jeudi 22 mars 2018

Cold snap for the lambs

24 hours after the lambs were born, 6-7 inches of snow and sub-zero temperatures, but the lambs were indifferent to it, staying close to their mums or nestling down in the bottom of the hay feeder.

One more lamb still to be born and a return to warmer temperatures has already begun.

samedi 17 mars 2018

Lamb number 2

We watched lamb no.2 being born this morning to Louise (another female lamb not yet named). A few hours later and we have 4 inches of snow! Mum seems to be taking good care of baby and keeping her (mostly) in the shelter. Hopefully the 3 rams in the flock and the electric fence will keep any predators away.

lundi 5 mars 2018

Forthcoming event

Spring is coming!

First hepatica

 More field clearance before the growth starts

Aplen glow

mardi 27 février 2018

More badgers below the house.

Latest footage from badger cam.

Very cold and clear here today....minus 9 degrees at 9.00 this morning, despite the sun.

mercredi 14 février 2018

vendredi 9 février 2018

Latest neighbour on the camera trap

Mr Fox from Lee Sharp on Vimeo.


This morning dawned clear and sunny, but at about 8.30 I spotted something shiny in the sky, too big to be a star, closer inspection with binoculars revealed a balloon at about 20,000ft. Soon I spotted 7 others at various distances and altitudes. 

All pretty much the same design of ballon except for one which was darker, but too far away to see clearly - was it a race, a club or just many balloonists taking advantage of perfect conditions to cross the mountains?

After setting the camera trap (more later) I went for walk up Joubac returning by the Quer d'Aleu, arriving home before the next snow arrived.

jeudi 8 février 2018

Extra snow overnight

Lucky I got the wood out of the field last night! Fetched some hay reserves from the barn this morning before the snow gets too deep to reach the barn at Le Sarrach.

mercredi 7 février 2018

More snow

The seventh day of light snow today and if the weather forecast is to be believed not much let up for the next couple of weeks! It's been a very sunless and wet/snowy winter so far - we've burnt record amounts of firewood this year and today I had to fetch more from stockpile to refill the woodshed.

lundi 5 février 2018

Tuc de la Coume

A brief break in the latest snow event and we decided to make a dash for Tuc de la Coume. We were a bit late setting out and missed the clear spell. As I left the trees I spooked a Red Stag which ran off into the forest - too quick to get the camera out alas. The snow didn't deliver a fantastic ski descent but it's always good to get out.


camera trap

With so much nocturnal wildlife here we decided to invest in camera trap to see more of it - first stop badgers! Next we'll try for some wild boar.

lundi 29 janvier 2018

More snow at the end of last week and the weekend, a welcome end to the rain...and now sun at last. 

Another sick hen - Henna - who quick suffered paralysis. Marek's virus or botulism were the obvious culprits. After 48 hours of nursing she has begun to recover - so botulism is the likely cause (there would be no recovery from Marek's). Chickens can pick botulism bacteria up from eating maggots or surprisingly rotting cabbage leaves! It's different strain of the bacteria to that which affects humans and so there is no danger to our health.

Today we headed out as the sun was shining, for as quick snowshoe up Cap de Bouirex.

A buried snow man giving us the finger

Where eagles dare

Montcalm and Pics d'Estats above the clouds

samedi 20 janvier 2018

More field clearance

Once long ago (9 years) I got the field below the chemin to look like this, but house and gite building meant I had to let it go and the forest returned. With a little more time on my hands it's time to clear it again. Hopefully it will provide a link to the amphitheatre field. About 3/4 is cleared of brambles so far.

The top field has also been extended to the end of the parcelle, revealing an old quince tree.

jeudi 11 janvier 2018

Susie's garden keeps on giving - cauliflower, cabbage, carrots and rocket from the polytunnel.
I've been busy logging firewood for 2020!

Susie's Contemporary dance residential is now full and this week a record 7 dancers at her weekly dance class.

lundi 8 janvier 2018

Another poorly hen

Despite being free range, well fed, watered and housed and regularly de-wormed, we have another poorly hen. "Moon Zappa" started her moult and as is often the case became quite lethargic and had low appetite. The moult is still going on but she has become more and more low and developed diarrhoea. We separated her from the other hens and have brought her into the porch, feeding her as best we can with a syringe. Some chicken food, some scrambled egg to boost her protein intake (needed for her new set of feathers) and a little propolis to try and combat any bacterial/viral infection she may have picked up.

It's been a week but there's little sign of improvement. No symptoms other than moulting, lethargy and diarrhoea. All we can do keep trying to feed and water her, and keep her warm and comfortable. Hoping she pulls through.

samedi 6 janvier 2018


After many years of nonstop building projects, I've finally found the time to give my workshop a damn good tidy and build some extra work benches.

Cranes migrating over the Pyrenees at the moment at quite some altitude, the cries of a thousand birds carries a long way!

More wonderful sunsets

dimanche 31 décembre 2017

After the blizzard, only 15cm at most here, but over a metre in 36 hours at 2000m.
 Then the south wind blew and it's all gone at Quelebu already.