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November has seen a real mixture of weather - with some beautiful frosty

mornings, followed by sunshine, followed by a return to endless rain. The trees and shrubs have thrown off the last of their leaves, underfoot

the ground is skiddy and squelchy and the winds have been chillier,

so winter is certainly well on its way.

Our garden birds are feeding frantically, and I'm hoping our hedgehogs

have fattened up and found a suitable home to have a long sleep through

the winter to come.

There are signs the foxes have been sniffing about, leaving tracks behind

in muddy puddles, we even spotted a confident youngster playing happily

on a sunny afternoon, practising his mouse pounce techniques,

unaware of us watching.

Our tawny owls continue communicating to each other through the night

and are still about when I'm out doing my ponies in the mornings, as it's

still dark then. I love listening to them as I muck out the stables.

I'm having a busy time of it getting all my Christmas artwork orders ready.

Last weekend I booked a wee cabin at the Laings coffee shop , Harker near

Carlisle. Several of us set up shop for the weekend displaying our crafts

amidst the assortment of glamping pods, cabins and sheds.

My penguins slate proved particularly popular.

Just to get into the Christmas spirit I transformed myself into an elf. It was a cold day but my 'elf suit' kept me warm . . .ish!

I met some really lovely people so I'm looking forward to going back to

Laings with my artwork on the first Sunday in December. I have promised

to help a very special friend then - I'll give you a few clues . . . . He wears

a big red suit and has a white beard. No - can't tell you any more -

but come along for a magical Xmas market experience, do a bit of

Xmas shopping, have a cuppie and cake, and I'll introduce you to him! Helping wildlife in November ●Continue to feed the birds, always make sure they have water too, and

check if it's frozen over.

●Provide and create animal homes, even a simple log pile, or lopped

branches can help insects, mice, birds, toads, hedgehogs to tuck

themselves away from the wintry elements.

●Remember to report any sightings of grey squirrels in the liddesdale

area, as we work together to protect our precious reds Happy nature-loving

and I'll be back in December

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