Monday, 10 January 2011
Happy New Year, one and all.
As you may be able to tell from the pics, the new year also seems to have brought a change in conditions.
The snow has had a big shift and even the treacherous ice that remained is starting to clear. And it's supposed to stay mild all week now.
In preparation for this, Eric my ponyman, led Fergus back to his post. I have a feeling I'll be needing them both. This weather will allow the deer to move waaay out.
Unusually for Fergus, he was a bit reluctant to be caught- I blame a month of too much time on his...er, hooves. (There was so much snow, and so much ice underneath it, that it has been too dangerous to work the horses for all of December.)
I can't deny that I was feeling a little bit reluctant myself after a fortnight off. I knew from experience that the hills would feel a whole lot steeper upon my return.
And I wasn't wrong. Still today, as a warm-up, I gave myself a mile-long drag. She wasn't a small hind either. It certainly warmed me up, but if there hadn't still been snow on the ground, I likely would have been.
Interestingly, as I was on my way to stalk the hinds, I came across strange marks in the snow. Like something little had been dragged down the hill. I had my suspicions and after following this slide for a while I came to a flatter bit of ground. And it's at that point the otter had had to stop his 'sledging' and walk for a bit.
The snow is brilliant for showing you just what you have going about. I come across quite a lot of otters marks. Which makes it all the more surprising how rarely we actually see them.