Thursday, February 23, 2006

A truly cold, wild, wet and windy day here today.

Eggs - Total to date: 247 - Day 110

KoKKo 82 (86grms) 29.11.2005 Personal best
Adelaide 82 (77grms) 13.02.2006 Personal best
Ginger 83 (78grms) 22.2.2006 Personal best style="font-weight:bold;">

It has been rather a wild day weather wise – but the girls didn’t seem to mind as there were three warm eggs in the nest at 8am. They came out of their run in a gush as usual, but as I hadn’t taken any extras, just their usual food, they were not in a hurry to eat it – preferring to run up and down flapping their wings in the wind, and totally relishing the heavy rain! They really did seem to be full of the joys of Spring – but it was freezing cold and dreadful.

I left them to it as I had to get ready as friends of mine were coming to collect my rotorvators, lawn mowers, and strimmer to give them their winter service.

By the time they came it was hammering down with rain, and I was in the garage making up something warm and tasty for the girls. Sheila, my friend, came out to look at them and watch me feed them, and she was tickled pink to see their orange ‘peanut’ shaped feeders. The girls showed off a bit, and made sure to get her looking into their run and home, then they came out and showed her how they chase each other around the big pen, and lastly under the shelter which is their dust bath – and finished off with a happy chatty dance at the gate when we walked away. Such charmers.

We loaded up Ric’s trailer with the stuff we had here, then it was up to the allotment to collect the rest. What a day to go up there. Like a raging storm but without the thunder and lightening!

The tracks were puddled mud. I got the job of opening and closing all the gates of course – (I know my place) – and slid and slithered up was used to be recognised as the grassy track, but is now a muddy track.

Les’s first allotment right inside the gate, had been ploughed and was positively glistening like black rivers of coal in the torrential rain. I got my camera out, but it was raining too hard to take any photos.

Old Geoff has scrounged one of those tall and long plastic green houses from somewhere and it was all assembled and already full of junk! Probably came with it I should imagine.

Mike with the allotment next to mine, has got a very posh compost bin – complete with finials! I reckon that his wife Pat who is a carpenter made that. I will take a photo when it is not raining! It doesn’t look very smart though. I am beginning to get an inferiority complex with my corrugated iron ones. (Joke) Still they do the same job whatever they look like. He might need one a tad bit bigger though for an allotment the size of ours. His is the size of a small pallet I reckon. Very nice though.

I got out my machines, but let Pat and Ric to load them on the trailer as I headed off down the end of lottie to talk to Sheila. She is like me about gardening, and it was Ric who rotorvated some of it last spring with his big beastie one.

She was very impressed with all the work that I had done and the grass paths and the bottom meadow. The only bit of weeding is around one small bit of the autumn fruiting raspberries – and that won’t take me more than a day to do. I have a lot of muck to spread though. She really laughed out loud at all my muck bins and compost bins.

Whilst down the bottom I noticed that rabbits had been getting into that area again and started eating the roots of some of the strawberry plants. Pesky animals.

I don’t know where they are getting in – it is just since last Wednesday when I was up there planting the chrysanthemums. They must be jumping the fence! Unless it is pheasants scraping at the roots.

When I looked at the chrysanthemums rabbits had eaten all the green shoots off them. I didn’t put them in an enclosed area, as I didn’t think that rabbits would be interested in bits of stick with a few green shoots. So all that work I did in the sleet and snow and rain was in vain.

Sheila and Ric left and Pat agreed to wait (he sat in the car) whilst I took emergency measures until I can get up there on a dry day.

I took the cloches off the broad beans, and made up bird scarers of cd’s hanging from canes, and placed them intermittently across the two rows of broad beans – I really hope and pray that it does the trick as I will be so disappointed if all my hard work is lost to the pheasants.

I then used half a dozen cloches to cover up some of the strawberry plants; I did not have enough for all the rows. Then I used the remainder cloches to cover up most of the chrysanthemums. The rabbits can get inside them if they have a mind too, but I hope that they don’t – I have put them in different ways to try and confuse them – so that they are not tunnel like.

Literally soaking through to the skin, I got the job of opening and closing the gates one more time, and was rewarded at the last gate when Pat drove quickly through a muddy puddle and covered me in yet more water. – ‘It was an accident’ he said, as usual – he does make me laugh. To add insult to injury I had to take off my sopping we coat before I got into the car and turn it inside out to stop it making the car seats wet. I drew the line at taking of my waterproof trousers!

Once home I soon thawed out to cook lunch – yes our usual Thursday treat of eggs from the girls and wedges from our rapidly diminishing potato crop. (I must remember not to be quite so generous next year sharing them out to all and sundry. We never would have believed that we would get though some many amongst ourselves and family). We had some bacon too – not used at the weekend, so the girls were particularly pleased to see me a short while ago with their ‘supper’ of a Yorkshire pudding and fat off the bacon.

Now I am sitting here suitably tired, and catching up with all my emails.

I wonder what tomorrow has in store. Pat wants to go to the city (Norwich) for the day as there are things we need that we can’t get locally. I told him that as long as he gets up early and we can leave by 9am I will go. Otherwise it is so packed later.

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