Friday, 23 January 2015

We love Winter!

As I was looking through my photographs on our Facebook page the other day, I realized that I had quite a few nice winter pics. Seeing as it's winter I thought I would collect them all up and share them with you on here. 

A view from near our orchard

This is our second winter in Bulgaria on our lovely little farm and as the title proclaims WE LOVE WINTER!! This is mainly because we get a nice break from those retched mosquitoes and flies and for me as an English Rose (more like sweaty Betty) I get a break from the very very very hot sun. 

Winter is quite a funny affair. Before we came we asked around to find out what the winters entailed and how we should prepare for them. We were told to make sure we have enough wood and this should be ordered well in advance. So as soon as we got here in the August, not long after we ordered 10 cubic meters of the stuff. We were told that in the summer when you harvest your veg make sure that you bottle it all for the winter. Well panic struck as I thought ahhhhhh what if we get snowed in and run out of grub? What will we do? How will we survive? So immediately I took a walk around the garden for a forage. We have an abundance of fruit trees here so that was my first port of call. We had just missed most of the fruit apart from our plum tree. So I collected them all up and popped them in the freezer. To this day just over a year on those pesky plums are still in the hidden depths of the icy abyss. I tried to use them the summer just gone by putting them in drinks as ice cubes....lets just say Mark wasn't impressed when he discovered something soggy and purple at the bottom of his beverage. I will most definitely be preserving our produce for the first time this year so I bet you all can't wait for a blog on that...I am definitely going to be wearing Marks Army safety goggle when using the pressure cooker!! 

we've got wood!

We soon found out that winter here isn't at all like trying to prepare for a zombie apocalypse. You just need to make sure that you have enough wood to keep you warm and if we did run out we went and foraged for sticks in the garden. In the end we only used around 5 cubic meters so we had plenty left for this winter. Shops do not close in the village when the weather is bad so if you own a good pair of wellies then you can easily get food. Oh and it is really important that you make sure you have things to entertain yourself with through winter as cabin fever sets in big time. I spent last winter making things, reading and using Jock as a hot water bottle. 

smiler

I love to venture out in winter especially when it snows as the landscape here looks stunning covered in a blanket of the white stuff. In our village we have a lake where people go to fish so I often trot up there to take in the silence and the calmness. My mum knitted me the hat that I have on in the picture, the lake is the perfect place to parade this lovely creation and Mark often says I look like a mackerel fisherman in it. I can't leave the house in it without him asking if i'm going fishing.

me mackerel fishing

Our land also looks beautiful in the snow, so when it gets to -30 like it has in the past I don't have to venture far to be able to appreciate mother nature in this season.



 Down  the garden path



I also love using the macro setting on my camera to take pictures of the wildlife. I love how when it's cold the snow and ice almost look like beautiful pieces of jewelry on the plants.



 This next picture reminds me of something from a Dr Seuss book. It's one of my favorite snaps


It's not only ourselves that we have to keep warm in the winter months but also the many animals that we have too. I got kind of obsessed with making cat beds last winter. I even went to the extent of putting up mini curtains in some of them to keep out the wind. They were like little kitty hotels and dotted everywhere. The little buggers still wanted to get in the house and found a much better abode


We also made a lovely snug room for the dogs by filling our little barn with bouncy warm hay but as you can see that didn't last long either



Our feathery friends are kept snug too as we create deep bedding in their coops. Each time we clean their coops out extra bedding gets put on top of existing bedding creating a warm surface for them to snuggle into. Unlike Jock and Rufus our two comfort pooches who will not let their bums touch cold concrete let alone snow, the chickens, ducks and geese love spending time in the snow 





So there you have it, a few pictures from the chilly winters here in Bulgaria. It's not actually that cold at the moment just 3 degrees Celsius but I am sure there are a few more colder snaps to come. Mark has even been working in the garden getting jobs done for the spring. I have been completing assignments for my permaculture course,making crafts and looking after little Lodewikus who we call Lode-vicious at the moment as the poor little mite is teething. 

I really am looking forward to spring because we get to start sowing some seeds, but right now I am enjoying snuggling in front of the fire and not scratching my arse every five minutes from mozzie bites. I hope that you are nice and warm wherever you are reading this from in the world and I will leave you with a picture of Jock in a jumper.










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