Feeding season has begun

Winter has arrived in Normandy. We already had two nights with only 2 chilly °C (35.6 °F). The sheep are complaining about the lack of fruits.
Mäh

-“Where have all the chestnuts gone? Long time passing.” -“Fat sheep ate them every one. When will they ever be full?”

And then they walk into the sunset.

Pinke Schafe

I filled the tube feeder for the birds with sunflower seeds and hung up fat balls. The weather is rather bad, grey and gloomy, sometimes even raining and thus I can’t take good photographs at the moment.

Feeding season has started

Poecile palustris or Poecile montana (marsh tit or willow tit) and Parus major (great tit).

At the bird restaurant on a dark day

Three Chloris chloris (greenfinch).

I bought 5 steres of wood and feed the wood stove. The house has no insulation and no other means of heating.

Der Rest vom Schneefest

Den Rest vom Schneefest schreibe ich auf deutsch. Der Schlosskäufer neulich guckte mich komisch an und erklärte mir, man werde sich schon verstehen, ich sei doch wohl nicht “schwierig”. Ich gehe davon aus, dass irgendwer mich als “schwierig” beschrieben haben muss. “Schwierig” beschreibt eher die Wohnsituation im Winter, der dieses Jahr wieder ein bisschen übertrieben hat. Aber inzwischen sieht es wenigstens wieder gut aus.

Eine Kette hängt drohend im verschneiten Park. Da befestigen wir keineswegs unvorsichtige Besucher dran. Neinein, bevor ich hierherkam sollte daran ein Wachhund befestigt werden. Es gibt auch eine Hundehütte, die im Sommer eifrig von Schafen genutzt wird. Eigenes Foto auf Flickr, Lizenz: CC by-SA/ Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

Phex mag Schnee auch nicht so besonders. Es ist kalt an den Füßen. Er will wieder draußen herumliegen und zwar nicht im Schnee. Eigenes Foto auf Flickr, Lizenz: CC by-SA/ Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

Immerhin haben die Schlosskäufer aber meinen Verdacht bezüglich Phex bestätigt. Er fand eine der Frauen ganz toll. Sie war die einzige, die rauchte. Er stellte sich schwanzwedelnd neben sie und spielte Lassie, während er tief einatmete. Deshalb ist er sonst immer so gern zu Herrn C. gelaufen. Vor dessen Schlaganfall. Jetzt raucht Herr C. ja nicht mehr.

Auch wenn es hier nicht so aussieht. Bach MAG Schnee. Keine Ahnung warum er hier seinen zweiten Gesichtsausdruck (besorgt) draufhat. Eigentlich ist Schnee sonst Gesichtsausdruck 1 (begeistert) wert. Irgendetwas an diesem Bild war immer schief, der Turm, oder das Cottage. Eigenes Foto auf Flickr, Lizenz: CC by-SA/ Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

Der Zaun wurde vor 20 Jahren aus Paletten gebaut und wird seitdem von den Wächtern jährlich notdürftig geflickt. Ich würde ja gerne “richtiges” Holz verwenden und keine alten Paletten auseinanderbauen müssen. Ich hab natürlich auch keine Paletten mehr. Die haben sich alle schon lange in Pappe verwandelt.

Wer hat hier wohl gelegen? Wer hat in meinem Schneebettchen geschlafen? Es gibt da ganz deutliche Indizien. Eigenes Foto auf Flickr, Lizenz: CC by-SA/ Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

Das sind die Indizien. Ich find es macht sich sehr gut im Schnee. Eigenes Foto auf Flickr, Lizenz: CC by-SA/ Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

Seltsame “Inschriften” in Vogelsprache. Was will er uns oder wahrscheinlich eher seinen Kumpels sagen? Okay nix. Aber es hätte ja sein können. Eigenes Foto auf Flickr, Lizenz: CC by-SA/ Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

After a short visit elsewhere, winter came back

Like I already wrote in Snowdrop cushions and snowdrop thieves, the winter was long and cold. Up to 5 days with temperatures around +10°C followed and everybody thought it’s spring. But no, we were wrong. I should have chopped more wood, bought more paraffin, bought birdseeds. The French optimism seems to infect me. Where did that pessimistic me go?

Sheep are clever. When the waterbucket is frozen, they melt a hole in the ice with their soft warm muzzles. Own photo on Flickr, licence: CC by-SA/ Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

Winter came back during the night. And it contained lots of snow. It was snowing all Monday. Even at the time I took this photo. The snowflakes were very small though. I didn’t want to ruin my camera and took only photos under some kind of roof. This was taken in the entrance of the cottage. Own photo on Flickr, licence: CC by-SA/ Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

And the snow was lying heavily around on everything. One of the trees in front of the castle fell to the side. I’ll have to call someone with a tractor to pull it up again after this -insert bad names for winter here- has gone. Own photo on Flickr, licence: CC by-SA/ Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

Rudi runs to the hayrack (upper left corner). Bach thinks this is hilarious! The stone to the lower right always makes me wonder. There is never snow on it. It must be warmer than the rest of the ground. But why? Maybe it is so deep in the ground that it gets warmed by the inner core of the Earth? Okay, I might exaggerate a bit. Own photo on Flickr, licence: CC by-SA/ Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

Rudi finally saw us and changed the direction. Own photo on Flickr, licence: CC by-SA/ Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

We were supposed to have nice visitors, but because of the traffic chaos on railroads and in the streets, we’ve been hanging around bored on the sofa. Especially Phex was disappointed. He loves cigarettes and always hopes that visitors come and smoke a lot. Own photo on Flickr, licence: CC by-SA/ Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

Last Saturday Stirnlöckchen had digestion problems. She’s an old ewe, maybe 12 years old. On Sunday she didn’t want to stand up. I gave her sage and a massage for her tummy. On Monday she felt better. On Tuesday she didn’t want to get up. This photo was made on Tuesday and she was lying in the sheep barn behind me. Own photo on Flickr, licence: CC by-SA/ Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

On Tuesday the snow flakes were bigger. Hungry sheep gathered around the hayrack. Own photo on Flickr, licence: CC by-SA/ Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

Today it was snowing less. The sheep had already walked their typical paths into the snow. From the hayrack to the buckets, the waterbassin and to the park. Own photo on Flickr, licence: CC by-SA/ Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

Around noon (today) the sheep invaded the park, where patches of grass made their way through the layer of white. Own photo on Flickr, licence: CC by-SA/ Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

But after a short exploration tour they stayed under the trees and waited.. for me. Mäh, the goddess of hay. Own photo on Flickr, licence: CC by-SA/ Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

Where’s the snackbar? Own photo on Flickr, licence: CC by-SA/ Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

Girls, I don’t think that human will bring more food. Let’s go back to the hayrack. Own photo on Flickr, licence: CC by-SA/ Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

Kleinfleckchen looks quite happpy though. In the background you can see Rudi walking in his beloved sweater out of the picture. Own photo on Flickr, licence: CC by-SA/ Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

Die another day. On the afternoon Stirnlöckchen decided that she wants to live. When I brought her food on the pasturage she was up and running. She even had crossed the approx. 200 m long field. I cancelled the appointment with the vet and went immediately with the car to a nearby village to buy sheepfood. Even the bigger roads like the Route départementale to Brionne were still clogged with snow. It was one hell of a ride. On the way back I bought a cake, chocolate and Earl Grey to have a party and celebrate life in general. Own photo on Flickr, licence: CC by-SA/ Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

My coach Rudi

Rudi wants me to start jogging. Yes, I know I weigh too much. He gave a good example and ran after a wild rabbit. I held three leashes with very big studded working gloves. Rudi’s leash slipped out of the thick leather fingers and off he ran. We were on top of the hill and I could watch him for a long time. I was screaming. He ran. A herd of deer was camping on the other side of the hill when they heard and saw a miniwolf running barking towards them. They ran. Rudi likes a challenge and rather followed them than the small game. The deer went out of sight. Rudi went out of sight. I asked two men who live on that hill if they’ve seen a small dog. No, they hadn’t. I went home, worried. I already told you that German women always worry.

Bach, Phex and me took the road back and at the last house before the valley a car stopped and two young men told us, that they had seen “my dog” running to the “big house”. It’s good the castle couldn’t hear that someone called it a mere “house” but I was very happy. We’ve been jogging the rest of the way, me in safety shoes, Phex biting in his leash and Bach frequently starting to dance. And Rudi was already teaching the rabbits at the castle how to behave. When he saw us he was happily joining us and we celebrated our reunion. Remind me not to use those big gloves on a walk again.

Rudi

Why were you worried Frauchen (little woman)? I will always find home. Own photo on Flickr, licence: CC by-SA/ Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

It had one good effect. When we started to walk I heard the cold. The wind sounds different on the frozen ground. The sound is white somehow. But because of all the screaming and running I completely forgot about the cold. Now there’s a fire in the wood stove, the sounds of the fire, cracking and sizzling are warm.

Phex presents The White Castle in January snow

This time Phex presents The White Castle in January snow. The castle is for sale. Last time he showed us the castle in December. Admittedly it’s not much snow and people in Maine or Finland might laugh about the three snowflakes that lie like sugar powder in the grass.

Phex has a lot of fur and doesn’t mind the cold. He’s not eating grass and doesn’t mind the snow either. He doesn’t like to get wet feet though. You can’t have all. Here he shows the park behind The White Castle. Own photo, licence: CC by-SA/ Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

Behind the round of naked trees hides The White Castle. Phex found it though. It smells of baroque. Own photo, licence: Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs CC BY-NC-ND

Here was a feathered intruder. Did he search The White Castle? After all there’s an owl living under the roof. Maybe this was a visitor? Own photo, licence: CC by-SA/ Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

On the trail of Rudi and Phex . The snow is already heavy and wet and it’s melting on the trees. Drops of icecold water fall from the trees in the snow. Own photo, licence: CC by-SA/ Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

This video was made on the northeastern side of the castle. At the pet cemetery (19th century).

You better like The White Castle or Phex will complain. You don’t want him to complain. Note: he can sing. And now you better hug him or at least brush him. Don’t stand lazily around. Own photo, licence: CC by-SA/ Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

Boring Snow

The snow isn’t really boring. I’m boring. I’m doing something all the time and it rarely involves dogs. I do things like chopping wood, feeding sheep, cleaning the house, checking the castle.

And the dog hangs around with the cat, because even the cat is more interesting than Frauchen (me). Own photo, licence: CC by-SA/ Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

And the dog hangs around with the cat, because even the cat is more interesting than Frauchen (me). Own photo, licence: CC by-SA/ Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

The most boring event is “castle checking”. I disappear in the big building and the poor dogs may not enter. Terribly boring.

Is there something going on? Own photo, licence: CC by-SA/ Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

Is there something going on? Own photo, licence: CC by-SA/ Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

No, it's nothing. *sigh* Own photo, licence: CC by-SA/ Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

No, it’s nothing. *sigh* Own photo, licence: CC by-SA/ Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

Meanwhile I'm taking crazy photos of myself, checking not the castle, but rather if I look stupid when I'm grinning. Don't tell the dogs, they think I'm working. Own photo, licence: CC by nc-nd/ Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported

Meanwhile I’m taking crazy photos of myself, checking not the castle, but if I look stupid when I’m grinning. Don’t tell the dogs, they think I’m working. Own photo, licence: CC by nc-nd/ Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported

Oh yes, I do look stupid. Muhahaha. And how do you like my bobble hat? Own photo, licence: CC by-nc-nd/ Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported

Oh yes, I do look stupid. Muhahaha. And how do you like my bobble hat? Own photo, licence: CC by-nc-nd/ Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported

I took some photos of the trees in the snow. It was so quiet.

There's a pale sun looking through the dark branches of a tree. Own photo, licence: CC by-SA/ Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

There’s a pale sun looking through the dark branches of a tree. Own photo, licence: CC by-SA/ Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

It was quite warm in the castle, much warmer than outside and maybe warmer than in the cottage.

View out of a window of the first (second) floor. Own photo, licence: CC by-SA/ Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

View out of a window of the first (second) floor. Own photo, licence: CC by-SA/ Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

Schneeschuhe für Rudi

Es hat geschneit. Unverschämtes Wetter! Aber die Schafe nehmen es bisher halbwegs gelassen, immerhin füttere ich sie mit Heu, Rüben, Karotten, trockenen Schaffutter. Nur Brad drehte heute durch und griff die Hunde an. Das lag aber vielleicht an Rudis Pullover. Einen hellgrauen Hund Bodyguard haben wir doch nicht? Immerhin war das eine gute Gelegenheit für mich, ein bisschen zu joggen. Ich rannte – um die Hunde zu schützen – mit meinem Schäferstock hinter Brad her und drohte ihm. Der nimmt mir das nicht übel und mir wurde warm.

The sheep gather around the hayrack. Own photo, licence: CC by-SA/ Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

Schafversammlung an der Raufe. Eigenes Foto, Lizenz: CC by-SA/ Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

Bach hat heute ein unglaublich fettes Kaninchen erwischt und ließ es tatsächlich gehorsam fallen, als ich “aus” sagte. Das überraschte mich. Rudi muss ich die Kaninchen immer aus dem Maul ziehen. Bach ist doch ein braver Hund. Was tun mit der Leiche, der Boden ist gefroren, auf dem Schnee sieht man und vor allem Fuchs alles. Ich beerdigte das Kaninchen gleich hinter dem Zaun in einem provisorischen Grab aus Stöcken.

Unterdessen sammelte Rudi Schnee an seinen Pfoten. Er läuft dann wie ein Seemann. Irgendwann ist er doppelt so schwer wie ein schneeloser Hund und bekommt die Beine kaum noch hoch. dann ist es Zeit ins Haus zu gehen.

Rudi in the park. Own photo, licence: CC by-SA/ Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

Rudi im Park. Eigenes Foto, Lizenz: CC by-SA/ Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

Rudi und Bach im Schnee. Eigenes Foto, Lizenz: CC by-SA/ Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

Rudi und Bach im Schnee. Eigenes Foto, Lizenz: CC by-SA/ Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

He has already collected quite a lot of snow. Own photo, licence: CC by-SA/ Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

So langsam werden die Füße schwer. Eigenes Foto, Lizenz: CC by-SA/ Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

Am Südturm traf ich Miniputz, die sich sehr über das Wetter beklagte. “Der Boden ist nass und kalt, lass mich reiten”, miaute sie. Schließlich sprang sie auf meinen Rücken und kletterte auf meinen linken Arm, auf dem sie hockte wie ein Jagdfalke. Ich finde das jedesmal toll, aber sie wiegt immerhin 4 kg und wenn ich sie eine Weile herumgetragen habe, dann wird der Arm immer schwerer. Am Cottage setzte ich sie ab, das fand sie gar nicht gut.

My furry falcon. Own photo, licence: CC by-SA/ Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

Mein pelziger Falke. Eigenes Foto, Lizenz: CC by-SA/ Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

At the cottage my arm weighs a ton. Own photo, licence: CC by-SA/ Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

Die Katze wird immer schwerer. Eigenes Foto, Lizenz: CC by-SA/ Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

Her hypnotising gaze says: "Take me up again! How dare you put me down?" Own photo, licence: CC by-SA/ Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

Hypnoseputz versucht mir zu suggerieren, sie wieder aufzuheben. Eigenes Foto, Lizenz: CC by-SA/ Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

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