Saturday, August 30, 2008

The running of the hens

I have completely lost track of time. Twice now I have text Jen on the weekend asking her about work. First last Sunday when I asked how her first day was going and again today (Saturday) asking her if she was at work. She thinks I am insane.

Anyway, Mum came up on Thursday this week to get an extra day's work in up here. That probably hasn't helped with my knowledge of time either. But we've finally planted the last of the raspberries, the 6 Marcy and one Ivory that we bought close to a month ago. And I have planted another row of garlic which may or may not survive due to the late planting. The broad beans that I mentioned in the aviary, that I had lost all hope for, sprouted one solid shoot today which is hugely exciting. I will never judge the beans again. And the greenfeast peas that we planted in the greenhouse are showing their little heads already, well ahead of anything else in there. Although the basil has started setting it's feet in the soil but I have a feeling it will be a slow process. As for the other exotic seeds we planted, I have my fingers crossed and will keep you posted.

Marty and Mum build a 'superstructure' next to the garden shed for the newly acquired tecomanthe climber to sprawl over. I think the plan is to build an arch with the climber with a little walkway underneath to visit the plum trees and one of the flowering cherries. And also as a scenic adventure around the aviary.

The chickens had their first completely free range day today. We've kept them in the coop this week so they get to know their area but today was the big release. We opened the door at midday and Blanche, Dinky and Babi gingerly stepped out into the paddock for a scratch and a look around. But it wasn;t long before all 3 of them had scuffled under the gate and were noseying around the aviary digging holes and chasing each other around. They have completely cleared the weeds around a bulb by the back fence and loosened up the dirt around the superstructure in anticipation of more poles going in to support the climber. Rita and the chicks (who are growing SO quickly!) stayed closer to home. They ventured out of the coop but didn't make it past the gate. One chick got stuck on the other side of the coop fence and was making a terrible racket. Rita didn't help it so I picked it up and put it back inside and off it scurried under mum. But surprisingly the other 3 went back to the coop of their own accord at about 3pm so we didn;t even need to round them up. Gosh they are good!

Here they are by the garden shed rumaging in left over Jerusalem artichokes with the superstructure visible in the background (2 poles with a plant in the middle):

Yesterday we caught Dinky, Rita and the chicks and put them inside the aviary to give us a hand with some weeding. They are the funniest things to watch. They were in seventh heaven with all the prolific bugs in the newly turned soil.

Mum went for a walk yesterday as well so I took Dino out with her. Dino was much better behaved than he had been the day before when I had a battle trying to keep him under control. He's funny in the fact that he is insanely keen to walk away from the paddock but not so keen to walk back. Most horses, including Brother, are the opposite - reluctant to leave their home but race to get back. I'm not sure why that is. I'm hoping to get back out again tomorrow but it's weather dependant.

Last night and this morning has been focussed on curtain and cushion making. Mum has been in fornt of the sewing machine for hours. Marty and I have done varous bits and pieces ironing and pinning. One cushion has been completed and I think there is only one remaining curtain to do. It will be a relief once it's done. And it will be so cosy in the kitchen.

Anyway, there is a game of Scrabble in progress (which I have politely backed out of in order to write this) but I think I'm off to bed.

K :)

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