Invasion

Our bees are under attack
20180830-09

We set up a decoy
20180830-60
which draws some of the fire…
…and also attracts other callers
20180830-59
brought out by a warmer day than of late.
She moves on to enjoy the last flowers of the white buddleia behind the Lake
20180830-65
to be joined by a Painted Lady
20180830-79

Over the Lake itself
20180830-93
a late calling Dragonfly
20180830-34
and a new Damselfly – the Emerald
20180830-91

These have been doing well recently
20180830-57

The scything of the Meadow has started
20180830-06
– should be finished by Christmas.

At the moment the cut grass is going to the pigs where today Bert and Dinah have been whispering sweet nothings through their chink
20180830-56

Down in the wood the hydrangea is coming on
20180830-02-2

An official harvest from today
20180830-05-2
and also a bit of foraging
20180830-04-2
which ends up in a jelly
20180830-01-3
(The ghost of a hare here echoes a real live one seen on the uplands this morning)

A Day of Movements

First thing this morning this Newt moved into the birds’ water
20180829-01
so we moved her down to the Lake
20180829-08

Cagney and her brood
20180829-05-2
Moved in with Yum-Yum
20180829-07-2
and the other two Little Maids
20180829-01-2

The Cayugas moved down to the Broccoli patch
20180829-10
– just for the day, to deal with the slugs

We moved everything out of the Wood Shed
20180829-09
to make room for wood.

The Guinea Pigs winter quarters were prepared
20180829-12
for their move back and the Chicks, who had been living there, moved out into the Guineas’ old lawn-mower
20180829-17

Our largest cared-for Hedgehog was given the opportunity to move on
20180829-20

and the Winter Hoggery was prepared for any who might need to move in
20180829-13

The Mysteries of Zea Mays

Dinner tonight
20180828-09

Chicken Pie with our own Tarragon, Leeks
20180828-01
20180828-02

and…
20180828-08
Sweet Corn

On a whim, earlier in the year, we bought a tray of “mini” Sweet Corn plants.

We thought mini meant the size of the plant but when they hit the roof of the polytunnel
20180824-04
we realised that was not the case.

Mini corn meant that the ears needed to be harvested while small. So today we did
20180828-05
20180828-06
20180828-07

Dinner tonight will not include this
20180828-12

which we found secreting itself at the edge of a polytunnel

It might not quite be a candidate for the heaviest marrow at the show on Saturday
20180828-04-2
20180828-02-3

but it will make a meal.

Suggestions for next year

We marked our card
20180827-01-2

and went down to The Institute

to register our intent to lay our beans on the table (and tomatoes, and courgettes)

Feeling this occasion lacked the opportunity for us to exhibit all our wonders, we were able to suggest to The Committee some classes for inclusion next year:

Ducks most able to plot an escape
20180825-36

Duck with most exciting face
20180825-30

Bonniest Duckling
20180825-23

Most Translucent Pea
20180825-18

Duck with Ducklings At Foot
20180825-17-3

Chilliest Pepper
20180825-17

Most Exciting Aubergine
20180818-08

Bonniest Boar
20180825-13-2

Most Handsome Squash
20180825-12

Most Unusual Wines
20180825-11-2

Duck Eggs
20180825-11

Elder Flower Champagne
20180825-10-2

Chicks with the Featherest Feet
20180825-10

Moth and Nasturtium
20180825-08-2

Jerusalem Artichokes
20180825-07-3

Plums
20180825-06-2

Drop Of Water in An Interesting Place
20180825-05-3

Citrus Fruit
20180825-03

A Pair Of Pears
20180825-02-2

Best Fed Caterpillar
20180825-01-2

Welsh French Beans
20180825-01

Through the Bedroom Window…

We don’t need to read this to know things are different now.

We can remember buddleias covered in Red Admirals, Tortoiseshells and Peacocks.

Now, as we look through the bedroom window, we see lots of Whites – Large and Small
20180820-12
and are happy to share the nasturtiums with their caterpillars
20180820-87

So today we are happy just to see

One Peacock
20180821-04

One Tortoiseshell
20180821-19
20180821-09

and one Painted Lady
20180821-31
20180821-29
20180821-24
20180820-16

Multiple accommodation units and visiting predators

The number of animal runs requiring daily attention seems to be increasing by the day.

Cagney and her two (! – and one is not even hers) chicks have a protected run within the lower poultry zone
20180817-11
They are not lonely as James, the other ducks, and the hens too all come by for a chat.

Nearby the Three Little Maids are making themselves at home behind the Buzzard Proof Fence
20180817-08

The five incubator hatchlings now have a day house outside
20180817-12
using the Guinea Pig run vacated when those occupants moved in here
20180817-04

Both cared for hedgehogs are thriving and now have runs outside
20180817-05

We set up the night camera last night to see if the badger was still visiting…

He was.

Plus early morning brought this visitor
20180817-01
looking around for her breakfast

This run might be very temporary
20180817-15

One of the Cayugas had been disappearing into the bushes and last night stayed in there. Investigation showed a clutch of fifteen eggs which she was attempting to sit on. Today we retrieved the eggs and set up this home – although unsure which duck was responsible for a while we tested two of them (it was a bit like the Judgement of Solomon) However, come bed time, neither was very interested so we are thinking of calling the whole thing off.

New arrivals

We travel over the hills to the delightful world of Trees and Bees to collect some young Muscovies

20180815-08

who make themselves at home behind the Buzzard Proof Fence.

Checking the defences

20180815-18

and inspecting the accommodation

20180815-13

Jessie enjoyed her first day out but needs recovery time with her new rawhide chew

20180815-04-2

Meanwhile in polytunnel Zenith

20180815-01
20180815-03
20180815-04
20180815-05

Plus:

20180815-26
20180815-23

The Buzzard Proof Fence

A few hundred yards across the valley is the Buzzards’ home. We love to hear their mewing and see them in the sky. Not so pleased when they visit the poultry – last week one was on the ground in their run.

The hens can spot them coming
20180814-18

and Cagney’s (non-identical) twins are safe behind bars
20180814-27-2

But with the imminent arrival of more young ducks, protection is needed
20180814-04
20180814-08

During construction Jessie keeps the ducks in order
20180814-06

Meanwhile the blackberries are here
20180814-19