The Freezing Weather.

Person Author: Helen Fowler Calender January 18, 2013 Posted Tags: , , , , , , Comment No Comments

I know that it’s January and it’s winter, but bimey it’s cold. At least there’s no more mud, the ground has frozen solid and is as hard as iron. I have 5 outdoor cats, a stray that adopted me a couple of years ago, who then gave me a present of 4 kittens. Thankfully they are all neutered, so no more.  They have two nice warm ‘cat houses’ and I keep them well fed. When feeding them the last two mornings, their food was freezing before they could eat it all. I had to bring their bowls indoors, warm it up then let them finish breakfast. Thats cold. I was putting out water both for them and also some for the birds, that froze within minutes! Lots of birds are coming to the feeders. I have put out peanuts, fatballs, fruit and sunflower hearts. The birds that visit are, sparrows, blue tits, coal tits, great tits, willow tits, siskins, chaffinch, greenfinch, goldfinch, blackbirds, thrush, fieldfare, nuthatch, woodpecker, robin and a sparrow hawk who thinks it’s his personal feeding station, feeding on my birds of course. A couple of times a week, a band of about a dozen longtailed tits decend on the fatballs and peanuts, they have a frantic feed and then fly off in their funny wavy up and down flight they have. They make a noise that I can only describe as ‘squeaking’. With having very tiny bodies they need they food we put out to keep them alive in this cold weather.

I volunteer at a local tourist centre on a thursday so while I was out yesterday, I though I would stock up on some fresh food stuff in case the weekend weather is bad. My local greengrocer had superb large red potatoes for £1.39 a bag, you get about 5lbs in a bag, and bunches of large beautiful carrots complete with foliage, for 99p. Most of the veg is local and the quality is brilliant. The potatoes were so clean and blemish free, someone had a good crop dipite the bad weather and blight.

Talking of potatoes, I called in to my local garden centre and bought some seed potatoes. They had a really good selection. They buy them in bulk sacks, then place in trays. You can choose your own and they are weighed at the till. All varieties were £1.89 per kg, which I thought was very good. I selected some lovely large seed pots of three varieties. First earlies Swift and Rocket, and second early Charlotte. I only grow earlies, I grow in pots and bags and they do very well for me. I havn’t room to spare for potato crops in the beds. And as I can buy really great maincrop suds locally, I keep my precious raised bed space for other crops.  I will put my potatoes in trays to ‘chit’, probably in a cool room somewhere. I start planting in pots or bags in febuary, keeping them in the greenhouse till april.

There was quite a hoar frost yesterday, so cold but so pretty with it’s spikes of ice wrapping every twig and wire. No hoar frost today, just dry and bitingly cold, waiting for more snow to arrive.

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