Kites, Robins and Swallows

Monday: May Day πŸ˜€bank holiday πŸ˜€Its been raining overnight, now normally I would be disappointed that the bank holiday is wet but we are in such desperate need that I’m letting it go this time 😜After putting the ducklings in the back I’m surprised we still have some as John didn’t shut the back door properly, it was ajar 😫things could have be much different but luckily they are still intact. Spent a good few hours in the garden and had to go get new bean canes as the old ones were breaking as I tried to put them in the ground. Cut the driveway grass and it started lashing down, soaked by the time I finished. Moved the horse to a different paddock put electric tape up to confine him. Did a bit of evening work as it was so nice and John was watching snooker 😴 a bit of sweeping and tidying, also got started on a long list of jobs that need doing, need extra hours in the day, days in the week and a few extra arms would be useful too 😝

Tuesday: Up early as I have booked a haircut in for 8.15! I need to get everything done beforehand a I have Mia today as well, saw a big brown rat who obviously wasn’t expecting anyone to be about that early, he was in the orchard pen, put the last sachet of poison down will have to stock up on some more. 

Wednesday: phone call to John to get some rat poison as a matter of urgency! Did the feeding rounds and went back into the orchard pen to asses the quail as they have matured now and one of the males is being attacked by the others and I need to remove him from the hut, out the corner of my eye I spotted movement in the rabbit pen, small rodent like movements, uuurrrghh there are about 3 baby rats and 2 bigger ones all scurrying around!! I did think that the rabbits had got particularly hungry of late, no wonder when a family of rats are eating all their food 😝 I would have got the air gun out but I am not a crack shot and can’t risk the rabbits running in front just as I fire 😜 I removed the rabbits hard feed and went into the garden to collect a bucketful of herbs, grass, dandelion and carrot thinnings plus put a sackful of hay in for them, I also fed the rats with some poison from a bait box that had not been eaten 😝

Did a bit of garden work, I decided to grow the cucumbers along the top bars of the poly tunnel this year to use up the headspace that is usually wasted really, we will see if it works. I planted some basil that I have grown from seed in the poly tunnel and a pot of coriander. I intended to sow some more rows of lettuce, spring onion and radish but Mia arrived with her mum and so it can wait until tomorrow. I have ordered two wooden plant staging thingy’s to put the plants for sale out on, at the moment they just sit on the ground but often get knocked over, I have lots of veg plants to sell this year as well as a few flower plants, lavenders and fuchsia, and some herbs too.  

No sign of the other goose eggs hatching yet πŸ˜” I will leave it to the end of the week and see if I can candle them somehow πŸ˜›the little gosling seems to be doing ok though even if it’s parents keep eating all the chick crumb I put out for it! 

The weather still leaves a bit to be desired, cold winds, nice when the sun does come out but it’s a bit sketchy. Made some bread, and have beef stew for dinner tonight. 

Thursday: Still a tad cold for my liking and the plants too they need some heat to get them going a bit more. Did the morning rounds, fed the rats as well 😜 John came home with two tubs of poison yesterday, I honestly don’t know why they are more of a problem this year but it’s the same for everyone I speak to. Spent most of the day in the veg garden, potting on, moving plants outside to harden off, then my new plant staging came, very pleased with how they display plants for sale and the whole look around the little shed is delightful especially with Johns bargain buy egg sign at the car boot sale. 

I have been looking back through the blog posts to see when the geese started sitting as the eggs have not yet hatched, on average they should take 35 days, from the blog week I mentioned it in we are getting on for 39 days, however she may not have been sitting tight from then so I will give her a few more days probably until the end of the weekend and then drastic measures will have to be taken, I can see a fight with a goose coming on πŸ˜–

I put three lots of asparagus out for sale this morning and they were gone in an instant, no wonder really when the shops are charging Β£3 a bunch and I am only charging Β£1 need to keep a better eye on prices I think next year. 

Friday: We have no hot water today, the immersion heater or the stat has gone not sure which, you would think with a plumber living in it would get sorted asap, not so, I feel for the cobblers children 😜 

Discovered a bit of a mystery on my rounds this morning, a pile of white feathers and the electric fence down in the corner, my first thought was goose feathers but surely John would have noticed them last night when he locked up and would have said if the gander was missing. Seeing that the geese were all present and correct my next thought was one of the 3 white star hens that regularly get out of the orchard pen but they are all there too, it’s definitely not pigeon feathers all pure white, we don’t have doves, the fox has had something I just don’t know what or where it came from. Meanwhile when erring the geese out I spotted an egg that was not in the nest, my ideal opportunity to see if the others might be viable still. One goose is sat just inside in the nest, the others are out but just a couple of feet from me, I chuck them some feed to keep them occupied and keeping a bucket between me and the gander I run the gauntlet of the goose on the nest and grab the egg, not as easy as I make it sound I can tell you 😝 The egg is cold so it’s either been pushed out or rolled out unnoticed anyway I take it away and break it open, there is an almost fully formed chick in there but the egg stinks suggesting it’s been dead for quite a while. I’m left wondering if all the other eggs are the same 😞 I think on Sunday if nothing has happened I will drive her off the nest and take my chances. To be honest we don’t need extra geese so they would’ve surplus to requirements and bound for the freezer so the only loss will be to the goose who has been sitting so long with no outcome.  

Pile of feathers in the paddock

Mystery solved, I went back to the orchard pen to feed the rats and noted that some of the hens were looking a bit worse for wear on their backs, that will be the pekin cockerel trying to mount them and because he is much smaller than them he is pulling out feathers that normally would not be harmed, then it dawned on me who the pile of feathers belong to 😫 He had taken to getting himself out over the top of the pen over the last few mornings returning in the afternoon when I open the gate to go in and feed. 

Lovely weather today, planted out broccoli and cauliflower in the brassica cage which could do with being twice the size really. Planted out the runner beans and the dwarf beans including the ying yang ones, I have to put a wind guard round them up here until they get established as even a breeze has the ability to ravage them somewhat. Next will be the sweet corn planted in blocks so that they pollinate each other then the squash plants which will be planted into lots of lovely manure. I grew some sunflowers this year and they need going in the ground I will probably plant them near the sweet corn 🌽 

Wild birds are making themselves known today, we had a kite swooping and hovering over the front paddock, the chickens and geese went into panic mode, a nest I spotted yesterday which was empty now has two eggs in there, Robins nest anywhere and this one has chosen my flowerpot rack, not sure it’s the best idea but I will do my best to make sure they are not disturbed, and the Swallows were soaring in the sky this morning, happy days to see them back already πŸ˜€

Saturday:Still have that cold wind and looking at the forecast it doesn’t look like it’s going to change direction until the middle of next week πŸ˜• No sign of rats this morning and they have left some of yesterday’s ‘feed’ so hoping that is the end of them. Muscles aching this morning from yesterday’s workload good job I am off to an auction today otherwise I would feel obliged to keep on working 😜 Johns first job is to sort out the immersion heater and then put up the new duck accommodation that we have had sat there for a few months. A nice shed that has a full height roof and door so I don’t have to bend over double collecting the eggs πŸ˜€I have a couple of people coming to collect veg plants this morning, I have lots of spare broccoli and cauliflower plants as well as cucumbers and dwarf beans from 50p if anyone wants any also tomato plants. Last of the big spenders at auction Β£2.20 for some stackable plastic trays, great for the veg garden πŸ˜€

Sunday: Where is the sun it’s been missing for ages. Well I wrote that this morning then it came with a vengeance lol, beautiful day if a little too warm for me by mid afternoon. 

I got the ride on out and cut some long grass, then the strimmer to tidy the area up a bit more, I was getting frustrated with machinery, first the mower wouldn’t start after I had used it for a while then got off to do something, then the strimmer did the same thing. User error on the mower as I had left the cutter engaged and the health and safety cut outs all over it meant it won’t start, however the strimmer was just being a pig! Then we had a visit from a cousin I haven’t seen for nearly 15 years, it was great to catch up and we whiled away a couple of hours yaking πŸ˜€ In the evening I decided I really needed to do some watering as the ground is so dry it’s unreal for this time of year, watching country file we might get some thundery downpours on Thursday and I hope we do, the ground needs a good soaking. John finished off the duck shed by putting a pop hole in for the birds to get in and out and I cleaned out the ducklings. Although the shed is for the older ducks we decided that initially we will put the ducklings in there and attach their run to the outside as they are making a right smell in the back. πŸ¦† 

Captured a pic of the ducklings all in a row πŸ˜€

Update on the goose eggs: The goose must have heard me saying I was going to drive her off because as I got the dustbins in this morning I noticed she had come out and joined the others. I nipped into the hut (I did have to get a broom to ward them off and then shut myself in while I retrieved them) by this time they were going cold and so I broke one open and it stank! They were all the same, they had been growing but at some stage they had died and so poor goosey has been sat on eggs that were never going to hatch πŸ˜”


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