Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Nature notes

Today has been one of those days that makes me realise just how much I love living in the countryside. It was such a glorious morning, sun shining, not a breath of wind and the birds twittering away. I took Chrissie out for her usual early morning walk, along the burnside, up the farm road. I've noticed over the last couple of days that the fish are visible again up at the little bridge, I spend hours in the summer just watching them dart about in the pool under the bridge. There are little dippers darting around from stones to banking, just a flash of white breast as they disappear, and yellow pied wagtails bobbing about too.

I often hear woodpeckers both pecking away in the surrounding trees and making the distinctive chitting noise that is their call. As I was wondering back along to the cottage this morning I could hear a real birdie ding-dong going on in the trees, I thought as soon as I get close it'll fly away. But to my amazement here were two beautiful Great Spotted woodpeckers flitting about in the tree up above me, totally unaware of me and an audience of finches, blue tits, coal tits and others spectating! Wether it was a male and a female flirting or two males fighting over a tree I'm not sure but it was certainly entertaining!

Living the life we lead now constantly takes me back to my childhood, I was a real little nature boffin, always out pottering in the garden, bringing in poorly birds and animals to try and nurse them back to health. I was always in my element when we had pet lambs to feed, I often got up in the morning to find a lamb in the bottom oven of the Rayburn thawing out! Today I went back to being about eight years old again, I had come across a drying up puddle of tadpoles, a writhing mass of black jelly about to bake in the sun. So I returned with my bucket to rescue the tadpoles, putting some into our neighbours pond and some into my makeshift pond, a big blue plastic trug with rocks in the bottom and some pond weed will be gathered tomorrow for them to feed on. Fingers crossed they all turn into little frogs, but they'll need to stay out of the way of the chickens as they have a bit of a liking for fresh frog! Why is it that a supposedly grown up 30 year old can turn into a child for the day so easily? hmmmm......

I'm also going to let you into a little secret I have with my ducks, although I don't think they know that I know...............

One of the female apricot call ducks has gone off and made herself a little nest just up from the ford at the bottom of our garden. As of tonight there are 9 eggs in the nest and she has started to line it with feathers! It's close enough to the water so she can go and wet her feathers to keep the eggs moist while incubating them. The only problem is we don't want to leave her out overnight or she'll end up fox fodder. So, the plan is, once she starts to sit on them we will try moving her and the nest into our little broody coop, but to be honest I'm really not sure if she'll like us disturbing her and it may well put her off. If this is the case we've got a couple of broody hens waiting in the wings to take over, one of the French Cuckoo Marans and a Blue Laced Wyandotte. Hatching little duckings would be superb so watch this space........

I ended the evening planting some more seeds in the greenhouse, lettuce and rocket into some old guttering that we found behind the stables, another one of Sarah Ravens ideas!

Ooh, we also had our first customer today, a lovely lady who lives up the road from us on the next estate, she came and bought two dozen eggs! I managed to contain my excitement and refrained from asking if I could take a photo of her for on the blog, I am thankful for having a little bit of sanity every now and then.......................

L xx


Anonymous said...


What a random time to be posting a message on your blog, but i just can't sleep. Dreading getting up tomorrow!
Glad you had a lovely easter weekend. Unfortunatley I had to work. Hopefully it will be nice this weekend though as I'm off.
Read one of your posts the other day and you said where you live is not ideally where you would like to be, where would be your perfect place to live? I always feel we are never happy with what we have and always strive for more, we are a strange lot, don't you think?
Managed to get a little more done in the garden this week, thank god. Didn't realise it would take us so long to get things under way though. Mind you if it wasn't for the fab family we have around us to help we would so much further behind.
Anyway, think I try to fall off to sleep now as it is 1.24am!!!

Looking forward to reading your next post.

Poppy x

Anonymous said...

My grammar is terrible! I'm far too tired to be composing a msg for you site, so I'm off to bed now. Sorry for such a random blog at such a ramdom time.

P x

Alison said...

Tadpoles always remind me of my childhood.
Alison x

Ragged Roses said...

Thanks for such a lovely post - you seem to have had a perfect day! Being outside always reminds me of when I was younger too. Good luck and congrats with the nest and eggs. Hope you can enjoy some more of this lovely weather today.
Kim x

Katherine said...

The colour of those duck eggs is beautiful.

Primrose Hill said...

Morning all!

Gosh , Poppy you had a late night!

When we first started looking for a bigger place to move to we were looking around what was home at the time in the Stirling area. We went after a few places but nothing quite like what we've got now. We left family and friends behind to come up here, didn't know a soul, but it's the best thing we've ever done, really couldn't imagine being anywhere else! Although I would love to live on a croft in the Western Isles of Scotland, I'll keep that for my retirement days I think!
The weather is lovely again today, hoping to get out into the garden later, sewing to be done this morning!
Hope you're all enjoying the good weather.
L xx

Anonymous said...

Well don't feel as tired as I thought I would be, which is nice.
Glad you are happy where you are just now, the Stirling area is nice as well though. So do you think where you are just now will be you for a while or do have plans to do up somewhere else? We would love to get a bigger house at some point, just need to see how the pennies go after the wedding. Think we will stay where we are for a few more years though.
The weather is lovely today, going out into the garden to get a little more done

Poppy x

kelly said...

hello you! that daffodil pic is perfect for colour week : )

thanks for stopping by my blog + leaving a comment...nice to meet you!

sounds like you live in an amazing place...surrounded by natural treasures. even better in this sunshine we have!

duck eggs...what a delicious shade...nice to be in on the secret too! well done with your 1st sale too by the way!

happy wednesday! x kelly

Angel Jem said...

Why is it that an 8 year old can grow into a 30 year old just long enough to do what we have to before becoming a child again & just being... who said grown-up was the right thing to be?

cherry menlove said...

What a great post. I'm still laughing at you trying not to get chicken poo inbetween your toes and then I read this. Wonderful eggs, the most beautiful colour.

Cherry xx

Anonymous said...

Hi Lisa,

Great post!

Last night I saw toad spawn for the first time - instead of a jelly-like mass of frog spawn it's in long strands which I didn't know - very odd looking!

Also yesterday I walked past the handmade furniture shop in town and saw an incubator with week-old chicks all toppling about and flapping - the owners of the shop obviously want to keep an eye on them during the day. The window shoppers were loving it and the chicks seemed very happy too!


carolyn said...

Isn't life grand? Anyone reading this post is going to want to move to the country at once. Congrats on the egg sales and good luck with the duck eggs and tadpoles.

GigerVamp said...

Those duck eggs are lovely, hope you're able to move the nest successfully.
I remember going fishing for tadpoles and sticklebacks when I was a kid, armed with my fishing net and a jam jar with a handle made of string!

Joanna said...

It makes me smile so much living in the countryside, seeing the birds, talking to the horse over the road. Seeing the weather come in from over the downs.

Thats so exciting selling your first eggs, I'm sure you will be having plenty more customers

st├ęphanie said...

Good luck with mummy duck !

Marie said...

Hi Lisa,
The thought of you asking your first egg customer if you could take a photo for your blog made me smile - it is the sort of thing that I would have had to try hard to resist! Hope the duck eggs hatch.
Marie x

Anonymous said...

So lovely. A breath of fresh air.
Be very careful not to disturb the nest. Check with a Veterinarian first.

sal said...

Aaaah I love duckies, hope she stays with them, a fox wiped out our chickens and ducks when I was small because the naughty ducks wouldn't go to bed so we could shut them safely in!

Primrose Hill said...

Morning all,
Thank you for all your lovely comments. Mum duck spent the first night out on the nest last night, we covered her up with an old fruit crate with a big heavy stone on top! Have been advised not to leave her out as a fox will dig under the crate so we're hopefully going to move her tonight.
Will post about it all later today.
L xx

purple cucumbers folk art said...

Just pasing threw darling,headed to work on my organic garden,will be back,come visit soon.

tash said...

It sounds wonderful - exactly as the countryside should be. I remember a friend of ours having a muscovy duck who was very old, but faithfully laid unfertilised eggs and sat in a trance for weeks on end, hissing at anyone who went near her or them. Poor thing.

Our mixed lettuce has just come up, it was kept in a rather cold place so it's taken ages to germinate, but now in full-spurt it'll be ready to eat in no time - I've found old washing up bowls are fabulous!

I'm so glad that you managed to get your first sale, it must be the best feeling in the world :)