Over the last 10 days or so, in between pruning the apple trees, I've been doing a far more enjoyable job.
It wasn't a planned job, until I went over to the orchard and looked at the stream. Or rather, looked at where the stream had disappeared in places under a mass of overgrown brambles. Quite where the hell they came from I do not know!
Well obviously there was only one thing for it - get down there in it and tidy up! Thank goodness for my nearly brand new waterproof wellies.
As well as brambles to clear there were the dead stalks of these tall umbellifers which grow in all the ditches and streams - their seed heads are really pretty and I used some in my Christmas decorations.
With thick socks on I didn't get cold feet and was enjoying this new view of my orchard and house.
I could get round the backs of the trees growing beside the stream so found early periwinkles flowering.
All the while I was kept company by the sheep in the paddock next door, and the sounds of robins and song thrushes singing, and wrens and blue tits flitting about all over the place.
I'd got this far previously and managed to finish the rest of this yesterday afternoon - there was light at the end of the tunnel as the 'bridge' (that you can't really see) was up ahead, and the end of our property boundary.
Looking back over what I'd cleared and a nicely flowing clean stream. For a while a number of blue tits came down to the shallows and bathed, but my pocket camera is not up to zooming in on them unfortunately - I only got tiny blurs! Do you like the 'rustic' sheep fence? I think it adds a certain je ne sais quoi!
Wonder how long before all the nettles and brambles start growing again?
Whilst I was working I noticed one of the pregnant ewes wombling off to the barn and didn't think anything of it. Until a little while later when I heard a lot of baaaa-ing so looked up.
Holy moly! Where did they come from?!!!!! All together now, awwwwwwww! (apologies for the rubbish photo, I am sure I will be taking tons more pics of these little babies over the next few weeks, and there should be at least one more lamb from the other ewe). Now, with my first daffodil opening the previous day, I really feel like spring has started :-)
Now the orchard jobs are finished for the time being so I can get on with all the other urgent jobs that need doing, but at least with these signs of spring it makes it so much easier to get my lazy backside up and out there and doing things!