I am back from a week spent with my Mum in not so sunny Somerset, one of the reasons I've been quiet since my last post. More about that further on because I want to show pics I've taken throughout the month in some vague order. I have only taken photos on my phone as I wasn't really in the mood for shooting anything much in my garden for the gazillionth time, so these are just a few things that I found or that happened along the way.
Andrea the hen 'helping' after I'd just weeded the tubs. I am down to only two hens now as the one who had scaly leg mite died, poor thing. I'm not replacing them and guess what, we just had to BUY some eggs!!! Both hens are now in full moult so have stopped laying.
And here she is pecking at maggots from the bag of bird peanuts that we found wriggling. It really annoys me when that happens as they are really expensive to buy and aren't always available, hence us usually buying several bags at a time. The hens weren't interested in eating the peanuts though, but luckily (or not) we had a nighttime visitor a few nights ago who came and scoffed them up. K spotted a fox one night just after he'd put the outside light on looking for Harry who hadn't come in. He thought it was Harry for a moment until he realised Harry didn't have such big ears and a pointy face. I'm wary about a fox getting into the garden and fear for the cats as well as the ducks, but as it happened dear Harry was safe as he'd got himself locked in the barn for the night! It was pretty cool seeing the fox though.
I spotted this Small Heath butterfly roosting on the Golden Rod at about 5pm one evening, long before we changed the clocks.
I also found this huge Fox Moth caterpillar. You can see from the photo with my hand just how big it is.
And now, something very interesting - another thing that's both exciting to see but also makes me wary about such a thing getting into the garden. This is up the far end of the pond where the stream comes in and the shallowest area of lake, so it dries up when the pond level is very low (it's down about 4 foot or more right now). Well now, what might have caused this? There was a trail of deep footprints and a big area that had been wallowed in. We conclude it must have been a wild boar, because the footprints are cloven and have sunk in very deeply compared to the other pawprints around it.
It might be best if you click on this photo to view it larger, as you can see coarse hair marks in the mud, just like a wild boar had been lying against it.
Again, if you look closer at the next photo you can see pawprints which at the time I thought either dog or fox, and now that we know that a fox got in, I'm guessing they must be fox tracks. The wild boar's tracks are much deeper.
We realised that we never repaired a hole in the fence where the fence crosses the stream, so that has now been rectified (although the fox was spotted after that was done, so must be getting in through one of the holes where the cats get out. We can't repair every bit of damaged fence wire under the hedge.)
Our 'tree man' has just been to give a quote for felling more overcrowded trees and thinks he may be able to remove the stand of alders that fell over into the pond earlier in the year. Part of it is still in water, the rest in mud too squidgy to walk on and I have no idea how deep that mud is as I don't want to lose my wellies! I guess planks to stand on is the way to go.
Piccy of the cats, though no Hallie. The lawn is how we found it when we came back from hols after it had finally rained - very blotchy. We're still awaiting the autumn rains.
Back to England, I had a lovely time, a lot of it spent eating all my favourite things! I love clotted cream and having a cream tea was so good I had to take a photo of it. K stayed at home looking after the menagerie and I flew over and my brother picked me up from Southampton airport. Sadly Flybe only use the Exeter route for a few months in the summer now and in fact there are no flights to Southampton during winter anymore. I came home on the last flight of the year. Both flights were full by the way. Conclude from that what you will.
It was gloomy most days but I did a bit of gardening for Mum and got out for a nice long walk with the husband of a friend of my Mum with his dog, which was great as it was a round trip walk that otherwise I would never have known existed. We saw dozens of pheasants. Here is a pic from the top of Mum's garden with the neighbour's Sumac tree looking really colourful.
On the way home I had a good view and the sun came out as soon as we hit France (of course!) so I took a load of photos as we were coming in to land. Love these old prop planes!
And then it was back to collecting yet more walnuts to add to the pile, and yet more huge windfall apples. I intend to stew up a load of apples and freeze them as apple sauce.
I did take a few photos of the garden with my phone. My Forest Pansy has been looking great all October, but we just had a proper white frost the other day so tons of leaves have dropped off the trees now.
And here's the pond showing how low it is, with the fallen tree just visible at the far end.
I've not been terribly in the mood for blogging - think I'm suffering from blog writer's block. It doesn't help that the depression is lurking now the gloomy weather is back, although it's mostly kept at bay by my medication. So if my posts are sporadic then that will be why. I have recently had a CT scan for my twice annual check up and everything was fine, so that's one year clear of cancer now! And I don't have a hernia which I thought I had. I do have a bulge which is why I thought I had one, but the scan just shows fat..... :-)