Meadow Maintenance

We are slowly increasing the diversity in the meadow area, some of which is documented here

This depends on cutting the grass at the end of every growing season and then removing it.

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This takes time

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Before:

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and after:

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Currently the mowed grass is being used to cover the mud in the duck pen

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and to give Bert an island

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Elsewhere today…

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Mid-October Observations

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Rain every day, 98.8 mm so far this month, but with day-time temperatures well into double figures and very little wind it has been pleasant working outside.

The young apple trees we planted two years ago are bearing fruit…

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and the cookers from one of the established trees are being put to good use

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The damsons have moved from this..

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…through this

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…to this

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The last of the tomatoes have been picked

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So far this Autumn we have not had to take into care any juvenile hedgehogs.  However, we are being prepared as the hostelry roof was leaking.

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It is getting a bit muddy in the rabbitry …

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…so work is starting on some winter quarters

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Our neighbours are on the lookout for the tup

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and colour is spreading across the Buddhist Tree

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Other signs of Autumn:

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The ducks have all settled down happily together

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and we too are looking forward to having a bath

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Eucalyptus Gymraeg

Twenty-five years ago Gribin Isaf was made up of sheep fields. Many trees were then planted but in order to get quick results Eucalyptus was included!

Now, some of them tower over everything

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their swaying silver tops a beacon visible from far away.

But, as the RHS notes, the species is prone to windrock – not ideal for 900 feet up a Welsh hillside:

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Unlike any native tree, Eucalyptus adds a layer of bark every year and the outermost layer dies and is shed adding fascinating sights to our surroundings:

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Early October Miscellany

The colour is starting to creep across the Acer

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We are starting to stockpile next winter’s wood

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The rabbits are outgrowing their quarters

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so Floppy and his two remaining ladies have had to shunt up

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as ground is cleared for a rabbit extension

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harvest continues… the less successful

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and the more useful

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Jessie’s water bowl seems a fertile hunting ground for interesting species. First this Hairworm

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and then a newt

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Oh, and it has rained everyday

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and is due to continue that way

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Putting all your Hens in one Basket

These hens thought they ruled the roost

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but today they had new company as we ringed our youngest batch

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and merged them with the main flock

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A handsome batch made up of Partridge Orpingtons, Partridge Welsummers, Gold-laced Orpingtons and a French Maran

They soon made themselves at home

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They had been living down next to Bert, not sure if he is missing them

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Also today, harvesting the last of the Aubergines

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and continuing to prepare the tomato harvest for preservation

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Ducks on the Move Number Two

We are slowly learning that while managing livestock in multiple locations during the relatively benign months of the year can be pleasant, during the time of mud, cold and wind it pays to be more efficient.

So, today was a time for more duck consolidation.

Cayugas were the first breed of ducks we hatched and Lucky, the Drake in charge, dates back to that first brood

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He currently has five ducks to look after and they have lived as a close knit isolated group for a long time. When they can find an accidental hole in their netting they are quick to explore but now the time has come to leave with permission they would rather stay where they know

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They need encouragement to go down the step

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not very elegantly

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and it is off past the polytunnel

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through the wood and into the meadow

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Round the corner and past the hens

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towards the gate of their new home

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where a reception committee awaits

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A bit of a stand off at first

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but they soon start settling in, while keeping themselves to themselves

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