Saturday, 11 April 2015

There's A Moose Loose Aboot This Hoose, And Lunch For Sixteen Is Made

So, some of you may remember my Mouse Sagas from last year.

In essence, we had a mouse/ family of mice popping in and out of our utility room at will to partake of the bird seed we stored there. I am not in favour of killing creatures who are only trying, like the rest of us, to carve out a niche for themselves and survive in it, so I bought a Longworth Small Mammal trap which is used by ecologists the world over to capture and study small mammals. It does them no harm whatsoever and enables you to release them safely elsewhere.

I set the trap last night with an inviting pile of seeds and this morning when I went to look, the front door was closed and a Small Mouse was In Residence....


I picked the trap up and a whiskery nose immediately poked out the hole the other end to sniff inquisitively at me....


We were running low on time as we had the sheep to check, so I let Mrs (or possibly Mr) mouse out in the wood pile at the top of the garden. I know, I know- that is not far enough away and as a result, I fully expect to see Mrs (or possibly Mr) Mouse back in the utility room later on today....



When I woke up yesterday morning, whom do you think I discovered asleep on the roof of the greenhouse?


Only Mrs Orange Tip! And then a couple of hours later her mate appeared too. No picture (of course) because male OTs seem to take enormous pleasure in eluding me. I grew some Cuckoo Flower (they like this plant) from the basal leaf of our only garden specimen last summer and had put it out by the greenhouse the day before, so I'm wondering if that's what brought them in to the garden?



Nature was kind to me yesterday. Ma came on a flutter count with me and spotted another male OT nectaring on bluebells, then I saw this male brimmie...


Several Peacocks...

 
 And a few Small Torts...


There were Sweet Violets blooming in the woods too...


And back at home I found several Interesting Caddis Fly larva bobbing about in the pond, so I took one out to show you...




I find them amazing things - they construct this beautiful geometrically shaped house around themselves, leaving a perfect circle in the middle which is where they live.

There were also lots of millipedes about, including this Pill Millipede which I have added to the garden's biodiversity list...


And this little chap I have yet to ID...




Tomorrow's lunch for sixteen is ready and waiting in the fridge, which is just as well because the guests are due to start arriving in fifteen minutes time! I've made a pudding from the lovely Mary Berry that I've never done before, which is either extremely brave of me or extremely foolish as I've no idea what it will taste like, but as there's a liberal splosh of brandy in it hopefully it won't matter :o)






Hope you're all having a tickety-boo weekend. I'll see you all next week. I will be the exhausted-looking woman with the grey hair and extra lines etched on her face (although, as we've got a taxi booked tonight for part 1 of the 80th, I might also be the hungover-looking one).

CT :o)

30 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Thanks my dear - it was lovely! Hope Canada going well- will catch up with you this week :o)

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  2. Fab stuff and time to take photos too...how do you do it!!
    Love all the butterflies, you have been very lucky spotting them and mouse sagas...little cuties.

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    1. I am super organised :o) I am keeping my eyes peeled for the first Blues of the year- none here so far. Hope you had a good weekend and your OH is on the mend now? x

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  3. You are making me very hungry! Have a fantastic evening.x

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    1. Thanks my dear :o) All went off well. Phew! x

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  4. Nice photo collection. Loved the colorful moths and the cute little mouse. Hopefully he'll stay outside from now on.

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  5. Fantastic wildlife shots as ever, I always learn something when I visit your blog, I love it. The cake sounds wonderful, I'm sure everyone will love it, especially considering the brandy. Hope you have a brilliant weekend. CJ xx

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    1. Thanks CJ :o) Cake was delich- v easy to make so is def one I shall be repeating. Looked far more impressive and complicated than it was!! x

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    1. I made 4 batches and have one left over which is in the freezer for next time! :o)

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  7. Our mice think we are merely a taxi service. They get hungover after gorging on seeds in the trap... we carry them to the fresh air to sober up...they return...get hungover gorging on seeds...we carry them to the fresh air.....
    Jane x
    PS Happy celebrations!

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    1. I loved your comment and read it out to M who said he knows how you feel :o) x

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  8. Hope you had a nice party, loving your butterfly finds. To cold and windy here yesterday , but did see a Stoat out on the moor... Sadly no photo.
    Amanda xx

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    1. Great party. Now exhausted! Stoat's are a good see- so often hidden away. x

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  9. The cake looks divine, I will happily take any leftovers - not that I expect there to be any! How brilliant you spotted an orange tip & a pair! I might take up residence in the garden today as I really need to see one. Hope you have a fab weekend, pass on birthday wishes x

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    1. There are a few leftovers, but not many- just enough for pud for tomorrow :o) Great weekend- hope you had same xx

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  10. oh but you have the most beautiful butterflies visiting you!! that fly larva is an astonishingly marvelous thing! i would never have guessed there was a wee beastie in there!

    hope the cake went over well....it appears to involve chocolate, so how could it not? ;) xo

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    1. Cake went down very well (Phew). Not much left....

      Later in the summer we'll get the Blue butterflies emerging- they ate spectacular.

      Hope you've had a lovely weekend x

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  11. Looks all delicious to me. So, did your cute little mouse come back in.? You have the most amazing posts, from mice to nature, growth, empty shells, dining and brandy. ha,ha Gotta Love it :)

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    1. He did! And managed to spring the front door shut AND eat all the seeds without getting caught :o) You could taste the brandy in the cake- it went down rather well! xx

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  12. Love your caddis housing shots! :)

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    1. They're extraordinary things, real works of art. Nature is so clever :o)

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  13. Hey CT,
    The caddis fly house is exquisite. I haven't seen any brimstones yet. Or orange tips. I need to go for my special walk this week and see if I can spot them. Your pudding will be marvellous. Mary Berry is foolproof.
    Leanne xx

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    1. Hey lovely girl,
      Pud was good, phew! Interesting no brimmies with you yet- we've had what feels like hundreds here. Hope you had a good weekend xx

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  14. Hope you had a good party the cake looks delicious! The larva looks amazing! Sarah x

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  15. I would love to see a caddis fly larva, that's what I meant when I said it would be good to have a small wildlife pond to be able to see these things. I've no idea if I have insects like that in my huge deep pond.

    The cake looks scrumptious, and I read the party post and the other desserts looked great too. Looks like you had a fab time and the patient (pa in law? I forget) looks incredible. Well done with the Mrs Orange Tip photo - I managed some photos of Mr the other day. But my Brimstones refuse to stop flying. Little mousey is cute. :-) xx

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    1. This year I am seeing them whenever I stop to look in the pond- we must have hundreds!

      Yes, pa in law is the patient- he really is a remarkable man, unstoppable xx

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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