24 agosto 2009

16 agosto 2009

The mamma duck is still

The mamma duck is still sitting on the eggs as her full-time job, and comes out every morning to quack very loudly until I go out and feed her. No sign of any ducklings yet. I went to look at the nest this morning because Maria told me that if you hold an egg up to the light you can see if it has an embryo inside it and I wanted to try that. Unfortunately the guard-spiders were too much for me and I couldn't steel myself to get close enough to pick up an egg. So we'll just have to wait and see . . .

7 agosto 2009

We have bats

We have bats. We have three or four bats hanging sweetly in the room we're in the process of converting. One has a baby on its back (or possibly front). They hang as from invisible threads from the beams, and there are possibly some in the chimney as well. Not sure how they're going to like the room being turned into a studio. . .

The other night I'd just finished watching The Sopranos when I became aware of a very large moth in the room. Only it wasn't a moth. It was a bat. The front door was open because of the heat and it must have flown in that way. It swooped around a bit, and then flew out.

I hope it comes back. Bats are very nice.

5 agosto 2009

The duck mysteriously disappeared

The duck mysteriously disappeared overnight and we feared the worst. But it turns out she is broody! She's made a nest at the back of the haybarn and is sitting on six eggs. She staggers out once or twice a day for water and food, and then goes back to sit again. If you go close (which is scary because she has a lot of very large guard-spiders) she starts to get distressed and open her beak and pant, which is a sad spectacle so we leave her alone. Apparently duck eggs take about four weeks to hatch, so we'll see what happens. She's stopped laying now so the meantime we have no eggs ourselves, which is a bit annoying. The young ducks and the male have come to a sort of accommodation and co-exist in relative peace, although when the big duck comes back he rushes over to her and chases the others off.

The veg patch is acting strangely. We have a lot of tomatoes ripening now but not many new ones developing. Loads of cucumbers, which we are attempting to pickle. The courgettes have gone from glut to dearth in just this past week or so and the patty pan squashes aren't producing at all, whereas in previous years by now the sight of another patty pan was enough to make us almost lose the will to live. The green beans are thriving though, and the various lettuces. And it's time to rotovate a new bit and plant up for the autumn – leeks, broccoli, fennel, cabbage.

Still, before doing that I aim to spend at least one day at the lake. Haven't been up there yet this year and feel in need of some time doing nothing except reading, chatting and occasionally turning over so that I tan with perfect evenness.