Glimpses of Brightness

We have had a lot of rain in the last few days:

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so at the end of today it was good to see some golden light through the frame of darkness:

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Ducks on the move

Some of our hens and some of our ducks have been living together

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quite happily. They mostly just ignore each other, only answerable to their internal hierarchies. When there is persistent rain, the hens vanish under cover and leave the ducks to their sloshing around.

But both groups are increasing in size so today was time for the ducks to leave…

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…go round the corner…

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…along the path

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And with a little gentle persuasion…

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…through the cunningly devised pallet funnel…

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…taking them through the gate…

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…into their new home

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Where they will spend the nights in the Farrow House, last occupied under false presences, by one of the ingredients of our dinner tonight:

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The hens look a bit lonely

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particular the one who preferred the ducks’ teatime wheat to the corn provided for the hens.

Other home produce that has passed across the table today, in addition to the bacon, aubergines and damson wine in the picture above, include a disappointment

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Last year we grew some succulent sweetcorn. This year’s variety, in spite of looking pretty when in flower

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have proved to either remain hard on cooking or simply without kernels

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The tomatoes keep on coming (slowly)

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The apples and blackberries are safely in the pie

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and next year’s damson wine has made a start

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Honey and Wine

Time for probably the final peep at the bees

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Although one of the colonies is weak it has survived the wasps which devastated a hive last year. We have been taking measures:

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From the stronger colony we claim just one frame of honey

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Watching the damsons swell

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and multiply, as part of this year’s seemingly heavy fruit harvest

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we are reminded of some wine made from the fruit two years ago

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and find it more than palatable

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It will be out with the demi-johns next week.

Harvest elsewhere is a bit of a race between ripening and remaining light and warmth.

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At least raspberries keep on producing whatever the weather

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Looking for Retirement Homes

We have been running down our original hen flock as the new one down by the meadow has been building up

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Top cock Floppy,

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once the master of a sizeable harem, has had his charges reduced to four

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June,

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the Gold-Laced Orpington, has been with us for a number of years and we watched her two Maran companions as they emerged from eggs. Now their laying days are few and far between and we would let them live out their days if their space was not needed for an expanding Rabbit World

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Still, we would not be able to cull them so we are fortunate to find them a Retirement Home with some friends. June does suspect

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as they await collection

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with an interested audience

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Speckled Sussex Floppy keeps one of his breed and we bring another from the bottom flock to make-up a pure trio

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Maybe the source of some future hatching eggs…?

Meanwhile apples are swelling

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and we are ready

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even for high up ones

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While apples ripen we collect other produce

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while our neighbour fattens up his

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September Sunshine

Here are our temperatures for the month so far:

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When we haven’t been in the misty low cloud there has been lots of brightness

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warming up insect life

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Bert thinks it is still worth sunbathing

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and the ducks are always happier with a bit (not too much) of sun

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Bird song has intensified as the August moult ends and territories are re-established

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There is always one courgette that manages to hide while it nurtures marrow aspirations

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So, as daylight hours diminish, we relish any brightness on offer

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