Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Frosty bananas, muddy hens

Late autumn slowly moves on - warm, cold, warm, cold, colder.

I suppose that I will keep saying it through the winter months but I do miss seeing the girls during the week. Weekends are so special as they spend all the time in the garden though maybe a little disappointingly they do seem to spend far to much time habituating with us and if we are in the house they sit on the back door step. Preening, pooing, just chatting to each other. Needless to say where ever we are, we have working gardeners, companions and bug killers at very close hand.

The weekend was clear and blue - somehow bananas and frost don't mix but sunshine is always enjoyed.

The best scratching place in the entire garden is under the bananas and gingers. With the big leaves I assume that the earth stays drier than the rest of the soil in the garden so its a favourite area.
Cybil inspects the garden

Harriett checking out the dodgy photographer - look at the gleaming feathers

Now if there is one thing that chickens love to do and that is dust bathe. Right, dust bathing in summer is fine - the words "dust" and "bathing" seem to make sense.
As the girls are in the run for most of the day we provided them with a lovely tray of clean dry sand that they can have a bath in. Oh so wrong - not interested at all.
What they are interested in is mud - MUD. How do you equate MUD with lovely clean dry sand? Life as a chicken is odd, however I think that if mud is what makes you happy then just think of how you feel when your prize white silkie chicken looks like this!
The happiest Harriett you will ever see!
Well this isn't all about chickens and our other creatures are a pond full of Carassius auratus. Perhaps goldfish is more recognisable as a moniker (referred to as "the children") and when we moved here we inherited a large finned specimen labelled Miss Swishy living in 2 inches of water - mud for chickens and fish may not be the best of scenarios for either!
Anyway we did a big pond makeover and got a few more goldfish (all named but that's another story) and they bred! Add plants and love, pond turned into a frog sex orgy centre (the resultant tadpoles perhaps stimulated the fish breeding?), damselflies and even newts.
But we got a leak so we needed to fix it to save our little haven.
I think the photos below show how I totally managed to mis-measure the pond and the amount of liner needed............ (have you ever seen anybody looking so mystified by the amount of black eco-pond liner wafting gently in the gale force wind)

Still, after a busy day the pond was re-lined, plants re-potted and "the children" (as the goldfish are known) returned to a larger and lovelier home. The frogs are already back, we hope the newts return soon.
And just when you thought it was all over - it snowed again!

Two snowfalls before December is just - well virtually unknown. Winter we await you.

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