creative 1975

Spring 2014

In Gardening, Non-Fiction, Poultry on September 11, 2014 at 2:09 pm

20140907_141918It doesn’t seem that long ago since I wrote on my blog page about last spring and here we are again, but thank goodness for that (I say this every time this particular season arrives). It will not be too much longer before we can put winter behinds us, stop thinking about wood for the log burner, firelighters, kindling, cleaning the fireplace; then we can simply be at a comfortable temperature no matter where we are in the house. No more heaters in the bedrooms and reminiscing about gas central heating in England. You’d think after several years I would be used to this, but I’m one of ‘those’ people—them who really feel the cold. During the warm summer months I have been found wrapped up in a blanket on the couch in the evenings whilst Mr C protests about the heat!

(photo above: calendula)

IMG-20140827-WA0001Spring brings new life around our place and that’s something I always look forward to. The first new life to arrive is a sweet fluffy duckling—the only one to hatch out of the two eggs I allowed my gorgeous white Muscovy duck ‘Daphne’ to sit on. Why only two eggs? Because I have two more ducks that are now brooding; they can lay up to 18 eggs or sometimes more in one latch, and if they are all fertile and successfully hatch that’s a lot of ducklings running around the place and a vast amount to feed. Therefore, Daphne had two but only one hatched. Muscovy duck number two named ‘Twilight’ has now disappeared; she’s built her nest so far inside conifer trees that I can’t reach her to take any away, so there is going to be many eggs incubating underneath her. It was quite sad the other day when I found one of her eggs, broken and discarded on the lawn. It must have been taken by a predator in the night. The duckling was of course dead yet fully formed. It’s sad, but it’s nature.

With more sunshine comes new routine with the poultry, feeding times change and with ducklings and chicks imminent there will be new feathered friends to raise and some male ones to pass on to someone else, which is the part that I don’t like (but I have to be practical and sensible), they will become meat. It’s predestined because roosters aren’t wanted as pets and neither are drakes, unless desired for breeding (if purebred), which the drakes will be. I kept one rooster last year and that’s worked out fine having two in total, but anymore and there will be more arguments over the hens. Not a good idea to have another drake bothering the ducks, they’re keen on him at this time of year when they’re broody, but the rest of the time they’d rather he left them alone! I’m sure it doesn’t affect his self-esteem!

Of course the new arrival of a duckling has presented me with a photo subject. The amount of snaps I’ve taken in the two weeks since its arrival is close to ridiculous. I’ve always been ‘clicker’ happy when it comes to taking photos and when the world went digital that just made me worse as I no longer have to send photo films away to be developed. The problem is just like chicks, ducklings are fast moving and it’s hard to get a good shot.

 

In the garden:

I planted my own garlic seed on the shortest day of the year: 21st of June and they’ve sprouted up lovely. I have been using the garlic in my cooking that I froze from last year’s harvest and there’s not much left, but I’m proud to know that I haven’t had to buy any garlic from the supermarket this year so far. I have some slow-growing bok choy on the go, an abundance of parsley, some leeks still to pull and I know I really need to make time to plan and orders seeds. More compost is a must too. I do have my own compost in process but I think it’s going to be another year before it will be ready to use.

20140817_13120120140907_142025-120140907_141848

Leeks and garlic sprouting (right)

Wherever you are in the world embrace the season and what it brings; if you’re feeling the cold of winter arriving you have my sympathy unless you have gas central heating! 🙂

 

 

 

My recent find:

      Organic Fig Leaf TeaimagesCAASJ0K6

 I’m not ‘big’ on herbal teas, it’s only ever really been Jasmine that I like. Whilst ordering lovely soaps from Naturalus I came across fig leaf tea—it has health benefits for the body such as inflammatory conditions, which is ideal for me.

Read more at: http://www.naturalus.co.nz/Products/Tea/Tea.html#132

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