Posts from March 2009

Signs of Spring

We're not the world's greatest twitchers but there has been so much bird activity this week its easy to get excited about the onset of Spring. Early in the week and early one morning we were just heading out when we happened to see a sparrowhawk nab a blackbird for its brekky, the sparrowhawk was totally unphased by our presence nearby but eventually flew off with its prey. The geese are still around in great numbers and we have a lot of pink foots as well as greylags and some canada geese. Their wingbeat when taking off or landing is quite something, its an amazing and powerful sound. The other great sound I've heard and love is that of the curlew, I think its the male's mating call which so distinctive but it really is building in volume and is definitely a sound I associate with Spring. I'm not sure what the collective word for curlews is but i reckon a 'cacophony of curlews' is a good group name. We've also seen oystercatchers this week. On some days it really does seem like Spring, on others it seems like we're full on in the middle of winter and we've had snow, hail, sleat, storms, ice and anything else you could mention. Great scenery though!

We seem to have a problem with the woodburning stove in that the bedroom through which the pipe runs to the roof gets a bit of a smoky smell, I've also discovered traces of black soot from the edge of the plasterboard which boxes in the pipe. So until someone comes round to check it we've stopped using that. Its perfectly warm in the house but we love having a real fire. We're also going to review the snagging list and forward it to the builder as theres a few odd things which have never been remedied and we're heading towards our first anniversary in the house.

Message for Sue and Tamzin - curtains and fabrics coming soon! A bientot!

Spring Lambs & Other Creatures

The first phase of 5 raised beds took a bigger step forward this weekend with the final joinery and positions completed. Then followed the task of filling then wheeling lots (around 20 me thinks to fill the smallest bed) of barrows of well matured horse muck up the slope - Steve kept using the phrase 'the green gym' to keep me/us going! We popped a couple of hens into the first bed who worked diligently to create a finer till, the rest of the hens soon joined them in a frenzy to grab a few worms from the thousands wriggling in the muck. Later this week I'll be planting 3 blackcurrant bushes (Ben Lomond variety), 3 redcurrants (Jonkheer van Tets), 3 red gooseberrys (Red Dessert) and 3 green goosegogs ( Careless) in that particular bed. We'll also be putting a rabbit/hen proof wire around the perimeter to protect the crops. Next weekend will see a few more wheel barrows of muck shifting to fill the next beds

Quite a few lambs have already arrived but this weekend the children were around to witness the birth of triplets which was quite exciting. Initially they were engrossed but after number 2 arrived they got bored and wanted to go back to trampolining! Next weekend is the start of a busy lambing week with most of the remaining ewes due, so far there've been a couple every few days but the majority are still to deliver

An finally...we visited our friend's new pigs. They are tamworth x vietnamese pot bolly I think. Very amusing creatures.

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