Follow the fortunes of Muddyboots & Family on their East Yorkshire farm which has changed from dairy farm to luxury ice cream manufacture

Thursday, 18 March 2010

Nest boxes and lawn mowers

I am still coughing away here, brain still feels as though it is stuffed to the gunnels with dense cotton wool, not that l am totally spaced out mind you, just a tadge 'woolly'.

The weather is still improving, such a relief after the coldest winter for 30 years, the daffodils are a last emerging into flower, we might even have to get the lawn mower out to give the Caravan Club site a quick whiz over carefully avoiding the wet bits & boggy bottoms! The hard winter has taken its toil on many of the pot plants on the terrace, the standard lavenders and date palms seem to be well and truly dead, they are no more with no sign of greenness anywhere, shame about that but l will have to look out for some more 'exotic' plants once the fear of late frosts have gone, we are pretty fortunate as we have a garden center outlet, who are also one of our customers, that have a large selection of tropical looking but totally hardy plants. Strange but the olive tree has taken no harm at all.

The woodland planting has in its turn suffered too from the low temperatures & winter blizzards together with those prolonged rabbit attacks resulting in replacing the dead saplings with slightly large plants. Last year, we had to put extra long rabbit guards on all the trees as the rabbits were stripping the bark above the plastic. This year, we have rather a lot of bird boxes to put up around the farm, plus a couple of owl boxes, though the barn owl in the back cow shed seems to be managing OK in the eaves!

The ice cream parlour is now open 7 days a week; orders for ice cream are starting to come in rather nicely from our wholesale customers as the tourists start to emerge after the long winter; the caravan parks are once again open and the coastal resorts are becoming busier with day trippers, or as they say in Yorkshire they have 'comfur-day', together with the early holiday makers taking advantage of the spring weather with its blue skies and sunshine.

Saturday, 13 March 2010

Mid March

Thank goodness for St David say l, December, January & February were just full of snow, frost and a decide lack of sunshine, then, pow, St David's Day - the sun comes out, ok it's not warm but the daylight hours are lengthening and the sun has emerged after being submerged in a smog of dismal greyness. What l suppose is even more remarkable is that the sun has continued to shine for most of this month. The birds are singing away, the thrush perched on the highest branch of a tree just outside our bedroom window, sparrows moving into nest boxes designed for blue tits and the ducks - The ducks come every spring, taking up residency in the CL field. Every morning they waddle across the car park to the bird feeders which hang from the sycamores next to mr moo's, they check the ground looking for any scraps missed by the chaffinches or blackbirds then after a quick snooze toddle back again to their own special corner which gives them a good vantage point to wag their tail feathers or quack for the attention of passing walkers.

The farm is slowly coming to life, with this winter's wet holes frequented by wildfowl, beginning to recede as the water table lowers. The winter wheat on the cliff top looks a little sick brown and stunted, thanks to those continual easterlies that blew in from the Arctic laced with salt Talking about easterlies, the cliff too has suffered from the harsh on-shore wave action, the pounding of the clay or Skipsea Till to give it its correct name, has turned it into a brown sludgy slurry before being washed away by the action of the sea. This year, as a rough guess, about 2 metres have gone whilst over the past years, since l have lived here we must have lost about half the Cliff Top field to coastal erosion?

So now it is a case of releasing the handbrake as we move forward towards Easter, the ice cream team are already filling the freezers with stock, the car park has been fitted with a new drain to prevent the large puddle that settles in for winter, the grass on the CL site is drying nicely so could be a goer for Easter, and the rabbits are already breeding, well like rabbits what more could you ask for?
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