(a story of small families)
The Cayuga duckling hatched all by herself and was a bit lonely
So a kind neighbour donated two Muscovies to keep her company
and today they had to leave our house for one of their own
where they got very excited about being able to eat wood shavings
This meant that the hen chicks who had been living there for the last month
and were getting a bit big for their boots
had to move outdoors
for a treat of raspberries
This meant that Claire with the two chicks she hatched
had to relinquish the area they had enjoyed roaming
visiting the rabbits
and rejoin her flock
(somehow “losing” the male youngster on the way)
where she quickly bagged the best roosting spot
As the month comes to an end, a roundup of some recent blossomings…
In the early spring, when the outside world is not very hospitable, there is a temptation to home everything in polytunnels. Then, come June, they are starting to burst
These candulas should have been outside, in here they need coralling to keep them in their place
In winter the perennial sweet pea completely recedes into the ground but by the end of June it would have taken over the whole polytunnel if permitted
It will definitely have to move outside before next year. Meanwhile it gives a continual supply of cut flowers
This is the arch of fragrance
where roses and honeysuckle combine into a heady mix.
The lake margins are studded with jewels
and the bullrush is producing heads after not doing so last year
Behind the lake we raised a bank to catch the sun and included plants to help our bees, who live nearby
They are now well established and hold their own amid the grass
This patch of birdsfoot trefoil has arrived by itself on a nearby bank
and foxgloves pop-up everywhere
Pansies are always a welcome sight
Strong colours mark this part of the year, be it campanula blue
or loosestrife yellow
A couple of rather warm days
Rabbits need ice-water bottles
and time for all to vacate indoor quarters
Anna’s litter enjoy a bit of extra space, indoors…
That space is not available for all so some indoor houses are moved outside
in a cool North facing prospect
where Heidi’s young litter can get some cooler air
After a load of palava and song and dance three out of the four does have eventually managed to produce offspring.
First off was Easter, who only managed to produce one (visible) kit
By being an only child, Comet has asserted an identity which makes it harder to label her “freezer”. She has also required vet attention (ie bills) to correct an ingrowing eyelash
which is now healing nicely. So currently she is down as a replacement breeding doe – for Lettuce who has shown no interest at all in the whole breeding thing.
Next up was Anna with a litter of four, here two weeks ago
and thriving a week later
And then there is Heidi
who has been through a couple of rounds of ripping out her fur to make nests and exhibiting highly temperamental pre-natal behaviour.
This week she actually managed to produce – eight at birth with seven survivors
So now the veg patch has a section for growing rabbit food
(with protection against The Wrong Kind Of Rabbit)
Now the dry glare of May has been replaced by at least a little moistness the pieces of gold can be better appreciated.
The juvenile woodpecker
seems small to its parents, but when it comes to feed all the other birds keep clear.
The “small” Blue Tit looks bigger than its parent
a big mouth is the way to get fed.
All chicks are small but some a smaller than others
says Hubble the hobbled, now holding her own.
Outside, the older teenagers, while larger
are cultivating the mean scrawny look.
Bees might be small but a Bumble Bee
is a big bee.
We tend to see the big small things, whether they are beetles
Although this Elephant Hawk moth doesn’t need to claim the name of such a large mammal in order to prove its point.
The vast majority of living creatures who live here are much, much smaller than any of these.
Raindrops on Roses:
in fact, Raindrops on anything at all
are definitely our Favourite Thing right now
It is learning time at Gribin Isaf
Anna’s four kits have had their security bed removed
They look a little lost
“No time for sulking” says Anna “time to come next door”
“Listen carefully – you need to learn to feed yourself. I know water is not as good as milk, but you need to move on”
“Now it is time to try some proper food”
Later in the day (hence the low light photos) another family is trying the same thing:
“I am hungry, but I can’t see any food anywhere”
“Don’t know what this stuff is”
“No, I can’t get the hang of it”
“Can someone come and help?”
“Ah, now this I do understand”
“I didn’t ask you to help my sister though”
We seem to have been more organised with our veg growing this year, getting more ground under control and keeping to a sowing plan – although note for next year is just because a packet contains 150 seeds doesn’t mean they all have to be sown.
The greenhouse is thinning out a bit
as seedlings move out. The chillies are going to stay here this year
The small polytunnel has a good round of salad on the go
plus the fig is fruiting
Outside beds are filling up
Courgettes getting going
Runners are grasping their poles
Next door, the broad beans
and French beans making a start
Trying to stop the raspberries escaping
The birds will probably get to the gooseberries before we do
The large polytunnel is filling up
Keeping tomato plants trained
first ones coming into flower
We have had to create a new overflow bed for flowers
Also today the blue tit brood nearest to the house fledged