Mystery muscovy and a near disaster


Puff is a mystery this year. She’s a mixed-up Muscovy. Perhaps a menopausal Muscovy! She’s layed only two eggs this year that we’re aware of; one very small and one normal sized. She showed no interest in Biggles’ ducklings, when usually she duck-naps them, abandoning her own nest. She’s been keeping herself to herself, spending a lot of her time under a bush in the veg plot. This is her fourth season. Maybe she’s reached the end of her reproductive life. Does anyone know if that’s the case? However, things have now changed. Although she has an empty nest, she’s gone broody! Biggles has come back into lay, so Puff has now moved into her box and is sitting tight. I’ve no idea how this is going to work because Biggles is still laying in there so all the eggs are going to be at different stages of development. We’ve decided to leave them to it even if only a couple hatch. At least Puff will be happy.

Someone who is very happy is Brenda. We’re getting lots of sunny spells at the moment and the wee family likes to make the most of them.

brenda's family

Actually, the weather is quite changeable, mainly with great big, fluffy clouds scudding across a blue sky, but also some heavy showers. When setting breakfast tables the other day, I was treated to my favourite kind of sky, complete with rainbow

breakfast rainbow

CauliThis weather pattern of warm sunshine and showers is great growing weather and the veg plot is bursting with goodies. Usually the cauliflowers sneak up on us but this year we’ve been ready and have eaten them at their most solid, perfectly white condition.

The brassicas in general are doing well and the other day, Kevin finally managed to dig up our early (late) potatoes! They’ve been a long time coming this year but are well worth the wait.




Red Cabbage












One of my favourite summer sights is after our neighbouring crofter has cleared the adjoining field for silage, the grass starts to regrow and the cattle move in. They always seem interested in the goings-on over the fence at Garybuie!


This year I may have changed my mind though, after a near disastrous confrontation between cattle and ducks. Every summer, both species, along with the hens,  have been happy to graze alongside each other. On Wednesday evening however, I came into the kitchen to cook dinner and heard shouting out in the field. I assumed it was the crofter herding the beasts for some reason. I quickly realized though that it was Kevin doing the shouting! There he was, skirting (quickly) around a skittish herd of cows, calves of various sizes and the BULL! In his arms was an Aylesbury duck and he was heading towards the garden at a fair old lick, followed by the bovine bullies at an equal lick! He scrambled over the fence into the garden, blood trickling down his legs from scratches obtained from the barbed wire. Apparently MacRae had managed to escape the melee and waddled home as fast as a duck can waddle but Lucky was way up the top of the field, quacking and drawing the attention of the cattle once more. Kevin handed me a traumatized Chance, who upon inspection had part of her inwards protruding from her rear, much like a prolapse. Obviously she’d been trampled and I thought she would be a goner. Meanwhile, back over the fence went Kevin with cattle in tow. Lucky wouldn’t shut her bill so she was increasing the excitement of the cattle. Kevin tried to lead them away and eventually, for some reason, the herd galloped off in the opposite direction – along with the bull. Lucky was unharmed and unbelievably, Chance’s protrusion seemed to be protruding less! We put the girls in their house and they seemed happy to stay put. What caused this unhappy event we’ll never know, as I said, it’s never happened before. I think that probably the cows were just curious about the ducks but as they got close, maybe the ducks got a bit nervous and started flapping or quacking, or both, arousing excitement in the beasts. Kevin said that they were encircling the ducks, a fair amount of fancy footwork involved. Unbelievably, Chance appeared to be fully recovered the day after and here she is, with her pink bangle, behind her best pal, Lucky…


Lucky and Chance

Understandably, all three Aylesburys have stayed within the confines of the garden since! Anyway, after all the excitement and worry, here’s a picture of Patches for no reason other than it’s a calm and peaceful pose!




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