We walk out two days ago, in the late October sun
and high over head we hear a mighty humming
more like a June afternoon than a late Autumn sound
The Eucalyptus flowers have drawn the bee colony out from their winter shutdown
This is what they are after
and this is what they are bringing home
Later we discover a food-chain-in-a-bin
Woodmice after peanuts bring in a weasel
he needs help to get out
much to the consternation of the Cayugas
But when it comes to getting these pictures out there, this degree of slowness
as images travel along several kilometres of old copper line, re-knitted following digger mishaps, can be frustrating.
Fortunately we are a beneficiary of this:
We have watched for the last two years as fibre has creeped up the valley and six months ago seemed to be able to ask to be connected.
We have had three visits from surveyors and two aborted pole planting missions.
We now think we have a solution.
We are putting up our own poles
Rigging our own lines
Cutting back the trees
and hoping for the best,
Brian passes on and rainbows share the sky with the Raven pair
Brian and Ophelia have brought down the leaves before they can show much colour
but The Red Oak flaunts its brightness… on
Meanwhile the Meadow is slowly turned into pig fodder
Although today Bert
say they prefer their apples.
Pethan eraill yn y tyddyn heddiw:
Polytunnel crops continue:
Ian, starting life all alone (apart from a mirror and a stuffed guinea pig), didn’t really know how to be a duck until St John were brought to keep him company. Now he is trying hard to copy their poses
But if the door is opened on to the dining table St John look on respectfully
while Ian remembers his first week of handling and hops out to join the meal
then, forgetting he is trying to fit in as duck, decides he likes humans better
Meanwhile storm Brian is visiting. The Buddhist tree is on countdown to winter – when the last leaf is gone…
Ian St John are briefly deposited in the arms of Brian while their home is cleansed. Subsequently a lot of preening is needed
Outside, Brian is taking his toll on the ground
as Solo and his Muscovites take their afternoon wheat.
Here Solo is trying to fit in by learning Muscovese, a silent hiss and an exchange of beaks
followed by some peer grooming
Over the way the Cayuga flock are very vocal
but Solo tries to contain himself – to fit in
Once or twice a year a laden van passes by bringing fruit from the Worcestershire orchards and also a wealth of apple knowledge.
We lay out some of our crop and get a verdict
Norfolk Royal – a cooker but a sweet one
Egremont, an eating apple of the Russet type
Lord Derby – a bit blemished, apparently a bit of lime will counteract that.
Meanwhile tomatoes continue to pass through the Rayburn
and vital winter stores are prepared
Wheat time for the Cayugas
Ophelia passes and leaves some leaves still in place
The sun shines
So it must be time for the First Bath
Ian shows how it is done while St John looks on sceptically
before long there is a toe in the water
leading to a a wash and brush up all round
Then back to the after-bath…
Ian stands on the water bowl to maintain his stature
while his former buddy is hung out to dry
This is not sunrise or set but 9.15 this morning quite high in the sky. North African sand and Iberian forest ash colour our morning.
The winds pick up and we are glad we harvested our last apples yesterday
This Red Admiral might have had an interesting day
Other harvest today
Plus, we seem to have some new lodgers
So, back at the beginning of August we had some Cayuga eggs in the incubator and only one hatched.
Solo was lonely. The only ducklings we could find in the locality were Muscovies so three came to help Solo along
They grew up happily together
(although Solo had some difficult learning to speak Muscovy)
The Muscovies were so interesting we got some eggs to put in the incubator.
But only one hatched.
A mirror, a pet guineapig and non-stop Radio 4 kept him amused for a week but he really needed feathered company.
So today we fetched the only other young ducklings we could find – two Aylesburys
At first Ian was a bit aloof
But soon they were in step
and Ian was enjoying something new to peck
Ian of course is a Lavender but now he is part of Ian, Saint and John
(We are not planning to get any Aylesbury hatching eggs)
Ian is a Muscovy and Muscovies like climbing up into trees so, as (currently) Ian’s only companions, we feel obliged to give him climbing opportunities
Tomorrow we go in search of more suitable companions wondering if we have trod this path before…
The area just to the left of the laptop touchpad has always seemed a little warm. Now we have discovered its purpose
Earlier Ian started his computer education by spending time watching
Then he brought along his companion
who needed encouragement to take an interest
Ian decided to go it alone
and get on with checking the email