It’s bit warm up here

Eh up, we didn’t choose to come and live at this altitude in order to have to put up with things like this:

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The Small Animals have to leave The Small Animal Shed to take a fresh air breather

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The Youngest Of All

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get their first taste of grass and take this as an invitation to start exploring the outside world

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The lane approaching The Plot is sunken between high banks.  For the last hundred metres one side is a ten foot high near vertical south facing edifice. If it was a site for solar panels I am sure it would power  a small village – as it is, an ever-changing network of flora absorbs the energy to grow, blossom and then give way to the following wave. Today the star performers include honeysuckle

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Trefoil

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and assembled cast

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But on the other side of the bank a melodrama is being enacted.  If I say melodrama I am sure you think Blackbird. This pair, having had their previous brood taken from the nest by The Magpie, set up home Number 2 a few yards away  in thick bushes.  In spite of the young being very loud they survived the nest to fledge early today. Dispersed they might be a little safer. One sits in the bushes

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while another, rather unhelpfully, disappears into a huge plant pot

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from which it can’t easily get out or receive food from its parents.

Magpies cruise round, a competing male Blackbird advances threateningly, and of course the parents kick up a major fuss.

We remove fledgling from plantpot, keep watch on Magpie scaring duties, and hope for the best.

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More guests

We have a new guest on the plot

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a Redstart pair, not just passing through but nesting in a box!

Some of our permanent guests are taking a bit too much for granted. Hedgehog food is available, just outside, every evening.  There are two hedgehog boxes close by

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and prodding them tonight elicits grunts from both.  Bed and Breakfast.

We are getting quite excited about our Meadow.  As the days go by it produces a range of desirable species

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We wonder how to best develop and enrich this area.

We see signs of fruits developing

Blackcurrent
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Gooseberry
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Tomato
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AUBERGINE!!!
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Elsewhere on the plot today

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A Summer Day

Things are hotting up here

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We did move to live at an altitude of 900 feet to avoid temperatures above 20 degrees, which are a bit inhibiting, so today was perfection.

The guest room is filling up

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as is the front of house

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facilities are in use

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Some guests come bringing the Favorite Flowers

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Others come  bringing gifts of roadkill

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Unusual to see a buzzard in this state, looked like a young one so perhaps lacking Green Cross Code training. We retain certain parts and the remainder is offered on the Tower of Silence

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However the Blackbirds are so spooked by this – distracted from their non-stop feeding trips to sound alarm calls from the tops – we remove it to the compost heap.

Among the guests an ecologist enthuses and advises on the woodland and meadow – and finds Field Mushrooms

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The Guests take off to the hilltop for a bit of wild swimming in The Three Lakes

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as the sheep return to the field for the Last Time.

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On each occasion that shearing is available down the lane, the whole population of the field – shorn, unshorn, lambs – go down  and then return with a few more ewes liberated into their summer coats. Now our field is done, we are told there are only 200 more to shear.

We have loads of lovely nettles

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but a worrying absence of butterflies. Today a solitary Red Admiral reconnoiters but without a companion ovipositing is out of the question

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Elsewhere on the plot today

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Guests in Residence

Tonight the Guest Room is occupied

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Sadly, other guests have been evicted

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This Song Thrush’s nest was on the ground in the Laurel Cave – a few shell fragements all the Magpies had left.  Other parents labour on

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This young Siskin lay stunned after flying into a window.  After a little nursing he was back perching, a little unsteadily, in the Lemon Tree

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Permanent residents go about their normal business

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On the elder, champagne in waiting

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Elsewhere on the Plot today

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Guest Suite (including loo-with-a-view) now available

We know that a number of our friends, who follow this blog, have expressed a wish to come and stay.  This weekend we host our first such visitation, of fourteen-and-a-half guests and our Guest Suite is ready.

You approach through your own dedicated gate from which the sitting room can be glimpsed

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with an open hearth

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This room features panoramic views across the valley

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Across from the sitting room is the kitchenette

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with a full range of cooking facilities

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and off-shot scullery

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The bathroom is approached down a shady corridor

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Men needing a quick pee can divert to the right

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where a male urinal is located, complete with a footing catering for a range of sizes

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If you choose to mount the steps you can pause and admire the stained-glass window which features mirror-panes to reflect the woodland theme

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At the top of the steps you can pause on the balcony to take in the view

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before turning to take in the splendor of the interior

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This is a Poo and Pee arrangement, so on entering you have to make your choice

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Which ever you choose we hope you will sit down and enjoy the view

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Reading material is available

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If Poo is your choice you will need to follow it with a handful of home-made sawdust

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before availing yourself of the washroom facilities

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Pause to admire the antique carvings

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Outside you might like to investigate the technology behind your experience

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If you have contributed Poo it will be in this wheelie bin where, combined with sawdust, it will be composting down in the best possible combination.  When this bin is full it will be swapped out and left for one year – after which it will be crumbly garden-friendly enrichment.

If you chose Pee (downstairs or upstairs) your high nitrogen output will be combining with this high carbon straw-stack to again produce a perfect nutritional result.

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So, pause to reflect what this little building has to offer

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An aesthetic experience with natural features, panoramic views and a high standard of interior decoration.  Plus knowing that no water, purified at vast expense, has been wasted to accompany your output – which is in fact being processed to enrich the land.

Today we have new neighbours

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just released from their winter Purdah.

While this Siskin, singing in the Old Ash,

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might not know of the fledgling that earlier flew into a window.  Now convalescing  in our care but taking a long time to recover – it might well not make it.

52/140/0151

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We have a number! We are now legally certified to be host to animals with four legs – are you reading this Bert?

When you walk through a strange land the strident features catch your eye.  When you dwell on the plot, seeing it each day as it shifts and transmutes, you eye is drawn in closer and closer.

Here are some sights from today’s level of seeing

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Down along the hedgerow

The lane to our plot is sunken below the level of the surrounding fields.  Passing along it one is bounded on both sides by six foot banks.

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One North facing, the other South, each has its own distinct ecosystem. As the months pass by the complexion of the banks shifts and changes as plants take their turn to come into flower. This is a glimpse of a short section of that hedgerow today:

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Meanwhile, Fanny, the Young ‘Un trying hardest to turn into a cockerel is practising cockerel skills on top of the run – hoarse crowing, neck twisting, strutting and wing flapping

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And we do have a new species to add to our bird list today – The House Sparrow.  After populating the lower farm yard for months while refusing to venture uphill today they couldn’t keep away – feeding fledglings, cheeping noisily.  Why come here now?

Elsewhere on the plot today

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