Blue and Yellow

Blue, or is it Purple, and Yellow seem to be the colours of the day here.

We have a “Blue Rose”, its first flowering today looks a bit purple

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Our Deep Purple Lupin is trying to influence the Slightly Pink ones

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Aquilegias are out in force

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Buttercups dominate the Meadow at the moment

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Having just had solar panels put on our roof we are more than ever sensitive to Blue Skies

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Irises are always amazing, whether Blue

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or Yellow

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and we discovered a new, as yet unidentified Blue flower appearing in the Meadow today

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Just One Picture

We said we would limit ourselves to one picture a day so here it is

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We have a love hate relationship with bracken, although mostly love. These uncurling fronds, embryo shaped, combine delicacy with power. Later, the bracken smell is laden with childhood memories of moorland walks and leafy dens. Any hate is down to keeping it in its place as it tries to invade the meadow. We have drawn a red line. Well, a green line actually in the form of a mown path with any eruption beyond it being condemned to snapping and stamping. We fear they are winning.

Oh, and this

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The first yellow rose that rears high up on the front of the house.

Plus

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The tree heather is like… a tree… made of heather

And

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The red hawthorn is Muriel’s memorial tree and its flowering brings back her smiling.

Brighter Later

Showers this morning but then the light shone through

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The Hawthorn blossom bursts out in cascades

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Our Copper Beeches start off with a delicate transparency and will later mature to a deep purple velvet

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With (even a small) wood we get shafts of light illuminating random spots

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and framing of the surrounding hills

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Meanwhile, Claire’s broods feel cosy

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Foster Mother

Claire has been a dependable broody who has reared several incubator hatchings in the past so we had no hesitation in putting her in charge of the Partridge Orpington chicks.

She quickly taught them how to use the feeder

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and how to scratch and peck

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Today they were released from the coop into a bigger run. Claire briefed the brood on keeping close and safe

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They ignored her

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so she told them

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it was time to go to bed

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Arts and (Plants)

The Arts and Crafts Movement believed that Beauty and Utility were inseparable.

Plants’ only motivation is Utility, and in accomplishing that they achieve more Beauty than can be imagined

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We used to think that Wild Garlic was an exotic to be experienced through sight and smell when passing through daleland woods. Now we have it outside our back door

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And talking of olfactory beauty, please do sniff our Azalea

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and bask in the heady aroma of the Hawthorn

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If this was made by people would you pay to see it?

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and this art print

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Here are some more utilitarian beauties

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Sometimes the Laburnum is imprisoned is suburban clich├ęs – but let it free…

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And you thought you could get away without a tulip

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But we save the best until last. Our Meadow is improving year by year. We scythe off the grass and take it away to decrease the nitrogen in the soil. This plant works against that

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But this one is winning

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The whole area is now filled with Yellow Rattle. It is partly parasitic on the grass roots, sapping their energy and weakening their vigour allowing a greater diversity to rise up. We did not sow any seed, it came up from below after who knows how many years of dormancy.

Let the Light Shine Through

We are at the time of year when the new translucent leaves let through the sunlight

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The Lime is on our main path to the Meadow and each time we pass beneath we can experience this

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The Horse Chestnut is more hidden away but worth the journey

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Later the Copper Beeches will be opaque purple but for now they join in

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We are surrounded by Welsh Poppies (obviously) which also transmit the light

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Even courgettes can look beautiful

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The Lupin holds a reflecting jewel of rain

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and the ducklings do their best

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Animals in Places

Today we have been mainly looking at Animals in Places,…

Two Hens on a Bin

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A Caterpillar on Netting

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and then having a rest

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Two Ducklings in a Bowl

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Blue Tit chicks in a Nest

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A Chick on a Back

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and Two Chicks standing in a Food Bowl

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Plus – a Mistle Thrush back on the nest ready for a second brood

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May White

May is a colourful month. So here are some white things spied around Gribin Isaf today.

The Wild Garlic is spreading in the wood

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We enjoyed the Dandelions in their yellow glory and now they give a second delight as they send off their seeds far and wide

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They are few and far between in our meadow

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The May blossom is only just getting going as the month is two-thirds gone

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This Margherita is springing up out of a hard chipping path

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The Stitchwort has been around for a while

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The local verges are lined with Cow Parsley which, with a bit of a breeze, executes a Mexican wave as we pass by

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Daisies, like Dandelions, should not be taken for granted

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Solomon’s Seal hangs its bells

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White Heather is two a penny but White Tree Heather is a bit special

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Geraniums red…. and Geraniums white

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White butterflies and white blossoms

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And lots of Jack-by-the-hedge for the Orange Tips

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Strawberry flowers crop up everywhere. In the strawberry beds but also in the wild form in every nook and crevice

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The Sorrel is coming to the end of its season

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You didn’t think you could get away without a white Tulip did you?

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An assertive white duck

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a shy white duck

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and a duck that should not be white (see Cayugas, elsewhere)

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A spikey white hen

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but does she lay the white eggs?

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(Partly) white Claire being a good mother today

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It is possible some of our bees swarmed off from their white hive today

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Everything fades to white

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It happens to us all

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as our bones bleach in the ground

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Level Headed Claire

We have quite a variety of hen breeds at Gribin Isaf but one of our favourites is the Partridge Orpington.

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That is Lazy Susan, one of two young birds of the breed we bought from Lynhall Orpingtons earlier this year. Not fair to call her Lazy really. She was younger than her friend and quite young to be introduced into the flock. She had a hard time at first but is now well integrated.

Our first Partridge Orpingtons came as hatching eggs from a member of our family who breeds them. Part of the outcome from that was George, one of our cockerels.

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Last month we got some hatching eggs from Lynhall Orpingtons to try and increase our number of this breed. They went in the incubator but at the same time we were on watch for broodies as it is much easier for us if they take care of the chicks once they are hatched. Unlike when we had to borrow Brenda we have had a number of our birds showing inclinations including a young hen called Amy and Speckled Sussex Claire. Claire is a seasoned mother and has successfully brought up a couple of broods in the past.

We gave both birds a few of our eggs to get them happy until they were needed. On Wednesday one of the eggs under Amy sort of hatched. Sort of, because it looked as if Amy had crushed the egg but when we gave a hand the chick was fine.

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As Amy’s mothering skills were in doubt we moved this chick up to the incubator where the following day she was joined by the hatching Orpingtons

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Poor old Amy was evicted from the maternity quarters and today Claire was installed and given the brood to take care of

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We are hoping she makes a good job of it.