Wood warms you twice?

I meant to write this yesterday, but somehow never got round to it. The morning was a bit grim and kept me busy. It was snowing. In the afternoon I enjoyed one of my favourite pastimes, working out and writing out invoices. I must admit, I do write a really nice invoice. I ought to charge people extra for the pleasure they receive from reading them.
Anyhow, that is enough of me and my manifest gifts, back to the snow. Now I know there are supposed to be peoples in the north who have fifty different words for snow but I’ve got only one and it’s an expletive. Water should be liquid; I can cope with it as a liquid. At the very least I don’t have to shovel it or carry it so that livestock have something to drink.
As I was forking silage to some young stirks it struck me that the snow was like smoke. Stopping briefly to watch, you could see currents in the air, with thicker and thinner streams of snow roiling and twisting as they moved across the yard.
Anyway so much for the poetry, I decided I better go and check how the ewes and lambs who have been turned out into a field were coping. They’d already have been fed and checked, but that was a couple of hours back and the snow was worse now. Jess, our elderly three legged Border Collie decided to accompany me and we set off down the lane, leaving our prints in largely unmarked snow. We got to the field and yes, there, standing huddled under the lee of the hedge, were the ewes and lambs. Everyone looking fine, everything under control, all instincts working perfectly.
Potentially this instinct can lead them into a death trap. If there is too much snow it drifts over the hedge, and it always leaves a gap between hedge and drift, so the sheep hide in the gap. Which is great, they stay snug and relatively warm, until there is just too much snow and it bridges over the gap and at that point animals can suffocate.
But this is Low Furness, and we weren’t going to get that much snow, so I wasn’t worried. Leaving them too it, Jess and I returned home. It was then that I noticed the solitary figure with a hi-vis jacket standing in the middle of a field by an electric pole. I wandered across to see what was going on, and yes, he was from the lekky board and was inspecting the poles, making sure that everything was fine. As I said to him, we only ever see him and his mates when it’s blowing a gale, pouring with rain, or worse. A mere snow storm hardly seemed worth his while going out in.
So I picked up a couple of branches that had come down in the last lot of gales, slung them over my shoulder (they had an appointment with a chainsaw) and set off for home. At this point the cold was getting to me and I was looking forward to a brew.
Alas I had forgotten about Jess’s calendar of engagements. At ten yard intervals there was another fantastic scent that had to be sniffed, analysed, and then commented on. Finally, her bladder finally empty, she condescended to come when I called (There is no animal as deaf as an elderly Border Collie Bitch who has other things to do) and we finally made it home. I dropped the branches on the wood pile and tried to get into the house. Unfortunately by this point, my fingers were so cold I couldn’t close them on the door knob, so had to turn it using my palm.
Later when I’d thawed I’d see about getting the branches sawn up for the fire. You know what they say about wood, it warms you twice.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: