Horse Power

Thanks to some neighbours, we have a continuous supply of fresh horse manure
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Some is laid down to rot but the most exciting use is to power the hotbed
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Up until now, we kept on adding new material but today we modified the system to allow continuous throughput
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So there was space to top up
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and prepare more germination space
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Elsewhere in the same polytunnel
Strawberries are flowering (and spiders are flourishing)
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The vine is starting to bulge
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and beneath is space for fennel, ferns and frogs
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The First Radish rises
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The Fig tantalises
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Parsley and mint are given space
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The horse manure neighbours had their first swallow two days ago – ours usually arrive a few days later. Meanwhile we have to be satisfied with other signs of Spring:

The Blackbird defending his territory
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The Guineas asking when they can move to their new pastures
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The ducks keeping an eye on the weather station
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and things happening down at The Lake
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Lottie hopes her exciting swamp does not dry up too soon
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and the kitchen window Vole feels slightly more relaxed
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There is no accounting for where they choose to spawn.

We’re spending a lot of time creating our new pond
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Exciting creatures, including water boatman, have moved in
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Some frogs (the sensible ones) have made use of the facility
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But most seem to have chosen a disused, slightly fetid, pig run
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where an unusual dry spell is rapidly shrinking their potential.

Meanwhile a large flock of Fieldfares passes through
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and the piglets reach the age of responsibility – 18 (days) – ready for anything
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especially treats brought by humans
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but also wondering if they will inherit their father’s tail
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Pethan eraill yn y tyddyn heddiw:

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Lamb and Salad

As spring progresses there are waves that lap up the valley. Later we will see green hedges in the lowlands, moving day by day until the flourishing reaches our altitude. It is the same with lambs: lowland lambs have been bouncing around for weeks but we had to wait until today for them to arrive on our threshold.
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We look forward to salad tomorrow
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While the Guineas enjoy salad today
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The litter experiment with solid food
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and a bit of rooting
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Last year the Nuthatch reared a handsome brood under the eaves. So far this year he has been all alone, every day spent shouting as loud as he can hoping a mate will join him.
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We add a new sighting (although no picture) as a Brambling passes through for the first time. We have had geese overhead before but it is always a stirring sound
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Some hedgehog shuffling tonight:

This one
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had been coughing in the bushes and needed a quick check over

While this one
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has been over-wintering with us and is just waiting for a toe-nail trim before setting off on his spring adventures.

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Sunny Frolics

Sunshine raises us all to new levels
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Floppy and his ladies have had to jump high to strip these offerings
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Followed by a preen
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and a mutual beak clean
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The roots are moved down to the pigs
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where sunshine encourages boldness
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knowing that someone is in charge
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We stock up on bedding
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as the ducks do their own frolicking
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and the wren frolics in the gutter
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Even the frogspawn is frolicking a little
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So tonight as the sun burns itself out
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We have dinner provisions
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Blinking Sun

The rain has paused and the sun is back
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Leaving one resident blinking on his doorstep
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The beating rain leaves its causalities
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which are collected for indoor use
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not all is lost
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although the ducks are oblivious
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We know spring is around as we can see lambs
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More growing room is prepared
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moving on some of last year’s growth
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to be hen entertainment
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We have our first tomato (plant)
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and salad production is progressing
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with overflow into polytunnel 2 as space is prepared
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The sun filters into Dinah’s nursery
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but a chilly breeze decides the youngsters stay mainly indoors
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Meanwhile, we enjoy the sun and dream of the months ahead
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Small pig, big world

There is still snow on the hills
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But the piglets sense there is a change in the air
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Time to venture out from the familiarity of the porch
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Out into the big world
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More to sniff
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and space to run
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Meanwhile Floppy has gathered his harem for a lecture
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Not everyone at the back is paying attention
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Cooperative bottom cleaning is more compelling
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Life is growing in the pond
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plus
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Shooting up in the toilet following kidnap

One of Dinah’s litter has a cut on his jaw, probably caused by a bit of sibling jostling. Nothing serious but the vet insisted on a short course of antibiotics.

Now when piglets are picked up they emit a very very loud squeal. This activates Dinah’s maternal instincts and she rushes to take on the kidnapper. Food should prove a distraction and did the first time. But pigs never forget and subsequently Dinah took a few mouthfuls before coming to do a head count.

So it is a matter of seizing the moment and with a stifling towel rushing piglet to the nearest refuge
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the compost toilet, where the cut jaw can be attended to
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Meanwhile, we are currently saturated.
Fungi are flourishing
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