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Archive for the ‘general wittering’ Category

frogspawn 2017

The frog love in has been successful once more. This is the earliest to date, in the same pond, although only by one day:

2007 14/2
2008 8/2
2009 13/3
2010 21/3
2011 26/2
2012 25/2
2013 9/3
2014 18/2
2015 20/2
2016 02/2
2017 01/02

I really should do a graph some time..

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frogspawn

Looking through the years of recording, this is the earliest yet – which makes sense since it has been such a mild (and wet) winter. I hope they haven’t leapt in (see what I did there? ) too soon.

The records:
2007 14/2
2008 8/2
2009 13/3
2010 21/3
2011 26/2
2012 25/2
2013 9/3
2014 18/2
2015 20/2
2016 2/2

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small blue
Today, I spent a fair bit of time sat in the shade of the big umbrella, needlefelting hedgehog pincushions, as you do. It’s bizarrely warm for April, I mean.. sitting outside.. in the shade! We’ve been barbecueing and walking in the evenings too. Far too nice a day to craft inside, in fact the house was colder than outside.
I brought my camera too, as I had a lot of company:
swallow
The swallows are very chatty, and sit on the telephone wire above my head telling it all. Behind me on the rosemary the bees carefully worked each tiny flower
honeybee and rosemary

pear

hellebores2
butterflies taunted me, an orangetip scooted by several times without stopping, and it took a lot of leaping up with the camera before I snapped a picture of the small blue. She seemed to like the marsh marigold, as did the bees
marsh marigold and bee

The flowering currant was covered in all types of bees, this, I think, is a tree bumblebee
tree bumble bee and flowering currant

Not a bad place to work

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Knightshayes
Today I met up again with the lovely Rosie and her boys.
I know Rosie from the blogosphere, and her blog Eco-Gites of Lenault It’s nice to interact with someone going through the same sorts of experiences, re smallholding etc, albeit in a different country.

We met at Knightshayes, lunched and partook of cake, before touring the house, which is really interesting, and all the guide people were friendly and helpful

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We walked the grounds
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I really liked the fox and hounds topiary hedge
fox and hounds hedge

and am always jealous of the large walled kitchen garden. And perhaps the team of gardeners. They sure do grow a lot of rhubarb there..
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Obviously, that was all very tiring, so we were obliged to eat cake yet again – well it is Rosie’s cake holiday – it would be rude not to.

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tawny owl

tawny owl
As well as working hard and eating too much over Easter we also had the tawny owl event.  This starts with Mr CIG waking me up to tell me he has let the hens out, put out food and water, the sheep are ok and by the way we have a tawny owl in the shed now. And with that he climbed back into bed.

A little while later I came to enough to question whether I had dreamt the bit about the owl.  You see, I am a bit of a  ‘night owl’ myself.. I’m not at my best in the mornings, but this did filter through. Yes, when he let the birds out, he found the poor little owl caught in the netting covering the run – we have to protect our flock and their eggs from jackdaws, crows and buzzards, all of which we have plenty, but owls work in our favour, hunting at night and killing vermin.  Once he had disentangled it, he set the owl down but it just sat there.  He was able to pick it up, so popped it in  a hutch in the dark and quiet, with some water.

We contacted the local owl rescue – they even have an owl emergency line, and we were told we had done everything right that the owl was unlikely to take flight in the day time and to try again at dusk.

So we left him alone, resisted the temptation to show him to family and friends and waited it out.  My son kept coming by to ask if it was dusk yet, as owls are one of his favourite things.
relaunch2
And when it was just getting dimpsy, we took the owl out – and he was far more alert now, all big eyes and trying his wings.  We balanced him on a post and waited and he took a moment to get his bearings, then eventually he took flight and took to the tall trees.  For once I was glad of those trees that shade our garden.
We often hear owls here, and we have seen them in the distance, but it was special, if unfortunate for the owl, for us to see one up close. I’m pretty sure he was unharmed and as we released him where he was found only a short while later, fairly sure he will do well.

This morning Mr Cig woke me to say he had done the early morning animal check, let the birds out, and everyone was ok. As he climbed back into bed, he added ‘and no extra owls’.

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cycling Plymouth

river Plym

We’ve been exploring cycle routes in the area, and explored some in Plymouth. We have in the past cycled up onto the moors from Plymouth, but for the first time cycled the route the other way, towards the coast.
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As well as the busy road side of the river, there are calmer tracks through the Saltram estate

Following the same route (27) towards the coast, the path takes some minor roads, before becoming vehicle free again
St Christopher Plaque Breakwater Road Plymouth
We got some lovely views of the coast, Mount Batten point, Drakes Island and the Hoe, as well as various dockyards and large boats moored alongside.
Mount Batten point
We cycled to the Barbican and we picked up some fish and chips, bunged them in the paniers and cycled back to a great view point for lunch in view of the Mayflower steps
Plymouth sound
We could have carried on much further along the Hoe, and ferries take bikes to other points across the sound. So now we have lots of good cycling to explore.

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Bath day

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Our son’s enthusiasm for all things Roman is undiminished.
minerva,  Bath
We had a lovely day looking at the Roman baths yet again,
Bath
and walking around in the sunshine,
Pultney bridge Bath

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