Tuesday 10 April 2018

Walk-Home Wendy (2)

Lucky hen walked home from the fox's clutches.
My previous post had reports of a "minor miracle" where a grey hen had escaped the clutches of our fox part way (to his) home and amazed me by coming into view, walking (to her) home from 50 yards out in the fields. My report had the hen going from out in that field to "back with the rooster", with no detail. I now need to bring you a Part 2 as it was not quite as simple as that made it all sound.

Wendy back with the rooster and now sporting a pink leg-ring
to ease finding her again. 
I had seen her come as far as the fields 'below' our boundary-bank, but then saw her walk right past the obvious track home. I took Deefer and went out through a convenient hole in the hedge to look for the other 2 dogs but also to see if I could find the hen and help her home. None of the above were anywhere to be seen so I guessed that the hen had out-manouvred me and nipped home. I gave up the search and then found, with the rooster, a suitably bedraggled grey hen. 2 and 2 makes 5. Problem solved. Write up the blog post. Move on.

Bad sign. A slew of Gloria (turkey)
feathers. Another lucky escape.
That night (Thurs 5th) was very, very wet - lashing rain that turned us back into puddle central but the next night was warm and dry and on Saturday it was so warm that I went down to see how many bees I had flying. Lots, of course, but more notable was to find, standing in a daze in the veg patch, a bedraggled grey hen with a damaged, droopy right wing. My 'walk-home' girl, of course who had obviously been delayed in her walk home by 48 hours lost in the bramble patches or under the bank, struggling to navigate. Huge apology to the hen who will not have enjoyed the wet night.

I am happy to report that the (correct) hen is now returned to the flock via a quiet night's observation, the cutting off of the long primary feathers which were drooping down to her foot and getting kicked every time she took a step (must have hurt if her 'hand' was mashed by the fox), and by the addition of a pink leg ring to help us find her among the other grey hens into the future. She has been named "Walk-Home Wendy" at least for now.

Gloria after the fox attack. 
One more fox story, at risk of driving all my readers off by becoming boring on the subject. Trust me; I would be more relieved than the average person to off the fox and stop reporting him/her. This was today at 2 pm-ish and, once more, I am off site and miss all the action. We think now that Foxy pounced on Gloria the turkey hen as she was trying to lay an egg back under that bank which I have photo'd for you before. She presumably screamed and jumped up, setting off the Guinea fowl, and then Elizabeth, and then the dogs. The fox scarpered at that point leaving Gloria but with a mouth full of feathers. We found the feathers but by then Gloria was round in the yard (along with everybody else). It seems we have had another FAILED fox strike. It's all very nerve wracking but better this than successful hunts. Our big concern now is that once the neighbouring farmers' cattle are back out on the grass we will no longer have the option to let slip the dogs of war.

Blue Hyacinths.
It's not all foxes, though, so what else is new? THE PLAY had its final 2 nights on that Friday and Saturday and went off superbly. The Friday audience were especially appreciative and noisy, laughing readily out loud, cheering enthusiastically and 'ooh'-ing and 'ah'-ing when they spotted a cast member they knew or sussed a plot twist. Performers love this and all of them seemed to rise to new levels of sparkle and effervescence. It was lovely to watch. Praise is widespread and the Players have had some lovely feed back face to face and via Social Media.

Sarah and the pigs.
Our visitor from last weekend, Sarah M, had been off down south to her friends wedding and made it back, via Galway, to be here in time to come to the Last Night. She also got to meet the stock again. She loves our pigs and the sheep, especially bottle feeding the lamb. She left us for the 2nd time, heading back to Knock Airport after a goose egg breakfast to give back the hire car and fly home.

Not an easy picture to get - pigs sleeping contented in the sun.
Usually they spot you, jump up and scamper over.
This feels like the welcome end to a very enjoyable but very exhausting month or two of fierce activity with the play, especially, building to an ever-busier climax as the rehearsals accelerated to almost daily.

We are left delighted to be able to relax and take some days off to catch up with house stuff, but both of us could not resist wandering down to the Hall to see the stage and set all dismantled and being carried away in bits to a waiting van. It all gets stored in a container on the farm of one of the Players. Elizabeth had to get in there quick to retrieve all 'our stuff' (several play 'props' were ours) before they were buried for the summer in the storage.

Larch "roses"
I think that's about it, so I'll just post a few pictures which I have not had a chance to "use up".

Pulmonaria now in good flower

A man out standing in his field.

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