Wednesday 26 December 2012

Proddy / Hooky Handiwork

I am really enjoying my new hobby of recycling material into pictures etc using  treaditional rug making techniques; proddy and hooky.  The big piece at the back was made into a draught excluder for my son James for his front door. 
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Monday 24 December 2012

Happy Christmas from Pry House

The tree is lit, the hall is decked with holly (the real thing, berries and all!), presents wrapped, cards delivered, mince pies made and cake iced.  Wow, how I love Christmas!
For me,  its not Christmas until  Muker Silver Band arrive on Christmas Eve to play carols outside the house.
We wish you a Happy Christmas and a peaceful, healthy and harmonious New Year
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Friday 7 December 2012

Beautiful but Bitterly Cold

This morning we woke up to a winter wonderland.  Yesterday afternoon the wind got up and brought with it snow.  By half past seven we were without electricity and after a couple of hours of candlelight the novelty wore off and it was off to bed with hot water bottles!  This house gets pretty cold with no central heating.
The best way to appreciate the view is from behind this glass!
The roads, even down the dale, have been treacherous however it doesn't stop motorists trying to drive to Kirkby Stephen via the moors.  Chris has had two cars to pull out with the tractor already!
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Sunday 2 December 2012

Tupping on Pry House Home Field

First of all Chris gathers the sheep and tup together and gives the tup his feed ration.  The tup, after all, needs to keep his strength up!
Then Chris applies more tup rud to the tup's underbelly to be sure it leaves a clear mark on the female's back.  We use yellow rud for the first two weeks of tupping.  Every two weeks the colour of the rud is changed to coincide with the sheep's fortnightly cycle.    This colour system tells Chris which tup the sheep is in lamb to and which week during lambing time it will be born.    
When the colour has been applied the tup is let loose to seek out females in season.
This is Tess, Carrie's mother
Here Tess is holding the sheep together, while Chris is busy with the tup
During tupping time when the sheep are in the pastures they get hay every day.
A yellow bottom.  Job well done!
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Saturday 1 December 2012

More Cutie Photographs of Carrie

Becoming inquisitive
Loves to play
All gone!
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Wanting to be a working sheepdog already!

Carrie comes face to face with some sheep for the first time!
Meet the new flock!  Aren't they fab?  A heft of eight, all joined together, to make the most fantastic draught excluder.  A birthday present (late, I know, but worth waiting for) from my sister. The perfect gift for Pry House!
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Tuesday 13 November 2012

Introducing Carrie

One of Chris' sheepdogs, Tess, has had puppies!  This is Carrie.  She is five weeks old and this is her first time in the house.  Chris took Tess out to give her a well deserved break from being a Mummy and I had some quality time with Carrie.  Bliss!
Watch out for more puppy blog posts as she grows up.
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Monday 22 October 2012

Big Skies over Pry House Farm

Early morning mist over Great Shunner
 We have had some fabulour skies over the past week both during the day and at night.  Last night the sky was a mass of millions of stars.   I wish I could share the spectacle with you.  I love watching a rising moon and recently I even saw a shooting star over Great Shunner Fell.
Looking west

Friday 19th October.  A fabulous sunset

Sunday 21st October. Looking east.  The tiny dot in the centre of the photo is a hotair balloon floating over Swaledale.  How I wish I could have been a passenger on this beautiful afternoon or a worst owned a better camera!
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Friday 12 October 2012

Some of this year's Tup Shearlings

The Tup Sales less than a fortnight away.  We sell at both Kirkby Stephen and Hawes.  The Tup Shearlings for Kirkby have been put in the building and the ones for Hawes are in our Home Field and will be coming indoors soon.

We bring them indoors so that they can be prepared for the sales and so that they get used to being handled.
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Friday 5 October 2012

Tweezering Sheep!!

October and November are the main sale months for our ewes, gimmer shearlings and tup shearlings.  For days and days before the sale the men spend hours and hours preparing the sheep.  For years farmers didn't openly admit to this practise; everyone knew that everyone was doing it but it was never spoken about.  Then in the spring of 2011, on the BBC Lambing Live programme, the Marsden family from Kirkby Stephen were filmed 'tweezering' their sheep.  So now its out in the open so I'm including it in my Blog!   Transparency has reached hill farming!! 

After removing a few stray grey hairs.........

.......and their faces washed they are really looking their best.
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Tuesday 18 September 2012

A New Hobby! Proddy Mat Making

On Sunday I went to Killhope Lead Mining Centre in Weardale to take part in a Proddy Mat Workshop.  I absolutely loved it and brought home a part completed mini mat which, when finished, will become a wall hanging.  When making proddy mats you work on the reverse side so this is what you can see in the photo.  Its great when you turn it over and see all the colours fused together.  The finished result will (hopefully!) be a dales scene complete with meadow, river, fell and sky.  I can't wait to get started on it again but have to wait until I can borrow a frame.  Once I get going I will need an endless supply of wool coats, wool jumpers or fleeces to cut up to make the 'clippies' so please don't throw anything away that I may be able to use.   
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Twins Calves Again

This morning twin calves were born outside in Firs High Pasture.
Unusually, this is the second set of twins born on the farm this year.

It was a bright morning but a bitterly cold north wind blowing so Chris decided it would be best to bring cow and calves into the buildings. Also this way he can make sure that both calves are feeding and doing well.  Chris is makes the job of moving the cow look easy in this photo but don't be fooled!  Cows with new calves are not to be trusted and Chris was exercising extreme caution.  She soon realised that something was up when the tractor and trailor and quad bike appeared in the field and the darker calf got seperated from its Mum.  I stayed in safety of the bike trailer and left the fun and games to the men. Once or twice she looked as if she might run at them and they got out of her way very quickly indeed!   
When she had both calves with her she settled down and was soon loaded into the trailor.

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