Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Charlie drake II and the 1st bees and butterflies

A couple of weeks ago a day-time fox killed our drake (Charlie), leaving his headless corpse for us to discover. Luckily, a smallholder friend, whom we had previously given a Light Sussex cockerel, had a drake to spare. He settled in quickly and we have named him Charlie Drake II. Both himself and Daisy duck are happy.

We saw the first bee and first butterfly (small tortoiseshell) of this year today. We had to be careful not to pay the butterfly too much interest as our 'kitten' Tom-tum was getting curious also.

The last of the parsnips (8 kilos) and carrots and potatoes (6 kilos) were cleared from the raised beds today and the beds limed and fertilised as necessary.

As our weather has improved enormously – a mild 17oC today - and is set to continue for at least the next few days. In view of that the onion sets will be planted tomorrow and the spring onions which were germinated in blocs in plant pots will also go in. Eileen also plans to sow leeks, carrots, parsnips, lettuce, beetroot, beans, turnips and cabbage in the coming week.

Our first-early potatoes will be planted in the next couple of weeks.

The hens and duck are laying well. We haven’t seen the mangy fox that killed our duck for a week or so. We are having to keep the hens and ducks penned now. It’s unfortunate as they’ve been able to range freely without worry for the past 12 years. Of course, we have them out when we are out gardening and they are able to swim in the pond and slurp the slugs.

Spring continues to unfold here - pussy willow, daffodils, alder catkins, bees and butterflies.

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