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Saturday, 7 September 2013

Clearing up

As mentioned before, Dave has started to clear the garden ready for the next stage....taking back ownership! Because the spent plants dry so quickly, the best way to get rid of them is to burn them. As I was getting a meal ready Dave went out 'just for a few minutes' to burn one of the piles. Well, that was the idea, but he hadn't counted on Venka's eagle eyes. I had just put the taters on and looked out to see Venka and Jordan and a huge plume of smoke (heading towards their buildings!) They had brought out some bales of old lucerne and some rather nice looking straw from the building across the plot which needs emptying of their stuff and set to for the evening. Lucky I hadn't put the toad in the hole in the oven. It has been established that Angel, the son-in-law will plough the ground for us, but we want to get as many of the annual weeds up first, before they set seed.

Poor Bunty is not too well. She is eating and drinking OK, is as active as always, laying, but wheezing and coughing. No runny nose or anything, just noisy. So she is in isolation and we went down to the vet and spent the huge sum of a quid for antibiotics for the water for them all. Didn't think there would be any problem with them refusing it, with it being so hot, but I was wrong, they are only drinking the bare minimum. At least Bunty is drinking. So no eggs for a while. After Googling the antibiotics it seems we can't eat the eggs for between four days and two weeks after treatment, depending on where you look, and treatment can be between three days and ten days. Confusing!

Dave has had company while digging. The dogs are enjoying the cooler weather and sitting with him instead of hiding inside.

And also a new bird, acting like a robin following him about, but keeping in the shade. It's a female redstart, I wouldn't have noticed it as it's just a little brown jobby, but nice to have about.

While Venka was over the other day I took her to see the chicks. She handles things with such gentleness and reverence, whether it is a chick or a plant, and held it against her face, so sweet. You have a feeling that such hard workers who live so much on the land will be a bit hardened to things, but not so. She had to go past my poor sad looking beans, so I had to show her where the ants have been farming aphids on them and tunnelling under the plants. She says nothing has ever grown well there, but it will be better next year when we will be planting them where the toms are. We are going to make that area into a chicken run. Later on, after the fire, she came across in the dark to give us some bottled beans to make up for our failed ones, bless her. We now have almost a whole metal shelf full of stuff she has given us, including some bottles of brightly coloured veg and peppers.

The swallows and martins seem to have gone now, with the exception of a few stragglers. There has been a lot of noise from the bee-eaters who have been joining into large flocks and flying over like small clouds. Some of the trees are dropping occasional leaves and the walnuts are looking a bit paler as if they are getting ready to drop. We have had quite a drop already, but they have had black patches on them, and when Dave opened a couple they had grubs inside. The wasps are abating slightly and we can actually sit outside without roasting or being eaten alive by insects. It seems Autumn is just around the corner, despite the temperatures still hitting the high 20s


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