Quercus rubra

Brian passes on and rainbows share the sky with the Raven pair

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Brian and Ophelia have brought down the leaves before they can show much colour

but The Red Oak flaunts its brightness… on

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and off

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the tree.

Meanwhile the Meadow is slowly turned into pig fodder

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Although today Bert

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and Dinah

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say they prefer their apples.

Pethan eraill yn y tyddyn heddiw:

Polytunnel crops continue:

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and

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Fitting in – standing out

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

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But if the door is opened on to the dining table St John look on respectfully

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while Ian remembers his first week of handling and hops out to join the meal

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then, forgetting he is trying to fit in as duck, decides he likes humans better

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Meanwhile storm Brian is visiting. The Buddhist tree is on countdown to winter – when the last leaf is gone…

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Ian St John are briefly deposited in the arms of Brian while their home is cleansed. Subsequently a lot of preening is needed

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Outside, Brian is taking his toll on the ground

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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

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followed by some peer grooming

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Over the way the Cayuga flock are very vocal

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but Solo tries to contain himself – to fit in

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The Naming of The Fruits

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

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Norfolk Royal – a cooker but a sweet one

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Egremont, an eating apple of the Russet type

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Howgate Wonder

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Lord Derby – a bit blemished, apparently a bit of lime will counteract that.

Meanwhile tomatoes continue to pass through the Rayburn

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and vital winter stores are prepared

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Autumn colour:

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Today’s bath:

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and after-bath:

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Wheat time for the Cayugas

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The Bath after The Storm

Ophelia passes and leaves some leaves still in place

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The sun shines

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So it must be time for the First Bath

Ian shows how it is done while St John looks on sceptically

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before long there is a toe in the water

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leading to a a wash and brush up all round

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Then back to the after-bath…

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Ian stands on the water bowl to maintain his stature

while his former buddy is hung out to dry

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Ophelia’s red veil

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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

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This Red Admiral might have had an interesting day

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Other harvest today

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Plus, we seem to have some new lodgers

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Ian and Saint and John

So, back at the beginning of August we had some Cayuga eggs in the incubator and only one hatched.

Welcome Solo

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.

Welcome Ian

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)

Climbing for beginners

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

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Tomorrow we go in search of more suitable companions wondering if we have trod this path before…