Friday, 30 April 2010
Friday, 23 April 2010
To me it felt very early and the birds were singing with great gusto but unfortunately it was just the start of another day for a lot people who were off to work and car after car drowned out the magical, joyful bird song. It was very disappointing and although I should have really felt sorry for people who have to leave for work so early in the morning, at the time I felt really resentful
It was a bit quieter by the time we got to the ponies as it is further away from the road but by then the best of the dawn chorus was over. It was still good to be out at that time in the morning and we enjoyed our picnic breakfast. Of course inquisitive Tavey wanted to know what was going on and had to check out my walking pole to see if it was edible...
...and then he wanted to know if I had saved him any currant bun (which I hadn't).
Friday, 16 April 2010
As a reward for our work, all the stock checkers were invited to the farm to see the lambing in progress. It is good to see this new life knowing that these lambs are not be going to be eaten but will live, for as long as their health allows, as conservation grazers. Some of the older sheep are now in their teens:-) The following day we were back on the downs to help with the back breaking job of hoof trimming. All very enjoyable.SSSI land that was cleared last year using heavy machinary and still hasn't been grazed. It will be interesting to see how the two sites develop as they are virtually side by side. At the moment they have mostly the same flowers coming through, although, the machine cleared area has far more Violets and an area of Coltsfoot.
Biggin Hill Airport so we can't enjoy the peace and quiet but it does help a bit not having the constant buzz of planes stacking for the major London Airports. One day I would like to move to a place where I can't hear any planes or traffic...that's if such a place exists in this country.
Saturday, 10 April 2010
The past few sunny warm days have brought everything racing forward. The Violets in the pony field have been joined by Wood Anemones, Primroses and Celandine.
I had a peep under the weed suppressant sheet that we put on the top of the bank several years ago in the hope of making it a sitting area (as it has beautiful views) and sure enough the slow worms were out in force enjoying the warmth after surviving such a cold winter. It is a shame we can't use our sitting area but its a small price to pay when we have inadvertently created a habitat for these funny little creatures who are multiplying up there at a tremendous rate year after year.
Friday, 2 April 2010
My Granny loved Violets. She said they had saved her life when, as a little girl, living in Windsor Great Park, where her father was a game keeper, she had been given them because she was desperately ill with a bad chest. She apparently quickly made a complete recovery. I don't know if it was in gratitude but my mother's middle name is Violet.
My granny also used to tell me a tale of King Frost who wanted a wife to warm his heart and was sent Violet whom he adored, but Violet was sad that she could no longer be with her own kind, so as King Frost loved her very much, he allowed her to return home during the months of March and April and that is why all the Violets come out to greet and party with her during those months:-)
She was always telling me little stories which I used to listen to intently but she also had a wicked sense of humour so frequently I believed everything she was saying only to find out it was a big joke.
Having been brought up in Windsor Great Park she had a lot of wildlife on her door step and loved all aspects of it. She used to tell me that her Father (the game keeper) often said that everything in nature must be balanced for everything to survive and it concerned her in her later years that, because of human activity, things were becoming unbalanced. She would be very pleased to know that areas of special natural interest are now being conserved and of course she would have loved Tavey and Rufus.