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<< September 2021 October 2021 November 2021 >>

1st: Goats 2nd: The Land 3rd: The Land 4th: Fruit and Veg/ Garden 5th: Fruit and Veg 6th: Sheep 7th: Poultry 8th: Rhea 9th: The Land 10th: The Land 11th: The Land
12th: The Land 13th: Dogs 14th: Poultry 15th: Wildlife 16th: The Land 17th: Rugs and Fibre 18th: Poultry 19th: The Land
1st: They're Back!!
These are the faces of three goats who have spent the last 60 hours in our hedgerow (our 'fenced' hedgerow) and are now trying to tell us that although they got in, they now have no idea how to get out!! BUT if we could hurry up and work it out for them, they would be truly grateful, as two nights under the brambles, in the rain, wasn't quite all they thought it was going to be!!!! And although today has been sunny and tonight is set to be dry, they are actually rather missing their shelter now, and their hay, and their coarse goat mix.... and they have even missed the sheep and alpacas a bit too!!! Little monkeys and then some (and yes, we did get them out..)!
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2nd: Wet!
Another very wet day which gave us the stunning views of the first photo and the seriously annoying sight of the second. The Glockings (2 geese and 4 ducks) were sold three weeks ago but their collection has been delayed, initially due to time being needed to prepare a house and paddock for them and then, more recently, by the fuel crisis!!! We really do need them gone before they damage the land much more!!!!
And then there is the third photo: these are Tromboncinos: a type of squash and not, as Jack believed, yellow courgettes, although, they can be cooked like them. Lynda and Andrew have grown these on the allotment and we are going to add some to a vegetable soup we are making!!!
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3rd: Shelter Softies
We are definitely 'shelter softies' - opening up the shelters for the sheep and alpacas to escape to when they don't like the weather. It gives us extra work in mucking out and costs us more in straw but, in our minds, a mere hedge won't always do. The animals do now of course expect such luxury and will head for the shelters when rain starts to fall.... thereby convincing us that the hedges really won't do: a classic case of being totally and utterly spoilt.
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4th: A garden of plenty
The apple tree in the Four-Fruit tree area has given us more apples than all ten trees in the Green Lane. It is down to the weird spring we believe, when early flowering fruit trees weren't then all pollinated due to a lack of bees because of the cold. Still, we have a good couple of hundred and so plan to eat the best ones and then cook up and freeze the rest!!
The bottom pic is of Jack's gardening companion, who has appeared the last two times she has gardened. S/he is a young robin who comes within touching distance and touch wood, is managing to keep away from the kittens, who also like to be around as we attempt to reclaim our gravel paths from a tenacious variety of weeds.
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5th: Soup!!
An hour after this photo was taken, we had our first soup of the year bubbling away, and aside from a couple of onions (we didn't get a great crop this year) and the carrots (for some reason we didn't plant any), all made from produce grown on our own land.
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6th: Just chilling
Bressay - and Chalk in the background!! The sheep are an utter joy at the moment, the lambs and shearlings are all little 'tubs' and the ewes, on the whole, have regained most of their pre-lambing condition! It will be lovely taking them all through the winter knowing that all we need to do is keep them fit and healthy and not have to worry about pregnant stock, randy wethers and extra feeding!!
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7th: Winter Proofing:
We laid a few more slabs and grass mats today in preparation for the inevitable mud.. we do now have quite a large 'dry' area for the birds to the front and side of their stables. As most of the water from our land and Dennis' beyond, ends up flowing into the poultry paddock, it is pretty essential that the birds can avoid the grass!! Of course, if we have another poultry lockdown, this may all be academic!!!
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8th: Another loss
For some unknown reason, we have lost another rhea. Over a mere 48 hours, the 2-month old grey became weak, lost weight and simply faded away. We really thought we were over the worst now with illness and losses but it seems not! It has been another very tough year trying to raise these birds!!
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9th: Perfect Autumn
After a pretty damp and windy start to the month, the weather has since been getting better and better: warm, sunny, stunning sunsets and still we have oodles of grass!! We will never, ever tire of this view, any time of day, any time of year!!
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10th: Perfect morning
The day couldn't really start any better than this: a fabulous view as we open up the stables first thing to let out the birds!! We certainly get a lot of sky for our money here in North Devon!!
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11th: Fresh grass
Yesterday we moved all the sheep and alpacas from Goat to Oak Field where there is far more grass than we ever remember having at this time of year. We very much hope the stock can stay here for a good two to three weeks. It will depend on the weather as this is our wettest field and if the weather turns, it will be the most likely to turn to mud!!! For now though, with blue sky the dominant feature, all is well and this lot should be more than happy for a while!!
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12th: Hedge Trimming
Andrew cut our road hedges today, both sides - we haven't cut them quite so low before and it is amazing what a difference it has made. We can now see over into Denis' land and beyond. The allotment is also much, much lighter. We have some tidying up to do the other side, in the Gathering Area as Andrew's machine wasn't quite up to the job of taking out some of the thicker, taller branches. That side hasn't been properly cut back since we moved so tis no wonder! We feel an appointment with the chainsaw is on the cards for the weekend!!
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13th: Pigeon Watching
We haven't seen the squirrels for a while so we are now back to pigeon-watching. It keeps Roxy in particular gainfully employed for hours. Sparrowfly's attention span isn't quite so impressive. Neither of them will ever catch one mind you!!! (a fact about which we are quite relieved).
Meanwhile, the second shot is an artistic picture of the sun streaming through our garden this evening - whilst Sparrow puts on a display of her most elegant sit!!!
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14th: Bantams
Our seven bantams are all a real hoot. They waddle around in their slippers, avoiding their larger cousins and trying to keep their bums clean. These two, along with their husband, sleep on top of a bale of straw at night, but during the day can often be found on the top perch, safe in the knowledge no one will try to oust them (which they certainly would if it was the evening). It is a delight to have them!!
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15th: Female Bullfinch
We spend a delightful time this afternoon watching this female bullfinch thoroughly enjoying gorging on the honeysuckle berries on the decking. Every year we see a pair of this stunning birds coming to feast. We have also seen a Blackcap having his/her fill too.
This photo was taken on a full zoom AND through glass - it is a wonder it is as clear as it is but we are rather pleased with it considering!!!.
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16th: A long awaited 'tick'
For the last three, maybe four years, there has been an innocuous item on the 'to do' list named: 'Sort slabs'. It was under the sub-heading 'to do some time' as it was one of those jobs that was not urgent or essential but would be great when done. Said slabs were basically wonky so hard to sweep and some has sunk such that the water collected on top of them rather than running over. In the summer, it didn't matter; in the winter it was annoying, and a little messy as the collecting water was of course carrying mud!!
We didn't have in our minds to do them today, but we had a spare half hour as we waited for our hay to arrive and so the moment was seized. It took a lot longer than half an hour but just as dusk was settling, the job was finished! We are mega mega chuffed!!! And now we almost want some heavy rain just to test them out!!!
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17th: Our first sale
Major excitements: today we sold our first rug! We have five for sale and had spent the day photographing them and setting up a dedicated page on the website, before then sending a message to a friend who had expressed an interest in buying one a few months ago. Incredibly, within a few hours we had our first sale! Cue happy dancing - and then mild panic that when the rug is actually received, our friends like the real thing!!!
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18th: Treats
Past-their-best marrows and courgettes always go down well with the poultry - a few hours after these photos were taken, there were just a few bits of skin lying around!!
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19th: Autumn
Autumn appears to have arrived!!!!
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