Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The good life

Now is a wonderful time of the year.  Lots of lovely produce ripening - almost too much!  The corn had the most gorgeous pink silk, and the plants are around 3m high.  The end product is tasty.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Fecund nature

This is a small Japanese pumpkin with an even smaller tomato, posed elegantly against the family silver (not!).

And this is the second ripe fig - amazingly late (I think).  The tree is laden with small hard fruit, which I'd assumed would be the beginning of next summer's figs, but deliciously the figs are ripening one by one - sweet, juicy.  It's a delight living amidst this wonderful abundance of nature - if slightly overwhelming - friends soon tire of receiving the same fruits/veg week after week!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Traumatic times

Worrisome week - Angela was unwell, tripping, sitting for long periods. Eloise wonderfully caring - demanding that Angela get up NOW and catch some insects; peeping very loudly when she couldn't find her. Phoned the breeder for after-sales service, but his response was too pragmatic and not to my liking - "if she doesn't get any better wring her neck and get another bird".

Anyway - she wasn't ill - she was faint with hunger. Insects alone do not a little bird sustain and the bird brains hadn't worked out that they were supposed to be eating grain as well.

Now the problem is ensuring they don't spend too much time sitting in the feed basin!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

The bug crew has arrived

Angela and Eloise, two guinea fowl, have been appointed bug hunters in the orchard. They arrived two days ago - 12 or 13 weeks old, almost fresh from their incubator/nursery.

Angela is at the front, Eloise at the back - I think. See the lingering downy feathers? Their heads appear to be bald. It took them only 24 hours to acclimatise to their new surroundings. And their little bird brains are quite clever - whenever I approach with the camera they take off, when I sit quietly amidst the blueberries I can do just about anything. This afternoon I was pruning blueberry bushes as I picked. Each time bits of stick dropped they came rushing over to check out what was going on.

I doubt that they will ever be tame - as in this sense - because they have no need of feed; the orchard is chokkas with bugs and by nightfall they are exhausted from a long day of nibbling. Hopefully, though, one day they'll become companionable.