The Golden Fleece…

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…and other Golden Things

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We will go no more a roaming…

We have enjoyed having Clare and her brood free-ranging round the patch
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but flower beds and vegetable beds are suffering so the time has come for a some serious corralling
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Clare is not amused
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From now on previous free-style perching
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will have to be replaced by approved perching
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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
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As our first bee colony was a little late in getting established it needs a bit of help
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Keeping track of the feathers

Clare, the ex-broody hen, is finding it hard to keep track of her brood
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Each day they find new places to explore
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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
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and tonight, for the first time, they have moved their bedroom from the dining table to a shed, where they enjoy the window view
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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
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Meanwhile produce swells
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and the visitor room is getting a drawbridge
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and further interior decoration
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We prepare to inspect the bees
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and are pleased to see the queen is still there
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Preparations for winter are underway
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Elsewhere
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Diana looks on
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Claire on tour

Claire and brood have a busy day…

resting in the feed shed
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resting on the bank
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and wondering, if this is a bird feeder, why it is empty
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Meanwhile Solo and and Muscovites wait for a bath
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have a bath
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and recover from a bath
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Soon they will have to move outdoors as there will be new arrivals
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Beans of the day
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and some other produce
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Plus…
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New Arrivals

Two new arrivals at the Lake this week. Firstly, a damselfly we have not seen before
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Is this an Emerald Damselfly?

Then down in the water, strange tubes
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A closer view
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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
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and…

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Day out

We went out today, to learn about…

How to manage a quad bike on a smallholding
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The best way to win prizes
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including Pansy Presentation
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assessing the bale of hay entry was a serious business
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Unfortunately we missed the Punch and Judy tutorial
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but did learn how to get a reluctant horse into a trailer
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We appreciated the heavy horses
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and the old oaks
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We came home with two new hens
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and found the swallow brood in the woodshed practising sitting on a wire
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and our young hedgehog in care slightly heavier
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