Sunday 25 January 2009

New Pond in the Forest

The 25th - Burns Night - a day for the "H" to feel a bit nervous as all these humans talk of eating haggis. No matter how many times you tell Haggis that this is a foodstuff beloved of Scots, and is spelt with a small "h" he never looks that convinced till it's bedtime and he has survived again.

Our lie-in with the humans reading the papers, is interupted by convincing squirrel scampering noises in the roof space above our heads. We've had starlings nesting up there every year for the last few, but lately there's been scamperings and rummagings too big and heavy (and too keen to venture away from the nest-hole, into the roof itself) to be starlings.

Dad and I are sent up to explore while Mum, in the bedroom is put on listening watch. The theory is that as soon as Dad pops the hatch open "it" will be heard scurrying for the entrance, and may be seen by Mum exiting the hole above the bedroom window and doing its acrobat-bit round the soffit and gutters, up onto the roof. That proves to be the case. I am carried up the ladder and let llose for a fantastic explore among the boxes and junk - it's an Alladin's cave up there! The have a devil's own job persuading me back out once the exploratory investigate is done.

Dad is despatched to B+Q for expanding filler, which he will frame with 3/4 inch weld-mesh into an effective block on the hole.

It rains all day. We do a short walk with Meggie in the Rec but later, despite the rain, we are off to the forest for a voyage of discovery. The "Friends of Kingswood" (of which Dad used to be Treasurer) have had a 4th pond constructed all the way down on the north side of the forest in the bit called "Cutler's Valley" (O.S. savvy readers might prefer "TR041521").

The forest is mainly on chalk, although bits have glacial deposits of "clay with flints", so there is little standing water for the Fallow Deer, and the FoKW have had 3 ponds built over the years to help out, now with a 4th. Previous ponds have been made with a puddled 2 feet deep layer of local clay, but now, since foot and mouth etc, there are big hoops to jump through moving soil and substrate about, so it was cheaper to embed an artificial liner - like industrial strength butyl rubber sheet.

Meanwhile, poor ol' Mum is struggling through the weekend with an OU assessment involving producing a profit and loss for a "case study" business. It's not going smoothly and she occasionally emerges muttering "Gah" and dark swearings to any dog foolish enough to cross her path. Sums is Hard, she opines.

Being a dog is sometimes the easier option ...... zzzzzzzzzzzzz


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