Saturday 20 January 2018

Making Tracks

Pry House Farm has become a white wonderland;  clean, bright and blue-white under the clearest winter sky broken only by tracks made by man and machine.                        

Deep and Crisp and Even

For the second night running we have had a fresh fall of snow topping up the fields 
and the walls and coating the trees with icy particles.

At the same time the wind got up, blowing the snow into drifts against the stone walls.

This afternoon was completely different - not a breath of wind.  
All was calm, all was still.
Voices and strange noises floated from miles away.
An unusual experience.
What will tomorrow bring?

Thursday 18 January 2018

Keeping the Home Fires Burning

The next most important job after foddering the sheep 
is keeping enough fuel stored for the fire!

Flaming lovely!

Snow Much Fun!

Our working dogs love their daily run out but the snow makes it extra fun for them.

Champ, the youngest dog, can really shift .....

..... whereas old Tess perfers to watch on.

Scenic Upper Swaledale in Snow

The landscape that we are so familar with changes completely 
when it is covered in a thick blanket of snow.

The fields and pastures are smoothed flat by the windblown snow
ruffled only by the sheep trod that snakes its way close to the wall.

 Dry stone walls are iced with a layer of frozen snow.
 Harkers cottage.  
Harkers was once a farm in its own right.  Many years ago Chris' father bought the land and the buildings either side of the cottage so they are all part of Hoggarths / Pry House farming enterprise now.  The cottage is now a second home.  There is a move at the moment by the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority to penalise second home owners by charging them five times the standard council tax rate in an effort to make such dwellings available for families / young people to live in permenantly. I can't imagine anyone wanting to live here 24:7 but I could be wrong! 

  All that is left of an old Nisson Hut styled into garage.  
People who lived in these parts were not just hardy and tough but resourceful too.  

Snow was falling - Snow on Snow

Another wild and wintery night and this morning we are greeted with more snow.
The frozen snow clings to the sheep's fleece, their ears and their horns

     They are pleased to see Chris and the feed he brings for them.

Whilst this weather continues extra fodder will be taken to them twice a day.

Wednesday 17 January 2018

A Snowy January Morning at Pry House Farm

We woke up this morning to a good covering of snow but with 
the sun up and under a blue sky it was a magical morning.

The sound of the quad bike heralds breakfast and the sheep 
are quick to come and meet us.

The old cowus' and hogg houses are perfect for feeding stock;
out of the weather, dry and sheltered.

In an instant the weather changed and we were in caught in a bad shower.

It was good to be going home.

Saturday 13 January 2018

A Cottage Garden in Winter

After hours of tending, clearing and cutting back 
and barrowfuls of leaves and dead stuff .......
the garden at Hillcrest is poised ready 
for hundreds of spring bulbs to burst forth.

And here is the first, tiny signs that they are on their way.

Tuesday 2 January 2018

Black Grouse at Pry House Farm

Pry House Farm is the place to be for bird watching at any time of year.

 Even in winter there's often something interesting or unusual to see, 
like a black grouse on home field this morning.
There aren't many black grouse about however we know of two lekking sites on the moor 
where they return to each year.  Lekkng is when the male birds display their white tail feather in a fan shape.  They call and strut about to show dominance and to attract females. Its a strange but fascinating spectacle. The black grouse is only one of 3 breeds of British birds that exhibit lekking behaviour.