As members of the House of Stark would say “Winter is coming” (forgive me, I’ve just started reading Game of Thrones and have become a little obsessed).
This morning a thick frost covered the fields behind our barn, the kids danced excitedly singing “Jack Frost has been!” over and over. We’ve had a few dustings of snow already, which is causing even more excitement about the imminent arrival of Santa.
The days are growing shorter, as is the amount of time we’re spending outside – though I did make the most of a mild day in the week to get a bit of weeding done. Each time I came across a worm I unceremoniously hoiked it from the ground for the chickens; only for them to do a runner, or stare suspiciously at it as it burrowed back into the soil (only Whiteneck and Redhead were about at the time – as both are in moult / just coming out the other side of the ready to roast look, neither are particularly friendly at the minute. Had the walking dustbin, Ginger, been about, the worm would have been a goner).
The fields and trees around the barn are now host to large numbers of Redwings, I stand and stare out of the windows through my trusty binoculars doing a bit of lazy (cosy) birdwatching, whilst the kids spread their toys across every inch of the house whilst my attention is elsewhere. I’m desperately watching out for Waxwings, there are so many berries on the bushes around us that SURELY they’ll visit. But so far, nothing. We are, however, getting regular visits from plenty of other birds; Sparrows, Starlings, Blue Tits, Great Tits, Robins, Dunnocks, Goldfinches (a ‘charm’ of them, a collective I always think is most appropriate for the lovely little birds), Chaffinches have started to appear and our Woodpecker makes a regular appearance (so much so that J is now quite blasé when it shows up, whilst I still squawk excitedly). All these visitors are getting through a lot of grub though, meaning that if I brave the cold for nothing else, I have to venture out to replenish their food.
Our barn life is so very different from the one we led before, I feel like I’m starting to hibernate – spending more and more time indoors as the days draw in around me. In our past lives, work commitments meant the day to day routine wouldn’t really change, still having to face the elements to get to the, too hot / too cold / never just right, office where I would spend my day working (and chatting) in front of my computer. The only routine we currently have is around the boy’s school days. I don’t think having the ability to do this hibernating is necessarily a good thing; but whilst sat here – watching nature through our window, the heating on, with a hot cup of coffee, it’s not necessarily a bad thing either.