Saturday, 4 October 2014


I keep thinking autumn is here and then it gets really hot and sultry again. I'm hoping this will bring out the autumn colours as the leaves are just starting to turn. There is wet weather forecast for next week though so I'm trying to get a few bits done while it's dry and solid underfoot.

The bees are loving the ivy and continued flowering of the Himalayan balsam (it'll get zapped by the first frost and vanish) so for once I am fairly confident about their prospects over winter. It was so mild last year that they didn't really quieten down so got through a lot of stored honey but they are full to bursting with the long dry summer we've had.

I've bought a new extension run for my hens which is fox proof and gives them more height to perch, preen and flap their wings. It's more open too so I can see them more easily through the kitchen window.

Jason, Pippa, Amelia, Peggy
Daisy and Maud
There are 6 chickens in here - 3 bantams and 3 hybrids and I'll get some more polycarbonate sheeting for the roof and also the sides to protect them from the weather. There's a local supplier of hardwood chips which I will be able to put on the floor of the run as this drains well and will stop the hens getting too mucky and wet. They've all just been wormed and the houses have been treated for red mite so they are ready for the winter now.

They are ploughing the field behind my house which is making dog walking a bit of a chore as it's hard work up the field over the clay. I feel obliged to stamp out a trail along the designated footpath though as otherwise everyone wanders around the headland and I get other people's dogs in the garden, or my dog does his usual defensive-aggressive teeth-gnashing thing at passers by which is all rather embarrassing. The seagulls were doing a fantastic synchronised dance in front of the tractor as it went up the field, but they do make a real racket!

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