I was worried that after the illness of Mrs Feathers, our late white hen, the other hens may become sick too, but I am glad to say that our three remaining hens are alive and kicking!
Tufty was going through a moult, but she has grown back a new set of feathers and all of the chickens have started laying again. Although normally hens stop laying during winter, ours are still going strong, however, they do take a day off every now and then, which is fine by me.
We also had our first winter weather of the season mid-December; freezing rain. Freezing rain is fairly rare in Britain, it’s different from black ice which basically is rain water freezing on the surface of the roads. Freezing rain is supercooled rain which freezes immediately upon contact with any surface. So, it’s not just the roads that become icy, but everything else too! I had to close the shop 1 hour early that day as our main road (A823) became more of an ice rink and our path leading up to the house was even worse! Good job I left early, because when I came home the trees were that heavy with ice, they hang over and touched the roof of the car as I drove underneath them! And when I got out, I noticed that even the door handle was covered in a layer of ice! I had to give the latch of the gate a hard knock to get the ice off! This picture shows what it looked like, and I can assure you that that is ice and not rain! And, as you know I am weather-mad, so I thought this unusual (albeit dangerous) weather was super cool (excuse the pun)!
I recently joined a vegetable growers group on Facebook and they were complaining about how their parsnips didn’t germinate at all this year. Someone posted a picture of her one and only parsnip this year and someone else commented that that it was one more than she had managed to grow! Personally, I have lots of parsnips this year and big ones at that, too! One of the reasons for this may be because England had a much longer, drier and hotter summer than we had in Scotland, the parsnips grown south of the border didn’t do as well as the ones grown up here. So, you see, sometimes living in a slightly cooler climate can actually be beneficial.