Sunday, 29 May 2016

The flowering season

Spring came and went in what seemed like constant rain. We then had a few days of glorious spring and now summer arrived. Apple trees are covered in blooms, bushes that usually blossom at midsummer are in full swing and the pollen from the pine trees is colouring everything green. Mr. Chip sports green nostrils and our dear sheep keep turning up from the wilderness covered in green pollen. It makes a change from their reddish look but just watching them makes you want to sneeze. The hens are getting more active by the minute and can be seen heading off on long walks around the countryside. All the blossoming weeds provide them with snacks along the way and as worms are currently easily accessible, the ramblers usually end their outing on a lawn somewhere. I do believe that one of the reasons for all the trekking is the fact that our hens still feel a bit shy around the chicks. Our five super chicks could not care less as they are having a brilliant time taking over the henhouse, the yard, the village, and the world... Chicks are not very melancholy creatures and life for them is a full on eating party. Strawberries are now high on the list of "tastiest food items," right at the top with bilberries.

Credit: Dasha Dimitrova

This week we had one day of heavy rain. While I kept checking on the chicks, as I was worried that they would float away, never to be seen again, I dropped the ball. I completely forgot about Lotta the hen and her broody disposition and now she is hogging eggs and staying put. She has not left the nest for three days and I only hope she eats and drinks when left alone. I have no idea how many eggs she is guarding but I am pretty sure if anyone plops out, it will be a cockerel. And then it's young Eric all over again... All this because I forgot to collect the eggs. At least Lotta stayed indoors and did not make a nest out in the forest. Maybe we have the rain to thank for that small mercy?

Mindy, Mandy, Molly and My love the whole concept of summer. Whatever you do around the place, you can count on them turning up in no time at all, to check on your progress. They also make regular pit stops by the house and if you miss them, they inform you by calling out. It's not a rude shout, just a friendly "Hello!" so you'll know to bring some dry bread for them, out on to the step. The animals around our parts are very organised and put us to shame....

Monty impressed me the other day just by being Monty. I arrived home from work (I do some hours of gardening, now and again...) and found Monty, Darya and Henrika busily turning over the manure heap. I looked for the other two hens, Lina and Pippi and could not find them anywhere. I knew Lotta was staying put but the two other stars were missing. In the end I went to Monty and asked where his ladies had gone. To my immense surprise Monty started walking in to the forest and proceeded to show me the two missing hens, digging away behind a spruce. Then he went back towards his beloved manure heap. I told him what a brilliant and extremely clever cockerel he was and somehow he realised it himself, so he celebrated it with a little dance in the middle of the road. I think we were both equally impressed by the whole thing, while the hens thought we were silly and just a little strange. It's difficult to impress a hen, anyway...

Mr. Chip is having his "summer shampoo and rinse" session today, which means that I will be much cleaner, when we are done. You know it's time for a bath when you can tell our dear dogs whereabouts just by using your sense of smell. Mr. Chip is a reluctant bather, to say the least, so it will not be a fun filled event. Hopefully we will come up smelling of roses...

We are still celebrating the year of super important, new knowledge so here goes; Butterflies have taste sensors located on their feet so they can taste food by standing in it, on it. Maybe our hens have the same ability and that's why they jump into the food bowl?! Could explain a lot. Clever butterflies, all the same! Happy June, everyone, not long now...

Text by Nina

Next blog post on the 5th June. 

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