Huge frost this morning, and this brings good things and bad things with it. Good is that my view has turned into silver frosted fairy land. Every leaf, every blade of grass looks silver, and crystal clear around the edges. The only flowers currently showing are snowdrops, thousands of ‘em, and they are doing very nicely despite the big freeze. Even though each snowdrop is effectively sitting in an ice cube, the effect is still of a little glacier (with snowdrops, the clue’s in the name) creeping gently down through the garden.
The wild birds hanging about in gangs around the bird feeders are all fluffed up like pop-poms, and although the thinking part of me knows that this is because they are cold, poor blighters, the ‘silver frosted fairy land’ part of me thinks they look just cute. Even though their colour scheme is mainly brown. I always think that British birds sing quite beautifully, but my goodness they could do with a design makeover.
Then we move onto bad things. All the water is frozen solid. This means that since break of day I have been trudging about with kettles melting ice. Animals (and birds, they are not getting off scot-free on this one) drink far more than usual when they know that I’ve got to work really hard to keep their supply flowing. Give them a baking hot August day, and they spurn the stuff. A frozen February day and the whole lot of them, without exception, announce “I’m really really thirsty, and I need water, lots of water, right NOW!!”
Tulip (goose) (with attitude) has chosen today to make her very important annual nest, and is bustling about in the goose house with beakfuls of hay yelling instructions to her mate Porous. She wants more water than all the rest put together, because today she will lay an EGG! And it will be BIG! And she needs warm WATER! HONK!!
Light relief this morning has been provided by Indie, bless him. I’m still poulticing Slip’s foot, mainly because he likes being pampered and having a nappy padding his hoof makes him feel special. And Harry hasn’t got one. And Harry’s a dork. So I took off last night’s muddy nappy and put on a clean one (trust me, there is no better padding for a horse’s sore foot than a disposable nappy). And Indie got the old nappy and did the Dance of the Seven Veils with it in the garden, lots of tossing it in the air and dancing round in circles. And I laughed so much that I really didn’t mind that I’d tried breaking the hen’s water with my shoe (foot still in it) and it went in deep, and my sock is super saturated with ice water. But I think I’ll go and change it now …