Friday 22 April 2016

False Alarm!.... (or not).

Good book choices among the Birthday present 'haul'
In my previous post, I recorded that both a turkey hen and a goose had gone broody; the former in an inconvenient place lost in a neighbouring field, the latter nice and tidy in her proper coop. Well, as soon as I had gone to print, of course, both ladies changed their minds. In the morning, the goose was off her eggs and asking to be let out with the gang into the orchard, where she happily stayed all day and the cold eggs, I picked up for normal kitchen use.

Calf-eens a-plenty in many neighbouring farmyards.
In the middle of the afternoon, while I was away buildering, Liz texted to say that Barbara had turned up, butter wouldn't melt, looking for food in our yard. False alarm? Well, you never know with poultry. The goose, having taken her day off, decided to go back onto (some more) eggs and has now spent the last 2 days sitting tight. I assume the eggs can stand this on/off start to the incubation when they are still only a 'germ' of embryo. Barbara spent a day or so very much here, mooching about with the husband (Tom) but today went AWOL again from about 9 a.m. till just before lock-up (8 p.m.). These eggs are either taking a long long time to lay, or she is doing like the goose and building up to broodiness.

Rounding up the mini-horses. 
Meanwhile in the Sligo dept, the mini horses which had been happily grazing the last few millimetres off the rented field down by our local river-bridge, suddenly needed moving. The person who is taking over the rented field next was asking if he could spray slurry all over it prior to the agreed date and Carolyn was not at all sure he would take no for an answer.

Primroses are everywhere this month.
K-Dub and I had to take a day off from the buildering to rapidly create a horse proof paddock about 40m by 50m at the new place (not an easy one but we made it) and then I was asked to help with the rounding up and loading of Cody, Romeo and Bob at this end into a borrowed stock-trailer. That bit, at least, was a doddle because these boys are suckers for a carrot-bribe. I offered them some nice fresh crunchy veg through the gate while C snuck up behind and slipped head-collars onto them. They are well used to trailers, being former show-horses, so all three were led up the ramp with a minimum of fuss and off they went to Sligo.

The warm weather has given us some gorgeous sunsets
Out of nowhere we have been enjoying a week of gorgeous sunny, warm weather. That's 'warm' by Roscommon standards, you understand, so daytime highs of 17ºC, nothing too tropical (or even Mediterranean) but after a long, cold, wet, miserable winter it is a lovely relief. Liz and I have been able to enjoy a post-work coffee 'al-fresco' and on one evening sat out by our pond in the 'Darby and Joan' chairs till gone 8 p.m. rather than spoil it by coming indoors to cook. We didn't even light the range. The dogs had been let loose in the orchard at 6:15 p.m. expecting to only get the usual half hour and they were still out there, running free, at 8 p.m.

A '365' pic of a nearby swallow hole. The yellow arrow
shows flow direction before the water disappears under-ground.
Obviously I have not put the arrow on the 365 version. 
I heard my first cuckoo out in Sligo (on the 19th) while we were putting up the horse-fence; he sang away all day. I then heard my first home-bird the next morning here at 7 a.m. on my first dog-'patrol'. We saw our first swallow near here on the 16th and then saw a load of them flying over a nearby lough (Lough Glynn). We have since seen "our" swallows dipping over our pond to catch insects and to drink. Summer is definitely coming, even though the forecast has some nasty cold nights (down to 2ºC) coming up over the weekend.

Keep warm, people.

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