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Well, the speckledy ones are quail eggs, if that gives you an idea of scale.

So I think top right is a bantam chicken, and the one below is a chicken chicken. Bottom left is a duck or goose and top left is maybe a swan or a big goose.

All the other ones? Who the hell knows. There wasn’t a key and there was no-one there to ask. This make weasel mad!

Have a good weekend!

June 2, 2023 — 6:45 pm
Comments: 4

Horse girls

These little girls were amazing. They were little, too – all twelve year olds. Doing some sort of pony relay race in teams of four. I’m sure the horsey among us will tell me what that’s called.

The course was a sort of figure 8. There were low jumps, and then a place where they had to slow their horses to a walk, then hell for leather down the last two jumps and pass the baton.

They were incredibly poised. The two youngest ponies acted up. One ran up to the jump and noped out a couple of times. One indulged a little bucking and rearing. Both girls got their mounts under control and finished the race.

Why is it always girls and horses? I wasn’t a horsey little girl, but I knew plenty. Why is it never little boys and horses?

I should say, our local team placed first and second.

May 31, 2023 — 7:12 pm
Comments: 9

Levitating ewe

After a winning performance in the ring, something about the harness around her muzzle irritated this ewe. She began to bounce in the air while her handler tried to calm her down. Uncle B managed to grab this shot of her at full pronk.

I know what you’re thinking: Weasel’s been to a country show and we’re going to get a whole week of cow and chicken pictures. Well you’re wrong, smarty – we got the livestock ring too late and missed the cows.

And, once again, there were no chickens thanks to avian flu regs. Bitterly disappointing, but otherwise an excellent agricultural show. We walked ourselves stupid.

The weather for the whole weekend was gorgeous. It’s a holiday Monday here, too, but dedicated to nothing in particular.

There are two bank holidays in May, on the first and last Mondays. I have no idea why. They’re called the Early May Bank Holiday and the Late May Bank Holiday. This year, though, we pushed the early on forward a week in celebration of Coronation Day.

I’m getting out of the habit of working.

May 29, 2023 — 6:58 pm
Comments: 9

It begins!

Tomorrow is the best country show of the year.

Okay, last year the poultry was under quarantine so the poultry tent just had pictures of chickens. That was pretty lame. Saw some lurvly sheep and cows, though.

It’s a long drive but it’s mostly country lanes. I have honestly never seen the mayflowers so abundant. And cow parsley and elderflowers, also white. It’s going to be a sunny day and a fantastic journey, like driving through tunnels in snow.

We’ll pack sammiches, because the food there is expensive and sometimes disappointing.

Have a good weekend, everyone! I better see me some fancy chooks tomorrow.

May 26, 2023 — 7:57 pm
Comments: 5

Flat cat

There she is, everyone – my one hen! In the absence of Spoon, this is the remains of my flock. This and three roosters. Don’t worry about her, though – she’s little and quick. She doesn’t have any unwanted chicken sex.

I’m late tonight because kitty isn’t himself and I’ve been trying to work out if he’s really ill. He was limping on his right back leg a couple of days ago, and now he’s just moving stiffly and subdued. I tried without much success to get some Metacam down his neck (kitty Ibuprofen – to my surprise, I had a bottle that was still in date).

If he’s still logy tomorrow, I’ll take him to the vet. Have to get a new cat carrier, though – the old one has been a chicken house since forever.

May 22, 2023 — 7:50 pm
Comments: 4

The white fluffy month

The farmer next door has for some reason herded his sheep from the big field behind us to the small field in front of us (they do this by driving Land Rovers at them and honking). This means lots of sheepy noises this evening.

For the record, sheep do not go baa. They go AHHHHHHHHHH! Which is pretty funny, to be honest.

May is my favorite, and not just because I indulge myself the whole month. All the various thorn trees explode into poofy white flowers (mayflowers, as it were) and the fields are full of poofy white sheep. It’s purdy.

In conclusion, AHHHHHHHHHH! Have a good weekend. The fête season starts tomorrow!

May 19, 2023 — 7:24 pm
Comments: 6

Bucket o’ chicken

My Mo, he glows like burnished copper in the sun.

There are few sights as heartwarming as chickens blissed out in a dirtbath. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work in pictures – they look deceased. Especially if their eyes are closed.

You’ll have to excuse me being so light on content this week. I’m sunlight starved. The moment there’s a patch of it, I go fling myself into it.

Which isn’t working out so great – there was a cold old North wind today.

April 20, 2023 — 6:37 pm
Comments: 4


This is a very rooky area. Rooks are intensely social birds and it’s not uncommon to see a big tree with eight or ten rooks nests, next to another, next to another.

We had a very lively rookery here when we first moved in. They were noisy (next door hated them) but we loved our rooks. And then they went away.

No idea why. Maybe because the tree is partly dead? Do they have an instinct not to nest in dead trees? No idea. (Behold a scholarly discussion of rook nests in stag-headed trees).

One by one the nests vanished. Stolen to make other nests in the neighborhood, I guess, or just blown away. Only this one remained.

Sorry for terrible picture. It’s a phone snap from a long way away.

I sat in the garden in the sunshine today – first of the season – and was astonished to see a rook in this nest. See that forked thing sticking up? That’s her tail. I had no idea until the male landed nearby to feed her and she shifted. She’d been sitting immobile for so long, I thought that was an old piece of wood or something.

I can’t tell you how odd it is to have a lone rook nest in a tree.

Rooks lay end of March, beginning of April. Incubation period is 18 days. Today is April 19. Ladies and germs, I reckon we have rooklets.

April 19, 2023 — 5:42 pm
Comments: 6

Sexy, sexy swans

This afternoon.There were three, actually, and they were flapping and chasing each other. I don’t know if that’s normal swan interaction or mate selection or what. Wikipedia says:

Swans famously mate for life, and typically bond even before they reach sexual maturity. Trumpeter swans, for example, who can live as long as 24 years and only start breeding at the age of 4–7, form monogamous pair bonds as early as 20 months. “Divorce”, though rare, does occur; one study of mute swans showing a 3% rate for pairs that breed successfully and 9% for pairs that do not.

So, swan divorce? Who knows.

It’s not unheard of to see a gathering of swans in a field. I once saw so many, I lost count at around thirty. Hit the link for a discussion of swan-upping. A sheep farmer told me the swans gather when it’s going to be unusually cold inland (coming to the coast for warmth), but wrong time of year.

Me, I hope we have more babies!

April 13, 2023 — 4:14 pm
Comments: 2

She’s done it again…I hope

Spoon wasn’t there at rollcall tonight. She’s done this before. Next morning, I find her pecking around the garden like nothing. Let us hope.

But it’s going to be a wild night. Wind and rain, a specialty of the house. I’ve been round and round the house, looking high and low – I’m good at spotting her silhouette – but I’ve got nothing to show but wet.

I hope she has a nice dry safe perch somewhere.

My favorite hen. I mean, look at that face and tell me it doesn’t cheer you right up. Yes, she has a face.

April 11, 2023 — 6:56 pm
Comments: 7