We were later than usual finishing our morning chores today..

The low winter sunshine slowed our pace somewhat and allowed us to meander from coop to coop and stable to stable quite happily… There was no rain or spiteful bone-chilling gales to rush us along today. No hurry to be inside away from the worst of the weather…. We decided to head straight to the ponies to give them their daily quota of sweet-smelling hay . We had to top up water troughs and clear the field of their manure too….. It is very muddy at this time of year and the ponies look pretty grubby in Winter but we refrain from brushing them too much at this time of year. Their thick shaggy winter coats are made to shed the worst of the weather and brushing them too much removes their natural protection from the elements. Whilst ambling along Dragonfly Path on our way to the paddocks (paddocks that are fondly known to us as The Swamps at this time of year ) we passed under a dead, ivy clad, elm tree, with 5 cawing black crows high up in its crown… They fidgeted about ….flitting from branch to branch, but they didn’t fly off … On closer inspection one of the birds appeared to be wearing a pale grey beret, jauntily worn on one side of it’s head…I looked at H, she smiled in recognition….. It was Arguine! The crow that H and I nursed back to health some time ago.. His ‘beret’ was a grey patch of bare featherless skin and a gap where his eye once was… He looked really well. His plumage shiny and glossy and his four companions all seemed to be in good fettle too. He hopped about above us.. We called his name and he looked at us.. tilting his head to one side….. His companions flew over the lane into St Edith’s churchyard … He was last to leave, and when he did he settled on a tall sycamore across the lane, still in sight of us.. We waved goodbye and carried on our way…..He looked over his shoulder at us, turning his good eye in our direction, before flying down into the churchyard to join his less than murderous companions… It is nice to know that he continues to look so well as we head into winter.from Facebook
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