Today is the first day when I feel that Spring has truly sprung. There’s a warmth in the air, which is full of little black flies with way too many legs who I think are called May flies. The air is also full of swallows, my very favourite bird, who are zipping about all over the place with beaks full of May flies. Foxy and Lupin now look like soft toys that have been stuffed too full. They are circular, and could lamb at any moment. When they do lamb they have a beautiful field I have been keeping for them, knee deep in soft green grass and wild flowers. That’s one of the many nice things about lambing in May – very photogenic surroundings.
Pavlova the cockerel met mud for the first time, which splotted its way up his shiny white underparts and made him very sad for a while. Now, after intensive preening, he’s back to having perfectly laundered smalls and is a very happy cockerel again. Lots of crowing and swaggering. Wenceslas likes dust baths above all else, and for about a month his dust bath disappeared into the swamp. Now it’s drying out, and after a couple of days of scatching, pecking and (if necessary) jumping down on the hard bits, he’s got his dust bath up and running again, so he’s a happy cockerel too.
Chick is growing some seriously crazy feathers, all coming curling out at right angles to his/her body. He (or possibly she) is a bit of an only child, pampered and adored by Fluffy his mum. If he (or there again it might be she) gives a tiny tweet, Fluffy comes running and prepares to lay down her life for him (or are we talking her?) Usually Chick has just seen a stripey snail, or an interesting weed, and Fluffy’s efforts are wasted. Quite honestly Chick needs company, and I have great hopes of the eggs in the incubator hatching out and teaching Chick to – for instance – share nicely.
Duffy the Peacock is growing some beautiful blue feathers in with the buff coloured ones. He is going to be a very, very handsome chap, but he’s not easy on the garden. I have a feeling that he looks on flowers as the competition and has decided to take them out one by one. So that is what he is doing.
Everything is warming up, and relaxing, and it is very nice indeed. Think of me tonight, I’m getting up at intervals throughout to make sure Lupin and Foxy are OK. There’s a certain magic about sitting in a stable with an expectant sheep, but it does make me tired by the morning.