A few months ago, one of the terriers (who in order to protect the innocent I will call Jack!) found a pheasant sitting on her eggs beside the burn. Unfortunately he chased off the hen and destroyed some of her nest and eggs. I waited an hour to see if the pheasant would return then brought the remaining eggs back to the cottage and put then in the incubator with some Dorking eggs we were hatching. In the fullness of time, the Dorkings hatched along with a day later, two pheasant chicks. After they were all fully feathered they all went out into the ark for a week to get used to all the other poultry before being allowed to run free in the orchard. I fully expected the two pheasants to disappear into the wild at the first opportunity but a month later they are still happily trotting around the orchard and garden with their “siblings” the Dorkings!
As I was going out last night to lock up the poultry for the night, I glanced out of the window and the sun was setting to the west of the village. The dying sunlight cast across the heavy cloud over Townfoot. It was worth having to scratch around the poultry run in the dark, after waiting to take a few pictures.
It was Lauren’s birthday a few weeks ago while she was on fifth year work placements from Vet School.
As she is home for a week before heading off to New Zealand on a three week placement, we had a little family get together at the cottage. Myself, Hilary, Lauren, Jonny and Rachel, Helen and Hugh; the five Dorking and two pheasant chicks (more another day!) wisely opted to stay in the garden as Lauren has a fear of hens? Just remember that one next time you go to your local Veterinary Surgeon….!! As it was the first time we had seen Lauren since her birthday we baked a cake which Helen, in her own inimitable style, decorated. A pastoral depiction of green fields and a wealth of animals, which Lauren thought was hilarious!
I have to confess that I ate the duck, couldn’t help myself…….
A lovely bright morning at the cottage this morning, the apple blossom in the orchard is glorious….
I popped out of the cottage to collect the eggs and found two of the ducks enjoying a spot of sunshine on the roof. Not seen them up there before….
Say no more…….
After several days of rain and sleet, yesterday the weather was warm and sunny and Hilary and I were able to get out and transplant more daffodils and snowdrops from the front garden at the cottage to the new orchard above the burn. Part of the front garden is about to disappear under the new driveway the planners say we need before work begins on the alterations and extension to the cottage.
Hilary had advice from her little band of helpers…..
So far we have managed to plant about two thirds of the new fruit trees and hopefully the rest, mainly “Heritage” varieties will arrive from Scottish Heritage Fruit Trees in the next few days.
Apart from the constant chatter of the wild birds and the ducks laying again, Spring is also heralded by wild flowers starting to bloom.
It could be a good year……. Anyone want a pound of apples?!!