Glowing Red

Each time we have one more golden day we savour each moment as it could be the last one of the year.

The rising moon hints at glowing day that has passed

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The rosehips are now glowing following on from the hawthorn, where the Blackbirds have not been slow in playing their part in the seed dispersal

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Other fruits, late

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and early

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Nasturtiums could almost replace gorse in the kissing season proverb

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The Robins have started to sing again, staking out their territories ready for the Spring. The Compost Heap Robin might have the best patch but we appreciate the Back Door Robin who sings so loud he sounds as if he is inside.

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We are starting the wood stack for using in over a year’s time – that seems a long way off at the moment

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Around the hen house

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the Cockerels vie for the reddest wattles

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This plant is in the lake and its red beacon is visible from afar

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Possibly the only picture here where red might be for danger

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The Poppies in the orchard meadow continue to shine

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and the Dogwood promises to keep glowing through the dark days ahead

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Controlled Multiplication

(A Tale of

Five Boys

and

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sort of)

After a slow start to our rabbit breeding plans the litters we did produce are reaching an age where they might reproduce without permission.

So time for some close inspection to sort the girls

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from the boys

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The Five Boys settle down to a manly supper

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while these Four Girls have the same

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Two slightly younger females have their own accomodation

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They all look forward to their evening salad bowl

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Not that one, this one

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while we enjoy ours

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Harvest Festival

It has been a very strange year for growing things. It is not clear how much of that is due to the weather and how much to our husbandry.

Let’s start with an “impossible to fail”

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Well, the runners are doing OK but not as abundant as in previous years.

Next “can’t fail”

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except they have – there is a miserable courgette harvest (think shriveled sausages)

The main success has been rabbit food

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We don’t really eat brassicas (apart from broccoli of course) but our rabbits

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do. By the barrow load

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They do leave some salad for us

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The broad beans did well

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But we are not talking about the tomatoes

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We normally roast and freeze vast quantities but this year they are just not ripening.

Same true of the chillies

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although maybe more understandably due to the lack of recent heat.

This round yellow cucumber has done well

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Here served with a bizarre success – we have had succulent figs from our rather poorly placed tree

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We don’t eat many potatoes. Four years ago someone gave us a few which we dutifully planted. Now each year we get a rogue crop

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We note that mooli should be harvested young

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The apple trees are overloaded

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inspite of Frances taking her toll

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We look forward to our share

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Likewise with the plums

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Maybe we should stick to the wild harvest

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Animal Ups and Downs

We don’t seem to have had the numbers of butterflies this year but have had a good range of species. Along with the usual Tortoiseshells, Red Admirals and Peacocks it was nice to see this Small Copper

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A range of Dragonfly species have been busy as usual. This one was laying eggs this week

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We have seen almost no hedgehogs here since the drought of 2018. Before that we would have several feeding every night. We do have the occasional rescued one brought to us for care. The latest was a sad story. Have been caught up in barbed wire for some time it was drastically dehydrated and maggot infested. It did not make it through the night.

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We normally see lots of frogs in the long grass at this time of year. Not so many this year but have come across three toads within a couple of weeks

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We have seen a weasel popping up a couple of times in the six years we have been here. Recently we came across a single kit. Had it got left behind when a female moved her litter or was t here another explanation. It was gone in the morning.

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We had heard unwelcome tales of mink in the surrounding brooks. This week we saw some evidence for ourselves

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Slipping into Darkness

Each day the light is fading earlier

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as the moon takes over

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Swallows are planning their departure

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and bees busy filling up

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Down at the lake

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dragonflies are still active

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and above Goldfinches chatter

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excited about the seeding thistles

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Other fruits spread their seeds

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and spores

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some come our way

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As the season slips into the impending darkness that is due to arrive over the next few months we keep our focus on the patches of light

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Word is getting around..

Word is getting around

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that our rabbits have good dinners

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and don’t have to nibble old grass

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as they are supplied with a wide range of fresh salad

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and can then choose to chill

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or play

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or even spend time with aliens

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in their pleasant summer quarters

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safe in the knowledge that come winter 

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their indoor accommodation will welcome them

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to a world of indoor high-rise living

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currently being fitted out with heat and light

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So, we have applicants knocking on the door

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