…and other Golden Things
Month: August 2017
We will go no more a roaming…
We have enjoyed having Clare and her brood free-ranging round the patch
but flower beds and vegetable beds are suffering so the time has come for a some serious corralling
From now on previous free-style perching
will have to be replaced by approved perching
although… later tonight, after her brood have gone to bed, Claire is found going on an evening stroll. Wing clipping or fence heightening?
This evening we go on a mission
As our first bee colony was a little late in getting established it needs a bit of help
Keeping track of the feathers
Clare, the ex-broody hen, is finding it hard to keep track of her brood
Each day they find new places to explore
We tried to contain Claire and Co but they insist on exercising their right to roam. She has started laying again but since she declared herself truly free-range we have to hunt down the eggs.
Solo and the Three Muscovites have been spending their days in the greenhouse
and tonight, for the first time, they have moved their bedroom from the dining table to a shed, where they enjoy the window view
They have to leave the indoor accommodation as that will shortly be needed by the six Australorps, six French Marans, and six Speckled Sussex which we hope will emerge from the eggs in the incubators. Good job they will be vacating the incubators as we have some Muscovy eggs on the way – having been seduced by the emergency ducklings we acquired to stop Solo being solo.
The best thing all these young fowl can keep in mind is, if possible, to be female. The adolescent Cayugas are somewhat depleted today following some quite hard sexing
and the visitor room is getting a drawbridge
and further interior decoration
We prepare to inspect the bees
and are pleased to see the queen is still there
Preparations for winter are underway
Claire on tour
Claire and brood have a busy day…
and wondering, if this is a bird feeder, why it is empty
Meanwhile Solo and and Muscovites wait for a bath
Soon they will have to move outdoors as there will be new arrivals
Two new arrivals at the Lake this week. Firstly, a damselfly we have not seen before
Is this an Emerald Damselfly?
Then down in the water, strange tubes
A closer view
A caddisfly larva with a beautiful case made from leaves. There are quite a number of them there.
We keep thinking we have identified it but the more we read the less certain we are. One source says “it is often not realised just how many different kinds of caddis there are – in Britain alone there are around 200 – and that they make up one of the most diverse groups of freshwater animals.”
[edit: currently going for Triaenodes bicolor]
Elsewhere the ducklings enjoy a bath in the sun
We went out today, to learn about…
How to manage a quad bike on a smallholding
assessing the bale of hay entry was a serious business
Unfortunately we missed the Punch and Judy tutorial
but did learn how to get a reluctant horse into a trailer
We appreciated the heavy horses
We came home with two new hens
and found the swallow brood in the woodshed practising sitting on a wire
A fine sunny day provides a good opportunity for the ducklings’ first bath.
is soon overcome
Solo, of course, leads the splashing
Afterwards, a good preen
Yesterday we penned in Claire and her roaming brood as flower and vegetable beds were suffering.
First thing this morning they broke out – largely due to the fact that the youngsters are smaller than the netting mesh – and continued exploring… the compost bucket
Tonight they staged a sit out
refusing to go to bed unless the fence was removed.
The swallows’ second brood left the nest
and moved as far as the rafters
before making exploratory flights outside and then returning to the nest tonight.
Over the Lake twenty to thirty neighbourhood swallows swirled and swooped
with an occasional breakaway, coming low to snatch water insects
Happily they left this one
our third species of dragonfly – as yet unidentified [update: we think an Emperor] – as it visited the bullrushes
where it deposited some eggs
We continue to ornament the Guest Room
and test the kitchenette
Tonight we have a mysterious hole staked out
Pethan eraill yn y tyddyn heddiw:
Dressing for guests, juggling ducks
With the foundations ready
The Guest Room is now in place and time to get it dressed. Obviously the things that need sorting first are the ornaments
The electricity supply is tested
Just remains to try out the wood-burner
Good view of the hills – and the pig house
We continue with the tortuous, and basically failing, attempt to expand our flock of laying ducks.
Solo seems kind of grateful for his three muscovite companions
Although he wonders why they only drink from the water bowl when he knows it is for jumping on and jumping off
Outside we have five that side
and five this side
nerving ourselves to end the five a side and go for a merger.
It has been good to have Claire and her brood free roaming round the site
but as they roam wider with a gleam of intent in the eye
the range will soon have to be limited to give flower and vegetable beds a chance.
We enjoy our home grown lunch
The Japanese Honeysuckle is also edible but we haven’t tried yet
The bees seem busy
and we pleased to spot the Queen
Pethan eraill yn y tyddyn heddiw:
Solo and The Three Muscoveers
This morning one day-old Solo was all alone in the world
But following a cross border mission tonight, beneath the swelling moon
he has company
three day-old Muscovies.
Down at the Lake
our bees collect water
a new arrival. Our second dragonfly species – a Ruddy Darter, if we are not mistaken.
and in the woodshed there has been a non-stop feeding shuttle as brood two approach fledging
Up until now the swallows have determinedly built their own nests in the rafters but for this last minute effort they have taken advantage of our concrete offering.
Guest Room foundation work continues
and Claire teachers her brood deportment – how to walk like a lady