My dog is not a herding dog!!!

P1020376Barley is here having an inspection from an inquisitive lamb. Barley is absolutely useless at herding sheep but my daughter’s very small Jack Russell is far better and gets a good reaction when needed.

Though it does look somewhat ridiculous, I think it is the yapping that helps!

Sheep Shearing

P1020353Yesterday we got the sheep shawn. There were 3 guys clipping so it was hard work for me and my granddaughter to keep up with rolling the fleeces into rounds then putting them into the wool sheets.

These large sacks can hold up to 30 ewe’s fleeces if you pack them tight, which means getting into the sack and jumping on the fleeces to pack them down, a job the children love to do!

We had 70 ewes to shear,16 ewe lambs who had not been shawn before, so they had very large fleeces and the 2 boys or rams who are rather large and can be strong to handle. The 3 shearers had the whole job done, packed up and away in 2 hours including their lunch break! Shearing is a very specialize job only for the strong and fit guys, not me! My granddaughter who lives in the hills behind Rye Hill, travelled by horse, a lovely ride over the moors and through Slaley Forest. It takes her about an hour depending how much time she spends on the phone on her way!

3 Eggs already.

P1020346Having been doubtful as to whether these were swallows or house martins, I looked them up on the RSBP website and they are definitely swallows as they have red on their heads and the tail feathers are very forked.

I crept up the outside stairs when Mrs Swallow was away (Dad wasn’t about either) with my camera, and I could see that there are at least 3 lovely little eggs nestling in the feather lined bed. I am not sure how long birds take to hatch their young, a chicken takes 3 weeks.

Do hope she will stay and hatch them out. Check back for a follow up blog.

New House Mates!

P1020343Last Monday I saw a muddy patch on the wall and a week later the house has been built and Mrs Swallow [or is it House martin?] is in residence soon to lay some eggs.

Guests have found it intriguing watching the building process from their bedroom, the care that the birds take to get the straw or feather in exactly the right place. There is great chattering when they approach the nest but if they see a camera pointing at them they are soon away, one guest hoped to get a picture with her tablet as it hides her face and she also draped a dark shawl over her shoulders to help the disguise!

So how long should a stick of rhubarb be?

2015-06-09 18.26.50My rhubarb has been excellent this year, guests have really appreciated it cooked with orange for their breakfast.

Here is my 4 year old granddaughter seeing just how long the stems are. She was over the moon that she’s taller – just! The rhubarb stem measured 28 inches.

I knew there was one more Easter Egg!

2015-06-07 13.16.23I have just been cutting the hedge in the garden and out pops this Easter Egg, 10 weeks later and still looking as good as new.

A good old Cadbury Creme Egg! Yes, it still tastes the same as one that has not been in the hedge for so long (I didn’t share it with the grand kids, it was all mine!).

Pansies have such dear little faces!

P1020310These are some of the pansies we planted just before Easter and are now looking in their prime, though we did have a problem with the chickens trying to dig them up to start with, but a small but of wire mesh did the trick.

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