Sunday, 22 February 2009

Hash. Who is as Mad as a Hatter

As you can see, Hash has the most beautiful, brown fleece and it is a joy to spin. She is, however, the maddest sheep I've ever met. Last year she did not have a lamb and we shall be interested to see if she does this year. She certainly looks as though she might, but it's a bit early to be sure. She spent last year playing 'aunt' to the lambs of the other ewes, teaching them to butt and teaching them to jump about.

She hangs alone, a lot of the time and will often go off to find pastures new, leaving the main flock entirely. But she is always first to the food trough and wants to be friendly, but is rather nervous.

Local knowledge suggests that you do sometimes get a sheep like this. Not sure quite who she is or what she's 'for'. We shall see in the fulness of time. But there's no way we would get rid of her, even if she doesn't have a lamb. She's too individual, her fleece is too lovely and she's such a character.

Saturday, 14 February 2009

Beans. Posing.

Beans is a rather beautiful specimen of a sheep. And she knows it. She is mild tempered, friendly but slightly reserved and she had a lovely little ram lamb last year. We're hoping for another this year, too. Her fleece is lovely and I am dying to get at spinning it.


Omelette is actually prettier than this picture shows. She has wonderful, big, Panda eyes and a delicate face. She is the same age as Sausage - a year old. They didn't have lambs last year, but should do this.

The Sheep are Feeling Left Out

First up is Sausage. She is friendly to a fault, cuddly and daughter to Mushroom, who is the 'top sheep', being the oldest and the wisest.

Saturday, 7 February 2009


They speak for themselves, really. Beautiful sunshine over the valley and the ducks enjoying their little pond.


The six nations starts today and I have booked the tele.

I feel the need to blog about this, although it doesn't really 'fit' with the ducks, the sheep and the chickens....

I pretty much abhor everything that surrounds the game of rugby. The drinking, the smutty songs, the macho games and the sneaking eye gouging and ear biting. Not to mention the professionalisation which has, inevitably, produced 'stars' who are continuously injured and overstretched and some very dodgy strategies. Nor the mud, the grime, the blood and the general dangerousness of it all.

But, at the top level, the game itself is something I find completely unmissable. There is nothing quite as exhilerating as, for instance, watching Jason Robinson break away and run past men three times his size and weight, to score a try. And, every time, the Welsh national anthem sung by the crowd, reduces me to tears. Of joy! (Particularly if they then go on to win).

So, there may be few posts over the next few week-ends, while I have my annual fix of the game.

But it does make a change for you all from the least until I've loaded this morning's pond pictures.

Tuesday, 3 February 2009


So. No eggs today. I can only assume they really don't like the snow. Instead of egg news, therefore, I have taken some atmospheric photos...not as much snow as expected, predicted or feared, but it's blocked the lane, nevertheless.

Here you go.

Dogger (the cat) seems to get into a lot of the photos of the ducks. I've cropped him from some of them, but he's still there in one!

And Puff (who is a Silkie cockerel and not a duck) has managed to make an appearance too.

He gets bullied by Charlie, so he lives with the ducks. The fact that he is white does not mean that he is pretending to be a duck, it is purely coincidental!

He's another 'daft as a brush' animal, of the type we seem to inherit. Not much good at being a cockerel with the hens, but a great character. The ducks don't seem to mind him and he has the Pekins to play with during the day, so I don't think his life is a bad one.

Oh, and he gets extra rations just for being who he is.

Monday, 2 February 2009


Yay. Today we have one, clean, freshly laid, white and beautiful duck egg.

They've got the hang of the laying box and, now that I've turned it sideways, the eggs are not rolling out and down the hill.

The other ducks (which I presume have not yet laid) are waddling in and out of the box, clearly considering whether to lay or not, which is a very good sign.

So, I am half confidently predicting that we are in duck egg production mode. I shall, of course, update with progress.

In the meantime, we do not yet have the heavy snow which has brought London to a standstill, but I am fairly sure it is on the way. The wind is coming from the North East (ie Russia) and is bitterly cold. The sky is leaden where it is not blue and I will attempt to get photos later in the day, if we get interesting conditions warranting putting on layers of clothing and grabbing the camera.

Sunday, 1 February 2009


So, you learn as you go along.

Yesterday there were no eggs from the ducks. I can only assume they don't like change and that they didn't like the beautiful new, clean box I carefully constructed for them to lay in.


Keep your fingers crossed for this morning, please! I hope they've got over their fussiness and that we have and egg, laid in the right place and, therefore, clean!

I told you this breed were a bit neurotic and I was right!

Thursday, 29 January 2009


Not just any old eggs, but duck eggs.

Eggs from the ducks I grew from babies.

Eggs from the ducks I've spent eight months housing, feeding, watering, talking to....



And here's the proof.

It's a pity I didn't spot them before they got dirty (and old). I thought the first one was one of the fake plastic eggs I put in with them. It was only when I found the second one that I realised......

We got eggs.

Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Mist rolling up the hill tonight

Quick post. Self-explanatory! Quite magical weather.

Pictures of Wales

For those of you who have expressed an interest....some recentish pictures.

We are very, very lucky to live here.

This is a rather random selection, not coherent, but atmospheric, I hope.

I've cheated a bit. Some of these are this winter and one or two are last winter.

I am too much of a butterfly. Would love to do some more and better photography, but have so many other things to do..................................

Monday, 26 January 2009

The Ducks

Being a dilitary sort of blogger, I think I haven't posted a picture of the ducks. So I shall. They are the bane of my life! As they involve a longish walk up the bank, carrying water when it hasn't rained, much of which ends up in my wellies. And a longish walk up the bank to get them into their house at night. Great fun in the summer. Not great fun in the Welsh winter.

This particular breed is rather neurotic and they are so similar it is impossible to think of them as individuals. So they are just 'the ducks', whereas all the chickens have names and personalities.

However, I am doing them down a bit. They quack when they see me, they splash happily and funnily in their pond and I know that, eventually, they will start laying eggs. I just know they will.....

And I shall post the minute they do.

There is talk of a gander, but that's a story for another day.

The cat, Dogger, does not bother them at all. He looks fierce here, but he was just putting this on for the camera. They quack at him when he comes up with me to feed them, which he often does. He is, I must say, not a lot of help! But it's nice to have him around.

Thursday, 22 January 2009

Successful few days away

At a fair. By the seaside. With central heating. Great.

But I'm glad to be back home.

Need to get dressed and go and discuss things with the sheep and the ducks and the hens.

And congratulate myself on a successful event where I met friends and did a lot of good work.

Friday, 16 January 2009

Charlie Settles in. In the Kitchen

Well, I was warned. This afternoon he casually strolled into the kitchen, with several of his entourage following him. Now, I'm not against this in particular, but it can get messy, so I asked them, politely, to leave.

As you can see, he is settling in well, bless him.

I have managed to stop him fighting with the Pekin cockerel (complicated set of gates and fences between them...) and he is fully established as 'leader of the pack'.

He's actually rather a nice natured cockerel. Some are not so nice. He doesn't make aggressive gestures when I'm around, he doesn't run away, he just potters about. This is good!

And, spring must be on the way, as the eggs are appearing in larger numbers, more frequently.

This week-end, though, we are being threatened with a huge gale tomorrow night, followed by snow and wind. Wonderful.

I won't be here to take pictures, which is a shame, but I will try and take some of Llandudno. For non UK readers, this is a Welsh seaside resort. Lovely in June, pretty grim in January.

Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Charlie has arrived

This is Charlie. He is a Brahma cross Light Sussex cockerel and he arrived with us yesterday.
He seems to be happy, bossing the hens around and crowing loudly. He will, no doubt, make more appearances in the future.