Wednesday 3 July 2013

As Clear as Gin, Reverend?

I run an embedded software application in this blog called 'SiteMeter' which lets me know how many followers I have, how many people have visited and from what part of the world they are from. By no means a 'Best Seller', this blog is read by about 20-30 people, mainly friends and relatives, so it chugs away gently racking up the 'hits' in its 6th year, creeping slowly up past 40,000 visits. I was amused though, that all normal posts with normal headings get that 20-30 hits but my recent post entitled "Attacking the Bank with a Pick-Axe" got, all of a sudden, 66 hits! Were I of paranoid persuasion or given to believing conspiracy theories I might start worrying about all this GCHQ and the National Security Agency stuff about Big Brother watching me, but I expect it's just that more people google expressions like 'attacking the bank' than would google baby bunnies and red algal blooms!

Which leads me neatly on to an update about said bloom which, I am happy to report at last, seems to be fading fast. We can now see almost clear to the bottom and to the planters in which the new aquatics have been set, as this black pot shows here. The water is still just a little bit cloudy and has a bit of red colour from the sediment but nothing like as bad as it was when we were in the tomato soup phase (or as someone more dramatically noted, it 'looks like you have bled an ox into it'). Not quite as clear as gin, but getting there.

We can see every stone of the beach now rather than just the shallower ones and we are delighted to note that we have a massive population of tiny, presumably newly hatched, water boatmen. If baby water boatmen eat red algae then we should be in business! What I suspect will happen is that the algae will simply die, settle to the bottom and then become part of the sediment, soon buried under blown in dust, spruce needles and any other debris which falls in.

In a lovely whiff of glories to come, our Rambling Rector rose is covered in flower buds and has opened three of these. This rose and three of increasingly dark pink in sequence are going to turn the side of our hay barn into a sheet of glorious colour at some point in the future, but that's a work in progress.

We had thought that our cat Blue, hooking that swallow out of the air a couple of months back, might put the pair off nesting in our Tígín even though we rescued the bird and think we restored him to happy full health. For a month or so we saw swallows nipping about but nobody seemed to be going into the building. Well, they are back and showing every sign of nest building again, just a bit more wary of where Blue is snoozing. This gave us a new problem as we have now had the window frame repaired by K-Dub, and glazed by me, so that the swallows had started flying in through the doorway but were trying to escape through the window. They were going to get a head ache or worse, Blue might be waiting on the inside window sill. I have therefore blocked the daylight temporarily with a couple of old coal sacks. Not beautiful, but effective.

At 2 weeks and 6 days, Goldie's babies have got active enough to start climbing over the nest box retaining-wall and exploring the grass outside. We are amused by how tiny they look against the huge bulk of meat-breed doe, Goldie. We have 5 whites, one the colour of Goldie and a darker 'rabbit-brown' one. They grow very fast and will soon start to look a bit 'cosy' in that run even though the grass area is 90 cm by 250 cm, so we are mentally designing extension runs.

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