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Thursday, 20 June 2013

Harvest and foragers.  18-6-2013
The day started with another batch of fattening morsels from Venka. This time some chewy savoury ring doughnuts, freshly fried. I suppose you are supposed to dunk them in something (not sugar, as we did!)
The harvest season seems to be well under way. Fields are being cut for winter forage and barley, the wheat has turned gold and the sunflowers are opening.

The size of the sunflower fields had to be seen to be appreciated, acres and acres, all flowers pointing to the sun. There are many people working in the fields, along with the tractors and combined harvesters there are cars, pickups and horse/donkey and carts. There are plenty of other wild flowers too, and at the moment a striking blue daisy is making it's mark especially.
The hedgerows are a forager's paradise. At the moment there are black or white mulberries, small yellow or red plums to be had, and waiting in the wings, that we can see from driving past, pears, apples and walnuts coming along. There were cherries earlier too. We often come across people who have abandoned their car to go picking. Goodness knows what other goodies are there. Hazel nuts for one I expect. And there must be herbs too. There are often carts with horses attached standing waiting for herby hay to be collected from the verges.
It has been very hot the last few days, but thankfully, for Bonnie, still no storms. The chickens spend most of their time in their shady run, panting, with the occasional foray out to catch bugs before retreating again. Yesterday I heard one practising the 'I've laid an egg' song. They are a bit young for that still. We are still hoping that the clown, Silver, is a girl. It is a lot bigger than the others, and there are some things you need a large egg for. Though being the clown it is, they will probably be the smallest!
 Dave has had an interesting day. While he was out with the dogs this morning he saw a marten at the end of the road, lovely thing to see, but a sign to be vigilant in locking away the chooks at a good time and not letting them out too early. He has managed to take a photo of a golden oriole today too, as well as another grey song bird.
 Not sure what it is yet though. Meanwhile I managed a tiny lizard at the wood yard when we went to buy some timber supports for the grapes. I am a bit disappointed that we don't have lizards in the garden, but no doubt the chickens would make short work of them if we did.
I have been wearing a dress today, as it has been so hot, and sitting on the side of Dave's 'bath' with my legs in the cold water....bliss. I am so glad I didn't throw out all my tatty, cheap old holiday clothes out when we packed. I have also got the first of our own produce in the form of some stewed apricots in the freezer, and some drying in the sun.
We had a visit from some other Brits today. They came to tell us that we should have internet within a week. I do hope they're right. I have an awful lot of these diary pages to add photos to and post. It'll take ages. Also, our British neighbours are back from the UK tomorrow, so Venka will have more mouths to feed!

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