The determination of Puff!

A few days ago, Puff the moscovy decided yet again to have a go at some broody business! Judging by this picture, the duckling obviously felt that she needed some company this time around. No staying power these youngsters of today though as by tea time the lure of food became irresistable! Unfortunately, the whole broody thing must have been a bit of a last minute decision as she was only sitting on two eggs – one of them being a china one! As that’s not really worth five weeks of effort, Kevin managed to slide Puff’s previous day’s egg underneath her and she did lay a third the following day. Then guess what – one or more of the Cherry Bs decided that Puff would be great as a surrogate mum and so for the last couple of days they’ve been laying in the nest too! Certainly such a situation isn’t ideal, not least because the Cherry B and Moscovy eggs require different incubation periods. So now we have to keep an eye out for when Puff leaves the nest so that we can remove the interlopers’ contributions. Luckily, the eggs are easy to tell apart. Today Kevin has reintroduced the china egg elsewhere in the duck house to try and discourage the Cherry Bs from interfering with Puff’s efforts!

I'll help mum!

I'll help mum!

After a mainly lovely summer, the weather has deteriorated somewhat over the last week or so.  The pigs have resorted to extra snoozing time and the hens and chickens spend a lot of time looking bedraggled under various trees and bushes. The ducks on the other hand think it’s GREAT!!!! For the Ayelsbury Runners, who have access to the croft land beyond the garden, all kinds of new watery locations have appeared and they’re having a wonderful time!

Great weather for ducks!

Great weather for ducks!

The departure lounge

The departure lounge

Meanwhile, between showers, a regular view from the kitchen window has been one of upwards of thirty swallows preening and chattering on the power lines. Then suddenly, within the last couple of days – they’re gone! So they’ve forsaken our temperate location for the warmer one of Africa,  but their return next spring will be a thrill once more.

On the garden front, the veg patch is providing many things in abundance. Kevin dug up the remaining early potatoes, broad beans and peas are plentiful still, the curly kale is coming on a treat and the courgettes are prolific to say the least! It’s amazing how many things you can do with a courgette!

Tumbling tomatoes

Tumbling tomatoes

Meanwhile, in the polytunnel the sweetcorn looks to be doing really well as are the cucumbers, but the tomatoes, both the tumbling variety and the regular type, are fairly poor this year. On the other hand, the tumbling tomatoes in the conservatory are doing exceptionally well along with the chillis and peppers. We’ve discussed the possibility that next year we may abandon the whole idea of ‘poly tomatoes’ – which most years seem to produce too little, too late – and just concentrate on corn and salad crops in the polytunnel, with a couple of tumbling tomato plants in the conservatory along with the usual chillis. And here’s something else in the conservatory…

 

Chilli con cat

Chilli con cat

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