It begins, yesterday afternoon:
This morning, it has settled:
And that sky looks as if it may hold a few more surprises:
'Tis a pity, because J is driving down to Sundsvall - a 200 mile plus return journey - to collect Roger, our German neighbour at the rail station, where he returns today from his internet-lovelorn Tashkent jaunt. The roads might be a bit hairy in parts, though generally the main routes will be fine. Although she didn't want to, she has taken Roger's car - a big US 4x4 thing with winter tyres - just to be on the safe side. It also means she is able to put Roger's dog Alex's cage in the back and take him too. Which is best for Alex and for me. Our cats are less than enamoured by Alex.
Rocky took one look at the snow-cover this morning at about 07:00, when he'd managed to wake us both with his howling to get out, and returned to the warmth of the house. Charlie, on the other hand, was off and out alongside Jack, though he has since returned. Just a few minutes after Rocky decided to brave the melting snow and head off out. No doubt, he watched from a safe distance, as Rocky launched himself into the wintry wilderness, before scurrying back home!
Håkan has been busily cleaning up a cattle feeder thingy he recently bought. This means he is preparing to release the cows following their seven months of captivity. The cows are kept indoors, in a state-of-the-art, largely automated barn-cum-milking parlour from around November to May every year. And, even now, they cannot simply be put out to graze because the grass has yet to regrow. In addition, Håkan must give certain fields a good chance to regenerate as they must provide a major part of next winter's feed/hay/silage for the beasts. All in all, it's a fairly delicate balancing act, I imagine. Late snow is not really what he needs or wants right now!:
His daughter, Sara, a student, has put a small island type thing out on one of the lakes, to act as a nest-box for Duck. It is already occupied by a grateful pair of Golden Eye, who no doubt value its safety:
Nest-box in situ:
Of course, it is probably a mere bagatelle in the grand scheme of things but it was built and floated at minimal cost without the aid of a UK parliamentary expense account.
I've mentioned before that the locals here are pretty handy with saws and wood. Here's an example of Håkan's handiwork. A shed that he built a couple of years ago using traditional methods and materials;