Tuesday, 20 August 2013

One of our ducks is missing!

Computers now working. Normal service resumed.

We are having a little do here on Saturday. It's the first time in almost three years that we've stopped to share and to celebrate all that we have achieved. Then, on Sunday we are hosting the August meeting of the Smallholders Club - the annual auction.

Machines at work.
So, needless to say, we've been very busy indeed getting the place spick and span. One worry on our minds was that the surrounding fields would be harvested while one of these events was taking place. For the combine harvesters have been out in force this last week or two, chugging across the fields all day and late into the night. But when they come they create clouds of dust and debris. Not what you want when you're entertaining.

And so it was with relief that today not one but two combines turned up, one in the wheat field next door and one in the oil seed rape opposite.

View from the bedroom window today.
As I carried buckets of water down to the animals in the soaring heat, lugged branches around and sheared long grass by hand, these monsters efficiently consumed the fields, munching away and leaving just neat lines of straw to be collected later. The contrast in farming styles was stark.

Dust storm.

What with being so busy and all this distraction, I didn't spend much time with the animals today. So it was that as darkness fell upon us - and how the nights are drawing back in now - we drove the four Cayugas back to their duck house. But hang on a minute. One, two, three...where's the fourth? The ducks usually stick together, though occasionally one will take time out from the group, but at the end of the day it's most unusual for them not to be in a tight group. Could it be that the fourth bird had already gone to bed? Torch says no. So we hunted in the gloom, trying to listen for a lone quack, but the noise of the combine wasn't helping. We scoured the whole veg patch, but to no avail. We've had to come in with just three Cayugas put away.

Hopefully all will be revealed in the morning and there'll be a happy ending.

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