. It doesn't mean we will have nothing to eat from the garden, there are plenty of herbs. 

There are some gardeners on our land who we 
do not appreciate. The moles have been
working overtime. They are all round the
greenhouse and have even been digging up in our
new greenhouse now. They are in various places
in the fields. They also dug up the ditch and
blocked it so Ian has taken up the small bridges
and has re-dug it. So far they haven't been back-
close but not back yet! 
Such a glorious golden autumn

There are also plenty of wild edible weeds that we eat a lot of in spring and I can sort of cultivate them too. Nettles are really nutritious and if we cut them back they can be harvested later too. I've already put some potatoes in to see if they will be okay over winter. I know I've tried it before and it didn't work but then again the winter was hard that year. We seem to have lots of potatoes that grow up anyway where I haven't planted them and they are cheap to replace, so no big worries. 

...panning round a bit more
Such a profusion of colours, all bathed in a 
golden light

I might also buy some plants instead of trying to raise them myself and put some seeds in that can overwinter. I tried it before with parsnips and that worked really well. Those sorts of veg don't seem to need a lot of work and so can just sort themselves out with a bit of mulching later on. . Once I have the garden under control I could then think about late summer and autumn vegetables as they seem to be doing okay. The garlic is already in too. It is easy to put that kind of thing in after the potatoes have been removed (I say removed rather than dug up as I don't use a spade - no need and a lot fewer losses from spade or fork damage). After the potatoes the bed is clear and just needs a quick raking over and then mulching. 

Then we had the damp squib of a day which
drained the colour and makes the photos look
like a slightly faded one from the 70s. Karla 
and Lolly were wet through this week, but
none the worse for it.
Generally they get on, but sometimes little Lolly
pushes Karla to her limit. Karla is smaller in
height but much stronger than Lolly. But 
Lolly can outrun all the girls I think with her
long legs and boundless energy.

Another aspect I really need to sort out is compost. We have plenty of manure and that, but not a convenient place to compost it all. I need the compost for starting seeds and it seems daft to buy it in when we have so much stuff that could be composted. I could do with doing some hot composting to get rid of weed seeds and then bagging it up, but I just don't seem to get organised enough for the beginning of the year. April and May is just such a busy time, both for the academic and agricultural year, that trying to fit in finding compost, raising seeds, finding sticks for beans and so on, all gets too much. Starting earlier isn't an option either in our short season, as the ground can still be frozen in March and we still risk hard frosts and snow. 

Like miniature stained glass windows.
Looking gorgeous there Mr. P

Ian will have to get cracking with wood chopping, as now we have finally got the wood to the apartment and down in the cellar there, ready for our return in winter. I say we. We both stacked the horse box and Ian did one run to the apartment on his own. I had work to do and there was rain forecast which makes getting the horse box on and off the land tricky, so he made a start. We both went another morning to finish it off. We made it before it rained anyway. It would have been done earlier but we had a problem with a delivery of flour. I get my organic flour online and it was too heavy to use the post box and it had to be sent by courier. Well there are problems with our address since the administrative changes as there are now two places in our larger municipality with the same name and the courier got the wrong one. I always wince when people swear in my language. I'm not the swearing sort and so this just kind of compounds it. I did feel sorry for him though as I know they are on a tight schedule. 

A soggy Brencis
Mr. Tellus with a few glistening jewels

I heard last week that the paper that seems to have gone on for ever has finally been accepted. I sighed a huge sigh of relief but then got a message that they would like a summary of the paper for policymakers and the general public. Oh boy! Just condense 18 months of work into 1000 words please! Don't use anything too technical! Okay but it's one of the most technical papers I've ever written.... so....anyway it's done and sent off to my colleagues to comment on. Work seemed to be piling up this last week but at least I've managed to clear some backlogs in the last two days and can now get back on with the more routine side of things - whatever that is. 

A two-tone George
Golden morning rain with Freddie and Jakobs
A rainbow in our forest
The other end of the rainbow on the hill
Two-tone George on a frosty morning
Josefs and Freddie fighting

Still at it
Josefs taking a breather
Morning jog
Father and son wrestling now.
Now it's Freddie and George's turn. But don't
worry, Ian calmed them down after a while and
no one was hurt.
Ice on the car
A disagreement this time between Freddie and 

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