Saturday, 21 April 2012

World's Smallest Chicken Egg.

Saturday 21st April 2012
A deceptive start to a very wet day.

I have to admit it, today I was feeling particularly grumpy and tetchy all day. Most of the time we are living a fairly idyllic life here, but it is not all plain sailing. Occasionally stresses and strains still bear down, and today they seemed to outweigh the good. Even this swallow, perched on my pea frame made from red dogwood, could not cheer me up for long.
Normally when I feel like this I just take on some impossibly hard and endless job and immerse myself in it totally, but today the rain just kept coming and everything I did seemed to need doing twice.


Rain stopped play many times today. Even the chickens took refuge in the pig shelter.

But who laid this tiny egg?

Left to right: Chestnut, Elvis, Speckledy Hen, Lady Guinea, ???

I did manage to get the hole in the pig ark fixed up ready for Daisy and her litter to move into it. It's only rudimentary, but the pigs won't mind. It will be lovely to finally be able to give the piglets a taste of outdoor life.

And Sue borrowed Don's blowtorch to dust off and clean up the old bee hives, which we have taken to Long Sutton to be filled with bees so we can have another go at beekeeping, something we began in London, without a lot of success.

Then, just as I was ranting and raving about giving it all up and living like normal people do, something happened to cheer me up. A car pulled up on the road, reversed and pulled in. I let Sue deal with this enquiry, fully expecting it to be somebody else with the lovely, but unrealistic, idea of keeping a pig as a pet (we get fewer of these now that the pork signs are up too!) I took myself down in the rain to hammer some wood and generally take things out on the pig ark and fence. Well, I returned to be told by Sue that she had sold three pigs to some local smallholders. They will collect them in three weeks time, when they will have been weaned (the piglets, not the smallholders). I am sure it will be the first of many piglets they will raise, as it is all a rather special experience really, even if I occasionally forget.

The day ended with a crow clearly unhappy about the presence of something or other in the horse chestnut tree at our entrance. I expected to see an owl being harangued, but the crow emerged from the tangled branches in hot pursuit of a cuckoo, my first of the year. I saw the other day that each cuckoo specialises in which species it parasitises and lays eggs which carefully match those of the host. This cuckoo had better not be looking for sedge or reed warblers upon which to foist its offspring, as it's beat them back!

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