Sunday, 12 April 2009
EASTER SUNDAY EGGSTRA
Yes, we had the bananas, now we have EGGS! The quartet of bantam Speckledie hens which Michael bought to put into an old hen-house he'd been given about a month ago, have cleverly managed to present us with two brown eggs (each the size of a large grape!*?) in time for our breakfast this Easter Day morning. HOW DID THEY KNOW? Maybe the full moon on Good Friday night had something to do with it.
After a couple of weeks for settling in, they're now ranging free, pecking and scratching among the herbage and verdure for interesting beetles and grubs. That's when they're not eating their expensive fowl pellets and porridge oats. Haven't got the figures, and so haven't yet worked out the costs, the profit/loss calculation - the setting up costs, the feeders and water containers, luxury bags of bedding hay, roofing materials, rat-proof and fox-proof netting, not to mention their top quality, twice-a-day pellets, versus the profit on the first two mini eggs, but with luck, come the end of their life, it's a fair bet we might just break even.
"Look! Is that a black sheep over there? Two white ones and one black.''
"Careful! Don't get too close, dear."
"Why not? It's not as if they're bulls or anything, but they do look strange, don't they. And so BIG? Why do they have such LONG necks?"
What a fabulous Spring day! Easter Monday. We packed some sandwiches, fruit and cake and took ourselves off into the heart of the English countryside. We headed for our secret spot, a dome-shaped hillside steeply - almost precariously, overlooking a wooded valley, where at the right time of ear you can find five different kinds of wild orchids.
To get there we walked through a pasture, keeping our distance from a flock of surprised, and surprising llamas, on through meadows and woodlands carpeted with primroses, intense violets, wild garlic and bluebells - and not a human soul! We spread out rug on the orchid hill, though on this April day the grass was short, green, and primrose strewn. Catching the breeze, clouds of mini flowers from blackthorn and cherry dusted the ground around us. Blue sky from end to end with circling and corkscrewing buzzards calling like aero-kittens as the only sound audible in the miles and miles of silence.