Just as the bees are starting to buzz outside among the flowers in the garden signalling spring, we have had some interesting weather. Warm and sunny days followed by frost and snow. April is the cruellest month (literary quote- TS Eliot!) and I should know as I am particularly familiar with April, sharing a birthday last week with the Queen. We woke on Tuesday to see snow in the corner of the roofs of the farm buildings. A car covered in snow was allegedly seen in Wirksworth and we had several mornings of hard frosts. Subsequently a friend with heritage apple trees in her garden thinks may have no fruit this year.
Last week the swallows returned to their summer quarters in the rafters of the old cow sheds. In the evening it is a delight to see them swooping in and out of the buildings and across the yard. The pigs are slow to get up when it is cold, and so himself and I have a clear run across the yard on cold mornings, spreading pig feed, before we are ambushed. The cattle on the other hand move slowly up together from where they have overnighted in a frost free dip at the bottom of the nearest field, waiting to be fed the end of the cattle feed which we bought in to supplement the silage.
Last week we ran the cattle through to check on ear tags and trim hooves. - a right mucky job - and I can report we have a new black bull calf with a white star on his forehead.
In the meantime, the sows and their offspring have been let out of pens, and are busy finding their way around the general feeding routine. Piglet, anyone?