In the flower garden we have a continuation of a new flush of blooms, the dahlias have been great, especially the larger ones and the cannas, very late, are looking like they might get a flower in before it's time to retire for the year.
|Cute little spider on the grapes|
Out and about there are signs that autumn is not far away. The storks have left and there have been reports of huge flocks flying over. The bee-eaters are getting noisier as they gather to do the same, and the golden orioles, of which there seem to have been a lot fewer this year, have quietened their song so that you don't notice when they disappear.
Along the roads the trees are ripening their seed pods and some are even changing colour. There are apples and pears dropping and soon there will be walnuts too. The last of the summer crops, maize and sunflowers are being harvested and soon everywhere will be ploughed and sown with over wintering rape and grain.
But it is still 40C today
It's been all change in the paddock lately. First of all we lost our beautiful cockerel Sevi. We are not sure why, he was bright enough, eating but looked sad. He had a bad moult and was growing new feathers so we think that maybe the heat got to him. It is so quiet out there.
|Our Sevi when the goats arrived|
But it's not just due to the lack of crowing...Ducky has also gone to his new home with two girls. Peace in the duck family at last. Ducky had just taken over in charge and was battling to know whether to continue to sleep with Mum in the hen house (where he was harassing the youngsters) or take up residence with the older ducks. The decision has been made for him and the original drake is having a well deserved rest with just two girls while Ducky settles in with his two and some geese, chickens and pigs...and very large dogs!
So the three amigos' tail feathers can re-grow and I am confident that two, at least, are boys, they are sparring a lot. One is the one who has no tail, not sure why, and the other the white one. How did we get a white chick from a blue/black cockerel and a brown ex-batt?
The other happening in the pen is that Milly is going down to one milking. Her milk has dropped down a bit lately so we have decided it's a good time to wean her on to one milking, making it easier for Venka to milk while we are away. Presumably the browse has less goodness in it now which will affect the milk yield. Hopefully Milly can put a bit of weight on for winter. As soon as it cools down a bit Dave will be sprouting some oats or barley which is very nutritious and everyone in the paddock will benefit.
Forty days after her death, Dave went to our neighbour's funeral/memorial at the weekend. A bus picked up the villagers and the widower and took everyone to her home town an hour away. He said it was a lovely, gentle ceremony and he was honoured to be included. I made some shortbread biscuits at Venka's suggestion, and without going into detail (it was a whole day) Dave came home with a bag of goodies obviously with some symbolic meaning and if anyone knows what they are please let us know.
|The decorated shortbread biscuits are becoming a staple at local celebrations|
|Bread and butter, a mug with a sachet of 3in1 Nescafe, sweeties and biscuits, plus a little cup of chopped nuts|
In the kitchen I have been trying to use fruit from the freezer and have made more jam...so why is my freezer still full? I thought the bananas in the fruit bowl were a little too far gone and added some chopped dark chocolate to a cake, then topped it with goat cheese frosting and sent some next door. Really nice. Also made some pickled onions as Dave has suddenly developed a taste for them...the last lot have been sitting around for a year!
|Not sure about bronze maize, cooked, tough and ...odd|
|We will not starve this winter|
We've also had some nice veggie soups and casseroles from our own produce, I'm not sure why we don't eat more of these things, I think I just forget and fed up of doing things by the evening. Good at any time of the year