Winter is Here

It's winter here now. How do I know? Well at first the mornings would be damp and foggy but now we awaken to sheets of frost across the finca, it's patchy, not consistent and it's a good time to notice where not to plant delicate peach trees. Citrus are also not great lovers of the cold.

This will be our fourth winter in Extremadura and every one has been different so far. This year we haven't had the rain although I am promised that it is coming. For now the little stream that runs through the finca is dry. And most days the sun shines and the sky is blue.

The weather forecast has warned us of temperatures down to minus six but our own outdoor thermometer hasn't registered anything lower than minus one.  And that was just one night. The thermometer is North facing but sheltered from the wind so perhaps it was colder out and about. During the day it has mostly been sunny and bright and very pleasant for walking or working on the finca.

Steve has been pruning the olives. It's alot of work and not anything I can help with. It will ensure good future crops and healthy trees so it must be done.

30 years ago we went to Bavaria on holiday and as a souvenir I purchased a cow bell. It has hung outside all of our houses ever since but now the strap has finally perished.

It is a tablet woven band made from wool. I have recently been dabbling with tablet weaving (it's a craft that dates back to the very invention of the loom).

I'm not especially good at it yet but my first attempts will make a serviceable strap for the bell. I used a synthetic bought yarn for my practice weaving but am working up to using wool from the local sheep.

Normally I would think of winter as a really good time to get on with spinning and knitting but when the days are still so sunny it's nice to get out and enjoy the blue sky. With a promise of spring not far away I sorted the strawberry plot. We now have over fifty plants and I am hoping for enough fruit for jam making this year. But I know all about wishes and Mother Nature - best not to count your chickens as the saying goes.

So for now we are mostly keeping warm, getting on with seasonal jobs as the weather allows and making tentative plans for spring. It feels very much like the time between events. Hopefully not the calm before the storm.


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