Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Tomorrow will be cooler.

Each time I look at the weather forecast it tells me that tomorrow will be cooler, I guess these things are relative, it is cooler than last week but not by much, for a week now rain has been predicted for tomorrow, well we did get one heavy shower today, just enough to dampen down the dust but not much more than that. Oh well, maybe tomorrow.
Things are now growing at a pace in the garden, it is very hard to keep up with it all,
             the main onions have now been harvested and are drying ready for plaiting,
                                   beans, peas and cauliflower keep on coming,
 it has been too hot for the spinach, we managed to get two pickings but it then bolted, I might sow some more if the weather does cool a bit.
 Tomatoes are now ripening and we have picked the first ones, they taste so different from anything that you can buy.
Ringlet Butterfly.
Due to the hot weather there are lots of different butterflies, we have seen small blues, unfortunately moving too fast to take a photo of, Red Admirals, Gate Keepers, Tortoiseshells and Meadow Browns are plentiful, we have also seen a Ringlet which I managed to get a photo of.
Cinnabar moth caterpillar.
 Cinnabar moths have made use of the Ragwort that we had left. This moth has been introduced to several countries including North America , Australia and New Zealand to control the spread of Ragwort, in many countries this is a reportable weed and very hard to control, but this moths caterpillar can strip the leaves of one plant within hours. Who needs herbicides? 
There also seems to be far more wild flowers this year, or at least they are more noticeable,
                                                  masses of Bog Asphodel,
Twayblade Orchid.

                             we have even found some Twayblade Orchids.
Wild Carrot flower.

Last night was not a good night, we had our first ever mink attack, the electric fencing had burnt through a filament on the fencing causing it to miss -function, how the mink knew it was not working heaven only knows, it managed to kill Madeline, one of our La Bresse  breeding hens, it damaged her mate, Pierre, and our four Indian Runner ducks, although they had been bitten quite badly they seem to be recovering. All we can do it keep an eye on them and keep them as quiet as possible, they have made it to this evening and seem to be eating a little so hopefully they will make it. We have borrowed a mink trap from a friend and baited it with tinned sardines which we are told is one of the best things to use, so hopefully we will trap the blighter and dispose of it before it can do more harm.
We have had a couple of good hatches this week, seven Indian Runner ducklings from our incubator and five more, hatched under a broody hen which belongs to a friend of ours, they are all so cute,
with several of them having a punk hairstyle, where that came from we do not know.
 They are so fluffy and cute. We keep Indian Runners for their slug eating abilities, they are lighter than many other ducks so do very little damage to plants in the garden and our little flock has reduced the numbers of slugs considerably.
Whilst driving to a friends house we came across this wonderful tree hosting Bracket Fungus, to me fungi like this are natures sculptures, far more beautiful than anything that man can make.
Finally, yet another picture of Sparky, who is becoming a beautiful and very purrey boy.

1 comment:

  1. Sorry to hear about the Mink. We had them in Arigna ...devestation...all 22 creatures dead. It was too much for us...we never kept fowl since...that was about 8 years ago now. We dabbled with the idea of getting fowl when we moved to our present place but the forest is full of foxes so we quickly gave up on that idea.