Friday, 27 March 2009


Well little Frank has been back and forth lately. He went missing for almost 2 weeks and I was fearing the worst, the mealworms were down to the last few and I wasn't going to get anymore, then suddenly on Tuesday morning, he appeared at the kitchen window, and devoured the lot, good timing as I was about to go to the pet shop that day when I could buy some more.

Anyway, he's been around every day since and twice today. Was at the living room first thing, and then when I went up to do my aviary about 10.30 he was there too, so I had to traipse back indoors in my wellies to get the worms, so took the camera too, and he posed nicely for me.

However, had an awful shock, I can't be sure but just after I'd given him his 5th worm, my cockatiels all went barmy and screaming, and this bird flashed past my face between me and Frank, and shot up behind the aviary. It was all so fast I didn't get to see, but I think it was a Sparrowhawk, and I can't be 100% sure it didn't get Frank! I am now worried to death. I don't think it did, and not even sure it was a hawk, because all the other birds didn't appear to be phased by it, the Chaffs were still in the tree nearby and Goldfinches on the feeder at the back, everything normally disappears for ages after a hawk has been about.

Just hoping upon hope now that he's ok. Will update as soon as I have any news.

Now better get on and do something I suppose. Sigh.

Back to normal

Well my three week stint at the farm has finished and as usual, now feeling down in the dumps. I can only dream that one day my life will be to have my own smallholding with a few sheep, chickens, goats and maybe a donkey and Shetland pony to care for (not forgetting a dog of course, maybe even a couple of cats.....!!)

As much as I loved the walking exercise with the dogs including Emma, my best times and the most fun were with the sheep, particularly Daisy, the little one I helped to raise with the bottle feeding last year. She is so dear and affectionate, and I confess I was spoiling her rotten by saving her some of the sheep feed in the bucket so she didn't get squashed at the troughs in the mad scramble with the other 21. She became attached to my leg most of the time I spent in the field and barn, and tried desperately to follow me out of the gate most days. I used to tickle her ears and hug her, and she gave me a few kisses on the nose. Awwww.

Anyhow a couple of pics from my last day up there yesterday. Will be popping up later this afternoon to see Kate, they got back safe last night, but I won't be interacting with the sheep of course, and with summer coming along and they don't need the feed, just eat grass, well I guess I wouldn't be seeing so much of her anyway.

I wouldn't want the commitment of doing it as a permanent job, twice daily, but I would be happy to do three or four mornings a week, but it would be awkward for Kate I think, not sure whether to suggest it or not. I just need a reason to get up and do stuff, otherwise I just sit around here in the morning waiting for lunchtime, nothing to do apart from housework which doesn't interest me in the slightest. Doing my own birds etc only takes about half an hour. If Alan lived a bit nearer it would be ok but 35 min drive down and I can't stay there all day and evening that often in the week, completely impractical and unfair to my pets. I am seriously wondering if I should look for a little part time job. I mentioned it to him though and he wasn't very happy, thought that I would be spending more time with him and helping with his garden once the farm was over. Oh gawd. Can't win.


My Daisy

Cats in the cradle, well hayrack...

Monday, 23 March 2009

Busy at the farm

At last have a few minutes to spare to do an update. Have been looking after my friend's farm for just over two weeks now, and trying to fit in all the normal life things that I always do, and am afraid the internet and blogging etc has had to take a back seat. The weather has been fabulous so that's meant every available second has been spent outdoors, making the most of it. Alan has been here a lot of the time too so not fair on him for me to be online all the time like I would normally when I'm stuck here on my own. As it is, I still found a bit of time each day to do my online quizzes, to which I am well and truly hooked!

Everything has been going okay at the farm apart from a shock the second day. Went up to find one of the ewes had produced twins! Well nothing unusual in that I suppose, but for the fact that the young last year's rams (Frank and BeBop) were castrated last year. Apparently it's not always 100% successful, and they needed to be rechecked in October, but this wasn't done. So mass panic set in, as I wasn't sure whether the mum could feed them, how many more were due to drop etc. Phone calls back and forth and a chap came up and checked and said that at least 6 of the ewes were in lamb. Oh gawd!

Anyway, long story short, another chap who has been doing some work up there for my friends came and took the ewe, her two lambs, and two other ewes who were about to drop in the very near future, away to his farm after the first week, and I let out a big sigh of relief!

The Red Kites are building their nest in the tree in the lane same place as last year, the nest that blew down and left a chick for Kate to rescue. Seems they haven't learned their lesson sadly, just have to hope it doesn't happen again this year.

One of my hedgehogs from last year is back, been around for over two weeks, due to the mild weather I guess. Been feeding him in the front porch, but he hasn't shown up early on the webcam now for ages, never been before I go to bed.

Today I had my record number of Goldfinches at one time on the feeders outside the living room window - 10 of them. Fabulous sight. Also have 6 Siskins coming regularly.

Apart from that, everything else in life going well, relationship-wise, and Emma- wise, so not really much else to say, so I won't!

Just a few photos I've taken up there over the past fortnight then.

The Place of the Skull lol

Thursday, 5 March 2009

Sunday - National Botanical Gardens

Well finally gotten round to posting some of the photos I took on Sunday at the above. Had a nice day out, a repeat of last March 1st of course except I wasn't alone this year. Still didn't feel all that well though like last year, and still haven't done since either. Just can't seem to get warm, or at least I am either too hot and sweating or shivering with cold. It's like I have a cold that won't come out. Been a bit achy too. And now I have to brace myself and get motivated because as of tomorrow evening I have the farm to do for the next three weeks. Not at all enthusiastic about it really this time, but I always say that then when I start doing it, soon get into the routine. Not sure if I will be staying up there this time, doesn't seem worth the hassle really, feel more comfortable here, Kate doesn't mind either way.

Other news, Emma is doing well. First photo here was taken in Alan's garden one day last week. She had one morning with a bit of runny poo but otherwise no problems at all, and is still very lively.

Was getting worried about Little Frank. Hadn't seen him since last Friday morning, but then I was away for the weekend, and thought maybe he'd been round and had no luck so had given up, but he came today twice, much to my relief. I had a horrible shock yesterday when I came in at teatime to find a huge area of the grass by the bird table covered in feathers and a leg, claw and a bit of intestines. I could see it wasn't a Sparrow, too big, looks like a poor female Blackbird has been killed, I had a feeling there was a hawk around again, the feeders aren't getting emptied very fast just lately.

Weather turned back to winter after a lovely February, had snow yesterday morning, hailstones and minus 5c overnight. Previously two days of rain, so back to squelching around in wellies after a lovely dry few weeks. Roll on May. Unless it's like last year's of course, then forget it.