|Some sort of thistle|
|Orchids, about two feet tall|
|Smart little moth|
We have not been able to get near the river where we usually go to watch kingfishers, but we had a wander round the lakes near the next village and found a small colony of bee eaters and a distant pair of grebe which refused to dance for us, so presumably they are getting on with making a home. The day was made when a booted eagle put on a display, just about in range of Dave's camera. lovely.
|Red backed shrike|
|A pair of crested grebe|
The young chickens have gone to a lovely new home. They have moved up to a very small mountain village with the most breathtaking views. Not that they will bother! We spent a lovely day chatting with their new owner, meeting her dogs, cats, chickens, donkeys and horse. We looked around her two houses, both lovely but the one she is living in is stunning, with a huge chunky oak balcony which is perfect for taking in the views. It seems she has amazing sightings of wildlife, especially in winter when the surrounding forest drops it's leaves. This is the sort of place we were looking at when we first started ogling the properties for sale on the internet, before sense kicked in and we admitted that a village property lower down was much more sensible should Dave need to go back to the UK for any reason and leave me on my own, and also so that it is possible to get out of the village in an emergency in winter. We do not, for one minute, regret our decision. And now we have an invitation to go and stay whenever we want to, which is wonderful, but we couldn't take the dogs so will not be taking the offer up. But it is less than an hour away. Not only did she buy our chicks, but she also bought some cards and gave us cheddar cheese and walnuts to take away. What a lovely day, and we also gained some valuable information about living here from someone who has been here years.
Back home things are marching on. The potatoes are flowering, good news as we want them to flower before we are attacked by the dreaded Colorado beetle. We have strawberries ripening, though they are not the large ones we are used to. There are roses breaking bud, but they have a greenfly problem. Out and about there are huge bushes of early yellow roses everywhere. Our yukka has got two flower spikes, the ants will love them. We are managing to get something a bit different from the garden, the herbs are going mad, we have had pea shoots to go in our salad, Yum! We had some small beets and there are some carrots not far off. The courgettes will be edible soon, so we will not need to buy any more. We have had our first pick of young spinach, a lovely change from chard.
|Rose bud with welcome friend|
|A little goldfinch singing in the garden|
|And a muddy courgette|
|Our first pick of baby spinach|
The goslings are growing at a heck of a rate. they follow Dave or Bella everywhere given the chance, but as they are getting bigger the 'lawn' is only available when we can supervise as they are tasting everything, including the flower plants we have nurtured from seed. Dave is taking them out on to the lane regularly to graze until they are big enough thet they can't squeeze through the fence at the end of the garden where the shumens are.
|We wanna be togevver......|
The chicks are all going out now. The last of the hatchings from this year means there are six to go out into the nursery. Cagney is getting more and more anxious as her little ones try to be more independent, going through the chicken fence to the peas and beans....much to the disgust of the ex-batts who are desperate to get out there. I hope they don't realise they can fly!
|The egg on the right is large...the other...ouchy!|
We had a night round at Jordan and Veka's the other day, it was St George's day, an important day in the life of farmers and smallholders in Bulgaria. Our British neighbours were also invited. It was a lovely evening but came on the same day that we had been out, and I had been up since 4.30 so I was a tad tired by the time we got to bed! Venka showed us some of their wedding photographs, and also a photo of a very young and handsome Jordan, at nineteen, making him 73 years old. We took them some of our fudge, vanilla and chocolate, which went down a storm with the sweet toothed Bulgarians.
|One of Venka's famous frothy coffees, far too sweet for me|
Next week we should be getting our bees. The hive was delivered a couple of weeks ago, it is in a fetching (!) shade of lilac. Our builder came round to interperate for us, but will not be around when the bees arrive which will be interesting as the beekeeper does not speak any English. Dave is doing lots of reading while he watches the goslings, and watching YouTube too.
And because we needed to use eggs (honestly!) a lovely lemon surprise pudding. Yum!
And finally, a picture of the feed merchant's dog with her blue ear tag to show she has been spayed.