Friday, April 18, 2014

More Doggy Stuff

Bonnie came on heat a couple of weeks back and so has been under my eye, on a string, tied to a big stick, when not indoors. She is far too young to have babies! Oh, but she is quite keen. She has two admirers, both brown and both 'vertically challenged'.
The smooth-coated one is rather long in the body and has ticks hanging off his ears like beige baubles. We called him 'Mr. Brown'. He is rather shy and when Bonnie runs to play (on her string, me watching) he runs away. He also runs away when I say boo.
The other one is much hairier and his ears stand up except for the tips and he has a funny expression on his face as his bottom jaw is rather overhung. He has lovely colouring, with the ginger spots over his eyes, like Ginger used to have. Bonnie doesn't really understand what is happening to her and tries to mount Mr Hairy Brown, who gets very excited and starts chattering his teeth.
They sleep outside the house. Mr Brown on the front on the bench, and Mr Hairy Brown on a piece of wood at the back.

I haven't done much building work recently. Just haven't got over my illness. But today I did a bit more of the wall and incorporated some re-bar into the mortar since I had some lying about. Also, the door and window have arrived from Toni, the carpenter, so I have asked Rob if he can help me put up the door frame. I think that will make a huge difference, psychologically.

R has been down in the bottom making planks out of the felled pine, and a couple of possible lintels for my building. He is using an 'Alaskan saw', which is basically a guide for the chainsaw so he can do it in-situ as the trees are way too heavy to move, whole. He has now moved on to the chestnut trees he cut down last year because they were rotten. He has discovered that they are not rotten so they will become rafters. Hard work with a small chainsaw!  
It is so nice to see the flower beds beginning to take off. And there are little grapes on the vines. There is one nectarine on the nectarine tree, and the orange tree is full of blossom, hopefully to become fruit next year. The temperatures are on the rise, although this week has been cool, around 22 degrees. Very pleasant for working. We have more broad beans than we can eat, and the peas are getting that way, too. The cabbage butterflies have been sneaking about so that's another thing to be keep on top of. They can decimate a cabbage so quickly.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Dog eat Chicken

I had arranged to do a swap with Gail, our baby cockerel for one of her hens. So the new hen, a red one, came and joined our flock. She began to settle in. She wasn't used to Cocky's ways but was coming round to it...

And then this rain came. Very heavy rain that kept us inside for the afternoon, but at one point I looked out the window and saw something moving down the fence. I took a better look and saw an Alsation-type dog, and then I noticed another more fluffy job, followed by an almost-dachshund. What's this? Where are the chickens?

We went outside and shooed the dogs away and found some of the chickens, all sheltering in separate places. But the new red hen was missing. Bonnie found parts of it, later :( I reckon that it didn't have a chance because it was new to here and it had had it's wings cut so it couldn't fly up into a tree. But since there were three dogs it probably didn't have a chance, anyway.

The swales are full of rain and the young trees we planted look happy with their new leaves. The big tank is filling up with water from the roof. It's well over half full already. Yippee!