Thursday, 23 October 2014

Weekly Round-Up

I'm not entirely sure where this week has gone, but gone it has.

College was busy, busy, busy, as it always is, but I think I am making progress in terms of future plans and possible careers, which is Rather Pleasing. I am definitely someone who needs to have a broad goal in mind as I don't much enjoy floating along without clear direction.

So that is good.

Wednesday saw us up on the Downs wrestling with my sheep under the guise of a session on 'Conservation Grazing.' Most of the class had a go at catching the sheep and turning them over until they sat on their bottoms in order to check their health more easily. Harv and I declined, on the grounds that our backs are knackered. I have learnt the hard way this summer that any bending over and hefting heavy things about costs me a day of walking about bent over like a aged crone afterwards. I did, however, jog lightly up the very steep slope of the Down to help manouevre three recalcitrant girls into a new section where the grass is fresher. On the whole I would rather be able to do that than bend and lift.




Tuesday found us measuring vegetation heights and abundance (which is every bit as exciting as it sounds) in a hail storm. A rainbow flooded the sky afterwards, which sort-of made up for us all getting soaked....




And today I have been down at the River checking on my voles, none of whom were anywhere to be seen so I suspect they may already be tucked up asleep under ground, despite the warm weather. The Swan Family are all still together and were gliding up and down while I was checking the banks and vegetation for small brown people. They seem to have accepted my presence because I didn't even merit a hiss today. The babies are as big as their parents now but still talk like babies, all high-pitched and squeaky....


I did wonder whether I might be lucky and see the Otters, but there was no sign of the pair seen by  River Keeper Neil on a separate occasion when they swam sedately up the channel, climbed out up the bank in front of him and ambled off into the woods. I was extremely jealous when he told me.





Two herons flew over squabbling loudly with one another as I was examining some badger poo....


I'm assuming this a nesting post for them, but I'm not certain because there is no cover whatsoever around it. What do you think?


I turned back and headed back up-stream, passing the swans who were being carried along by the current as they washed and preened....



And popped in to the twelfth century village church on my way back to the car....


Once home, my attention was caught by this flying person, whom I suspect is a Drone Fly, checking out a hole in the wall....


He didn't venture inside though and bimbled off after a few minutes to look at the window sill instead. The garden is quietening down and I will miss all the small things until next Spring. There will still be moths of course, although fewer of them, and the box will be out tonight to see who we can entice in, and our Sparrow Gang are very much in evidence. The garden becomes a haven for birds over the winter- I don't notice them so much during the warmer months.

Right-o, I'm off to clean the house and catch up on home-related stuff which has been very much neglected this week. L had to wear his walking boots to school today because Pop got at his school shoes again and completely destroyed the back of them. I can't trim them back with the scissors anymore because his feet will fall out, so a visit to the shoe shop is in order. Luckily, it is half term from tomorrow so the urgency is reduced. L would live in crocs year round if he could, but school is very strict about footwear....


I'll leave you with a pic of the Naughty One sleeping sweetly beside Teddy, who never puts a paw wrong these days, now that he has reached the grand old age of five :o)



Have a good evening all,

CT.
 

24 comments:

  1. Sorry to laugh, but I had to call Tom to take a look at the shoes, still smiling now.
    What we put up with for our beloved pets...
    Briony
    x

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    1. She is UNBELIEVABLY naughty, but I find it very hard to keep a straight face when telling her off. It's the way she looks at you: all serious and attentive with her ears pricked up, but you just know she's going to scamper off and do it again the second your back is turned. Little monkey x

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  2. I don't blame you opting out of hauling sheep about. I get asked to help at Arlington Ct with the rangers and the sheep sometimes. Last time it was a maggot riddled back to sort out...poor sheep had been got by a dog we think, all sorted now thankfully.

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    1. Sheep maggots are the most hideous things, so I sympathise. Glad to hear the sheepy recovered :o)

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  3. With all your knowledge you get a lot more out of your time in the countryside, as you notice all and understand all. I'm learning loads too, from you, so keep up the good work.

    Jean
    x

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    1. Thanks, Jean. You always say such nice things and I'm so pleased you're learning from the blog x

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  4. Love the swans image of preening CT. Great post full of interesting things, sorry you didn't get to see otters and I'm not sure who would use that nest, but Herons seem a good candidate as they are such big birds.

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    1. I couldn't think what else would perch up there with such a messy rag-tag-and-bob-tail collection of sticks. Lovely birds- there was one in the river but he flew off before I could get the pic x

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  5. Oh lovely lovely! Sorry little energy to say something interesting tonight but your posts are always a delight. What kind of dog are your little cute pups?
    Shauna.x

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    1. Pop is a Jack Russell and Teddy a West Highland terrier. I know what you mean about lack of energy- I was feeling very pooped indeed until I had a quieter afternoon today :o) xx

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  6. That sheep looks soooo pissed off
    And IKNIW pissed off sheep

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    1. Sitting on their bottoms having their feet examined is not a natural position for a sheep.....

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  7. Two guesses - that pole is an attempt to attract Cranes, and that fly is a Masonry Bee. The girl in the top photo (without the horns) is too good-looking to be a sheep-wrangler, but then again I haven't met many (sheep).

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    1. Don't think there are any Cranes round here and the bee's bottom is the wrong shape for a masonry, other than that you are correct on all fronts :o)

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  8. I found this post a fascinating read. That is a great course you have undertaken and your knowledge makes it more interesting when you are in the countryside and for us also so all benefit.

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    1. Thank you Margaret. Apologies for not visiting you recently- as I said in the post the last few days have flown by. Hoping to get down to some blog catch-ups this weekend :o)

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  9. That's interesting about Ted being five. Snippet is too and his behaviour is SO much better now. Jack is going through a phase of running after people and barking at them....very embarrassing.It's only fear but they don't know that! Also, I keep finding holes in the garden which is extremely tiresome. What possessed us to go for anything JR related????

    That is the sparsest nest I've ever seen if it is one! xx

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    1. It's definitely over the last year that T has quietened down- but perhaps both he and Snippet seem quieter because they are compared to their naughty puppies? Pop hasn't dug the lawn yet, but she is definitely making up for it in every other way :o) xx

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  10. My garden looks disgraceful at the moment. And now it is constantly damp and wet, so I don't much feel like going out there and tidying it. But I'm with you on enjoying the birds at this time of year. I watched a bumble this morning being buffeted by wind and rain as he fed from the fuchsia bush by the front door. Poor thing. It look so fed up.
    Have a lovely weekend,
    Leanne xx

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    1. Soggy here too :o( Spring and summer seem a long way away. It is amazing what weather bees fly in and seem to cope with. I think the Bumbles have had a good year this year. Have a lovely weekend too my dear xx

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  11. Interesting post CT - sounds like a busy week! Not sure about the nesting post - I think herons normally nest in colonies. Not sure what the surrounding habitat is like but could the post have been put up to try and attract Ospreys? It looks very much like one's I've seen in other places put up for this purpose. Have a good weekend :)

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    1. Brilliant suggestion! I think an Osprey was seen flying around the valley a few weeks back. I'll check with the Rangers and find out. Thanks :o)

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  12. Well, L is making crocks outta is shoes then, eh. I do so enjoy your well rounded posts and photos. WE are going through the last slough of someone else's hurricane - rain for 5 days now going round and round in slow moving circles. Yikes, I'm withered. haha - Have a lovely day

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    1. He is! (in collusion with Poppy). Poor you re the weather, sounds miserable. We had high winds here a few days back thanks to Gonzalo but it's settled into warm and damp now- on the plus side this is perfect for moths and I'm just about to post some pics from this morning's offerings as I had some real beauties :o) Have a good weekend x

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Thank you for leaving a comment. I always enjoy reading them and will try my best to reply to every one. CT x