Monday, September 15, 2008

Primavera - spring

It's been an exciting few days. Paula and James came to visit on Saturday and stayed for a few nights which was nice. They have since headed off up the mountain for a spot of snow boarding. We'll miss them when we go to Auckland next week because Paula is off to the Gold Coast and James will be down here in the Bay - both trips for work.

Mum and Richard were here this weekend. They haven't been up for a little while. Richard hadn't even seen the chickens so I think he was quite excited to get back here. Unfortunately he spent most of the time working on the computer rather than enjoying the sunshine. We have had some glorious days recently.

Today Marty and I got onto our 'orchard' by the sheds. It was quite a lot of work trying to cut out a huge climber that had weaved itself around pear trees, rhodos and 2 power lines which was a bit dodgy. It will look great when we have the chestnut, almond and quince trees planted (now we have finally picked them up!). I just can't wait for summer and our first season of fresh, home grown fruit and veges. I'm hoping now the weather is getting warmer that things will start growing a bit more rapidly. Today was like summer it was so hot!

We almost killed everything in the greenhouse the other day because it was so hot. Everything wilted but I think we managed to save most of them. The carrots... not so sure. So now we are going to have to move everything out of there during the day and put it back in at night because we still have quite cold nights with a good layer of frost.

The horses have gone insane on the spring grass. Dino was so wound up the other day when I took him for a ride. He just wouldn't listen to me at all and even when I was lunging him he was all over the place. Marty had taken Brother back early which probably wasn't helpful but when I let Dino go they both galloped and bucked and reared and pig jumped for a good 15 mins around the paddock. It was quite amazing to watch (happy I was on the ground by that stage though!). Dino was better the next day though and was paying a bit more attention so I think he may just have been having an off day.

Brother is still losing fur at a rapid rate and looks a bit like a leopard now because his winter fur is dark bay and his new summer coat is lighter. And he's still very itchy because of it. Just giving him a stroke gets handfuls of it out.

The chickens are all now laying more regularly. Most days we are getting 3 decent sized eggs although they don't seem to last long! The chicks are enormous now and I think there may be 3 roosters in the mix which is slightly annoying. Not sure what we're going to do with them yet. I wouldn't mind keeping a rooster but Marty isn't so keen due to the early morning crowing. We'll wait til they are a little bit older though to make the decision. Two, at least, have just developed quite large tails and they all look a bit dishevelled with half adult feathers and half down. And they're almost too big to sit under Rita now. I went out this afternoon to give them some scraps and Rita had 4 of the 5 under her but one had it's head sticking out at the top of her wing. It looked so funny.

Marley is still cute as a button and growing fast and demanding food every few seconds. But she's on a strict feeding schedule to make sure she doesn't get bloat which could kill her. She's also teething and has a row of razor sharp teeth on the bottom and has just got some back teeth so she'll be eating grass in no time. She's been getting into everything, particularly the tulips and ash from the fireplace. And some small leaves that seem to be falling all over the deck. She hasn't actually managed to 'eat' any of it yet, she just mouths and sucks things all the time. We have to keep a close eye on her at all times! She's started bounding all over the place as well and does huge leaps off steps and the sofa. And hurtles around the house sideways doing little jumps and shaking her head. It's hilarious to watch.

Dinner is on it's way so I better go but here are a few more photos of our cheeky rascal. She is the epitome of spring really... especially with daffodils!

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