Friday, 31 December 2010

A single Swallow doesn't make a summer

Trev, Cal and I watched a young swallow playing with a white feather. It flies up with it, drops it and then swoops to catch it before it hits the ground. Over and over again. A great game and just a wonderful symbol of the joy of summer.

Not sure if it's from the same nest, but we have four wee swallows in a nest outside the bathroom window, if you crane your neck you can watch them coming and going. We've been watching them since they were eggs, great to watch their wee beaks open for food, and then to see them fly.

The three of us were standing together on a hilly knoll having one of those 'Lords of all we survey' moments when a pair of swallows decided we were too close to their nests and swooped us making clicking noises to scare us off. If you closed your eyes you could feel the wind from their wings as they brushed past.

To offset the wonderfulness of birds we have a blackbird who got under the netting and ate every last cherry off one of the trees and has now demolished the majority of the raspberries, or any worth eating. Plans to evict him are in progress.

But one of the loveliest things I saw this summer so far is just below. This was taken after the three of us did a marathon session with shovels making ditches around three 20 metre rows of raspberry plants. I looked back and saw these three, Pappa Bear, Mumma bear and baby bear shovels, planted in a row. Kodak moments like these make the blisters worth it.

...only that was months ago and I never did get back to take that Kodak moment picutre. Hence this has remained in drafts till I rediscovered it. Summer over, the swallows long gone.

Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Peg (who's not silly) and the bearded Tilly

Months ago now we bought two Saanan goats, Peg and Tilly. Peg quickly taught us just how smart a goat can get. She can take the lid of anything, and when Trev built a goat palace extension with a gate and a 'helicopter' latch, she showed us how quick she could work that out too. While Peg is a character we both fell for Tilly. Tilly is the smoochiest goat I've ever met. She's very gentle, nuzzles up to you, tenderly gives your ear a nibble, rubs her head up against yours, kisses you and loves her affection returned.

Bella got the 'ump' for a week or so and either ignored the new two or took a half-hearted swipe at them if she could. They've settled down now, though Bella still remains aloof. Between them we get around 4 litres of milk a day.

Peg and Tilly haven't been in kid for years now, and we've been warned they give around 10 litres each when first freshened. An amount that makes my hands ache just thinking about. But will try to have them in kid a year out of sync.