Lambs! Buzzards & Sunshine, how lucky am I!

On a day to day basis, we encounter the expected and the unexpected, the expected events make the day busy, the unexpected turn a busy day to chaos!

I received a phone call on Tuesday night from a friend who had a ewe that had given birth to triplets, the ewe was unwell and not expected to make it, would I be interested in taking on the orphans she asked, yes I replied without hesitation. This throws us from busy into chaos, as part of the stable needs to be sectioned off and secured and bottles need to be made up, early morning and late night feeding would become the order of the day from now on, as it happened by Thursday the ewe was not doing too badly so we just took in two of the three lambs, we named them Winnie and Nelson! They are adorable as you can see from the photo. Lambs are wonderful in the sense that they do not mind a bit that you have taken them from the mother as long as they get fed and fussed, a human will do just as well. They are bottle fed 3 times a day, so it is just like having a baby, except you don’t have to mop up the other end!

Friday was the most glorious day so far this year, we had blue skies and sunshine all day long. I spent the afternoon on the veg plot, weeding and fixing any holes in the fruit cage, while I was out there I heard the unmistakable cry of the Buzzard, I looked up and in the distance were 3 of them soaring high up on the thermals and coming closer all the time. Suddenly a couple of crows started to dive bomb one of the Buzzards, they must have had a nest nearby and were protecting it as fiercely as a Spitfire during the war. We get quite a few birds visiting the farm, my favorite is the long-tailed tit, very cute, not so cute are the crows that arrive each morning for a free feed, approximately 30 turn up at the precise moment I feed the chickens and I have to find ways to stop them devouring it. I have tried feeding at different times, hanging all sorts of paraphernalia to frighten them off, running around the farm clapping my hands like a madwoman, all of the above together, but they still arrive expectantly!

This weekend was great weather too so we have weeded and rotovated the area that the potatoes will grow in, they are chitting nicely now and if the weather stays fine will be ready to go in at the end of the month, we plant first earlies and main crop, you can’t beat the taste of new potatoes picked and cooked within 15 minutes! The main crop are the ones we will store over Winter, we have bought scab resistant varieties this year as we had a problem with scab last year, although they still taste and cook fine they don’t look very attractive! I have also planted up some seed trays with herb seeds that I had left over from last year, I lost two rosemary bushes in the harsh winter so need to replace those. The broad beans have not broken through the surface yet but with all this sunshine I am sure they wont be long. The pace is begining to pick up now, the preparation work is nearly done, then it will be a case of waiting until the time is right to begin putting in seeds of all descriptions, a few months of watering and weeding then harvesting and cooking or freezing! During the busy time of Spring and Summer I always take time to stand at the back door, with a coffee in my hand and look across the fields, these are precious coffee breaks, as I stand there I always¬†think, how lucky am I, I have inlcuded a photo of exactly what I see, and once I have published this, that’s where I am going!

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