Claire on tour

Claire and brood have a busy day…

resting in the feed shed
20170819-15

resting on the bank
20170818-14

and wondering, if this is a bird feeder, why it is empty
20170819-06

Meanwhile Solo and and Muscovites wait for a bath
20170819-22

have a bath
20170818-01

and recover from a bath
20170818-11

Soon they will have to move outdoors as there will be new arrivals
20170812-32

Beans of the day
20170819-34

and some other produce
20170819-45

Plus…
20170818-09
20170819-19
20170818-07
20170818-06

New Arrivals

Two new arrivals at the Lake this week. Firstly, a damselfly we have not seen before
20170814-07
Is this an Emerald Damselfly?

Then down in the water, strange tubes
20170814-15
A closer view
20170814-20
A caddisfly larva with a beautiful case made from leaves. There are quite a number of them there.

We keep thinking we have identified it but the more we read the less certain we are. One source says “it is often not realised just how many different kinds of caddis there are – in Britain alone there are around 200 – and that they make up one of the most diverse groups of freshwater animals.”

[edit: currently going for Triaenodes bicolor]

Elsewhere the ducklings enjoy a bath in the sun
20170813-03

and…

20170813-08
20170813-10
20170813-13
20170813-17
20170813-19
20170813-20
20170814-25
20170814-27
20170813-21

Day out

We went out today, to learn about…

How to manage a quad bike on a smallholding
20170812-02
20170812-26

The best way to win prizes
20170812-31

including Pansy Presentation
20170812-33

assessing the bale of hay entry was a serious business
20170812-34

Unfortunately we missed the Punch and Judy tutorial
20170812-37

but did learn how to get a reluctant horse into a trailer
20170812-38

We appreciated the heavy horses
20170812-43

and the old oaks
20170812-50

We came home with two new hens
20170812-25

and found the swallow brood in the woodshed practising sitting on a wire
20170812-52

and our young hedgehog in care slightly heavier
20170812-03

First Bath

A fine sunny day provides a good opportunity for the ducklings’ first bath.
Initial hesitation
20170810-01
is soon overcome
20170810-04
Solo, of course, leads the splashing
20170810-08
Afterwards, a good preen
20170810-30

Yesterday we penned in Claire and her roaming brood as flower and vegetable beds were suffering.
First thing this morning they broke out – largely due to the fact that the youngsters are smaller than the netting mesh – and continued exploring… the compost bucket
20170810-34
Tonight they staged a sit out
20170810-68
20170810-69
refusing to go to bed unless the fence was removed.

The swallows’ second brood left the nest
20170809-04
and moved as far as the rafters
20170810-07
before making exploratory flights outside and then returning to the nest tonight.

Over the Lake twenty to thirty neighbourhood swallows swirled and swooped
with an occasional breakaway, coming low to snatch water insects
20170810-57
Happily they left this one
20170810-41
our third species of dragonfly – as yet unidentified [update: we think an Emperor] – as it visited the bullrushes
20170810-43
where it deposited some eggs
20170810-46

We continue to ornament the Guest Room
20170810-66
and test the kitchenette
20170810-64

Tonight we have a mysterious hole staked out
20170810-08

Pethan eraill yn y tyddyn heddiw:

20170810-72
20170810-13

Dressing for guests, juggling ducks

With the foundations ready
20170805-26
The Guest Room is now in place and time to get it dressed. Obviously the things that need sorting first are the ornaments
20170808-28
20170808-30
20170808-14
The electricity supply is tested
20170808-13
Just remains to try out the wood-burner
20170808-20
Good view of the hills – and the pig house
20170808-18

We continue with the tortuous, and basically failing, attempt to expand our flock of laying ducks.
Solo seems kind of grateful for his three muscovite companions
20170808-35
Although he wonders why they only drink from the water bowl when he knows it is for jumping on and jumping off
20170808-40

Outside we have five that side
20170807-03
and five this side
20170807-02
nerving ourselves to end the five a side and go for a merger.

It has been good to have Claire and her brood free roaming round the site
20170808-05
but as they roam wider with a gleam of intent in the eye
20170808-06
the range will soon have to be limited to give flower and vegetable beds a chance.

We enjoy our home grown lunch
20170808-02
The Japanese Honeysuckle is also edible but we haven’t tried yet
20170808-22

The bees seem busy
20170807-17
and we pleased to spot the Queen
20170807-13

Pethan eraill yn y tyddyn heddiw:

20170808-25
20170807-09

Solo and The Three Muscoveers

This morning one day-old Solo was all alone in the world
20170804-10

But following a cross border mission tonight, beneath the swelling moon
20170804-11

he has company
20170804-50
three day-old Muscovies.

Down at the Lake
20170804-42
our bees collect water
20170804-47
and…
20170804-35
a new arrival. Our second dragonfly species – a Ruddy Darter, if we are not mistaken.

Today’s butterfly pictures:
20170804-24
20170804-23
20170804-19
20170804-17
20170804-16

and in the woodshed there has been a non-stop feeding shuttle as brood two approach fledging
20170804-08
Up until now the swallows have determinedly built their own nests in the rafters but for this last minute effort they have taken advantage of our concrete offering.

The salad thrives
20170804-22

Guest Room foundation work continues
20170804-29

and Claire teachers her brood deportment – how to walk like a lady
20170804-05