Fox (again) / Wildflowers / PenfoldRSS feed

Posted: Tuesday 9 July, 2019

by Rosemary at 1:32pm in Smallholding Comments closed

Monday 1st July

The summer continues with warm, sunny weather. Hopefully, Lindsay’s getting in lots of plenty good hay! I spent the morning doing some paperwork. It never goes away. I try to deal with emails promptly and there can be a lot of them.

Gave Limpy Lamb his second dose of antibiotic. I keep thinking about Wallace and his long struggle with joint ill, and cross my fingers and toes.

Decided to stop milking for now; Archie is now taking most of Annie’s milk and I don’t want to take the calves off. So back to Graham’s Organic, until Blizzard calves at the end of the month.

Tuesday 2nd July

Dan and I had a day off to Dundee. We had lunch at the V&A – where Dan noticed that he’d put on his work boots in error. Very posh! Then viewed the museum before dinner in the city and overnight at Malmaison. Full-length mirrors in the bathroom are a really bad thing. I have the body of a goddess – sadly, it’s one of those prehistoric fertility goddesses

Wednesday 3rd July

Small breakfast in the city then a tour of “RRS Discovery”. Both V&A and “Discovery” well worth a visit, if you’re in Dundee.

Arrived home to learn that Foxy had visited the caravan hens last night and killed four. I did a headcount and there are only 17 so the odd one has been taken over the last few weeks.

Dan’s been in the bees playing “Hunt the Queen”. He’s not fund them all yet, but he’s working away on it.

Limpy Lamb is almost sound and when I checked him today, he got up and had a big stretch, so he must be feeling fine.

Managed to get out with the scythe this afternoon; took down a load of nettles in Laing’s Field. It needs topped but the ragwort is just coming into flower, which will let us pull it, so no cutting until that’s done. The piles of cut rushes from earlier in teh year are gradually being absorbed; we did intend to rake thm up and removethem but didn't get round to it. Mother Nature is taking care of it for us, bless her.

ragwortDead rushes.

Thursday 4th July

Ooh, rainy and cool today. Gave the cattle a bucket and applied Spot-on to the four adults. Did the ponies as well, and Dan has put up the flycatchers. They’re disgusting at the end of the season but they seem to work.

Limpy Lamb is sound!!!!

Penfold helped me in the veg garden. And the polytunnel.

pen1Penfold helping in the veg garden.

penPenfold, helping in the polytunnel.

Friday 5th July

Farm tour this afternoon, so brought the cattle into one of our paddocks, but afterwards I put all cattle and sheep out in Laing’s Field. When Ace is isolated next week, I’ll need to keep the cows where he can see them, so need to keep the grass as well.

Saturday 6th July

Today was Carnoustie Gala Day and our neighbours opened their garden for Scotland’s Gardens Scheme. We went to both – such a social whirl!  At the Gala Day, Gwenna was second in the Prettiest Bitch class and Bryn was second in the “Dog in the Best Condition” class – he wasn’t placed in the “Handsomest Dog” class, which was a travesty!!! He was so good – he’s a real show off.

We put the cheeps out in their reinforced pen. The corners have a temporary barrier not shown in teh photo.It’s good to see then out on grass. Sadly, Foxy found it’s way into the pen of the brown henhouse, where our young birds are, and killed one before Dan interrupted it.

cheeppenFort Cheep-pen.

I’m strip grazing the ponies in Near Ditch. It looks a bit scraggy, so I’m using two wires – one in front and one behind. When forced, ponies are really efficient and tidy grazers.

grazingStrip grazing with ponies.

Sunday 7th July

First thing for me was a trip to East Pitkerro to put Spot-on on the steers. They’re looking well.  Then I pulled ragwort in Sheepfold. There wasn’t much but it needed doing. The wildflowers are really bonny.

wildflowersWildflowers in Sheepfold.

Next job was cleaning out the cheeps’ box, ready for next year. Having it on the rubber mats worked really well and I’ll do that again next year too.

boxReady for next year.

Dan set about reinforcing the poultry pens. He’s going to spend a couple of hours up there each evening for the next week or so, thinning apples – and deterring the fox – from about 7.30pm until the hens go to bed.

I got into the veg garden – weeding (of course), planted out Brussels sprouts and squash and had a bit of a tidy up.

Dan topped Far Ditch of a high setting – just to take the thistle flowers off and the seed heads form the grass, but leaving the clover and most of the grass undisturbed. Bees very busy indeed.

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