Reconnected

A fleet of Openreach vans arrived today

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and before long Sam, the Underground Engineer, was knitting together the severed cables

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Brian continues digger action

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as Bert and Spot’s homes take shape

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complete with wallow holes

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which is, of course, where this little inconvenience started.

Elsewhere on the plot in the last few days…

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Swanning off

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Yesterday we were mainly hugging swans

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as part of this:

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A sun blessed day bracketed by rain rates which looked like this

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resulting in this

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and this

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We relieve June of her hatching duties, well intentioned but not very efficient and in danger of damaging her own health. Comb so pale and feathers so rumpled

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Her peers are kept inside

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While she has time to regain equilibrium

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Elsewhere on The Plot today

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Blurred Edges

As we see the Eid al-Fitr moon for the first time

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we realise it is our folly to think we can mark the edges of things as other forces work to blur those demarcations

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The Young ‘Uns immediately took advantage to explore new territory

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Who had broken down these barriers…

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who – me?

There is a fearsome array of implements being used to create a Bert-proof boundary

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Lift-proof gates are appearing

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the fat lambs from the new pasture next door break their boundary to come and have a look.

After being excited that a broody hen might bring up our ducklings, we are beginning to have doubts about June

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On one hand she is being an obsessive broody, a bit like a suffragette having to be force fed; but when back on her nest the eggs are a bit random, spilling out from her heat without care.  What shall we do?

We have had inklings that the year might decline prematurely here and, if an old woman shall wear purple, there is a lot of that about here

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Other colours on The Plot today

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Marking the edges of things

We need to move some young hawthorns from the tree nursery to clear the ground so we use them to fill in a gap in the boundary hedge

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Pigs need very clear boundaries, requiring heavy machinery

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as the edges are laid out

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Squirrels don’t have a concept of boundaries

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and Australorps think just because you have straw on your legs you belong to their side of the boundary

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Woodpeckers exhibit no shame in blurring their boundary to include a peanut feeder

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Elsewhere on the plot today

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Diggers… and diggers

Diggers:
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and diggers:
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Serious pig fence construction started today
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While the rabbits become more numerous, bolder, and pose more often
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We hatched a variety of eggs over the last few months but our main aim was to end up with a Speckled Sussex cockerel.  That may well happen but at the moment our two favourite young cockerels are Australorp Shelia
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and Maran Fanny
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Up until a month ago we had not seen a single House Sparrow on our patch.  Coming up through the farm we would see them every time dust bathing on the track – but not up here.  Now they are here in numbers
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(I know this picture only shows a number of one – but believe me)  The question is – will they now always be here or is it a seasonal thing?

Elsewhere on The Plot today:

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Big Birthdays and Pig Posts

Today one resident at Gribin Isaf celebrated her 92nd birthday

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with orchids

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Tomorrow we start building pig enclosures; these posts look as if they could contain a small dinosaur – are you listening Bert?

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The pig enclosures have been sited to maximise their view

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over the flourishing meadow

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where the Yellow Rattle has spread its seeds

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First harebell spotted today

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Elsewhere on the plot today

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Who will we be missing today?

The hens have given us a wary eye over the last few days as first Specked Sussex Number One and then Gorgeous George disappeared without warning.  It is similar for the sheep in the field next door.  Each time some of them require action, for example to shear some ewes, the whole population – ewes and lambs – parade down the lane to the farm, where the action is done, and then back up again.  Today everybody went down the lane but the purpose was more sinister.  Some ewes were kept behind (the old ones) as they are “off to market” tomorrow.  So this evening the field contains some ewes with their lambs and some lambs without their ewes – not a happy situation.

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Elsewhere on The Plot today

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Hedging your eggs

We decided to cover all possibilities and split the duck eggs. Half have gone in the incubator and…

June was lifted off her two holding eggs

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to guzzle on corn, which presumably she would not bother with unless directed

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while we arrange her nest with six duck eggs

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Duck eggs take 28 days compared with 21 for hen’s – plus she has already been broody for a few days – it will be interesting to see if stays the course.

Pig areas are all marked out ready for fencing to go up

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We would be interested if anyone can identify this

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very pretty but found inside the house – is it devouring all the woodwork?

The reincarnated Guinea pigs are becoming bolder

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Elsewhere on The Plot today

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Ducks with blackcurrant

Set to work today to make use of the blackcurrant glut

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Only five kilos would fit in the pan for the first batch

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boiled

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strained

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caught

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bottled

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an elixir results

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(Thanks to Cathy Ashley at Permaculture)

Today the postman brought these

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June has been broody the last couple of days so we moved her to a maternity unit where she  immediately perked up and wanted to rejoin her flock

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we do have the incubator in reserve.

Elsewhere on the plot today we have…

Aubergines
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and
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