Sunday 7th August 2016

Smallholding Wildlife
The abundance of wildlife we have already seen/heard is another reason why we are thrilled with our move to Cadbury Cottage. One of the joys and privileges of owning land is knowing that as well as the ‘domesticated’ livestock, the smallholding will also be home to a host of other animals who, for better or worse, all share the same space.
Relaxed At Home
This Southern Hawker Dragonfly was laying her eggs in the moss at the side of the pond this morning and was very happy for us to watch. We didn’t keep count as to how many times she dipped her abdomen into the vegetation (depositing one egg each time) but over their short lifetimes (just a few weeks/a couple of months), dragonflies can lay hundreds. When the eggs hatch, the ‘nymphs’ head for the water and then spend up to two years growing and moulting before eventually crawling up a stem or stalk and ‘emerging’ as a winged dragonfly. A remarkable life cycle.
In addition to this beauty, we have also spotted numerous Red Admiral butterflies (usually feeding on our many buddleia) as well as Siskins, Blue and Great tits, Robins and Wrens. Every night after dusk we see at least one or two toads hopping along our paths and borders and three nights ago we heard our first Tawny Owl, hooting away in the tree just outside our bedroom window. Buzzards are a common site above the fields, as are various bats above the garden at night. Apparently we have these living in our attic (although we have yet to investigate). AND on our very first evening here we saw two hares running around our 4-acre field although we have not seen them since. We do wonder whether the smell of our dogs has scared them off...