Reeds, the Beacon and Gosies...
There are reeds appearing in the big field at Houghton. There weren’t any last year but they seemed to have popped up from somewhere and need tackling. Thankfully for a change this isn’t a digging job but a strimming job. The Honda strimmer is big and unwieldy and has a very blunt blade, but the boss has got a new one so I’m optimistic that I can do a better job with it. So if fill it up with petrol, get geared up in my harness and ear defenders and head out to massacre the reeds. There are some quite big patches so I set to, in a little world of my own, cutting them as close to the ground as possible. I think some of them have been nibbled which is great, maybe the cattle and sheep like a little taste of reeds. This field is now shut up for hay so nobody will be nibbling anything in here for a while. I’ve got to get rid of as much as possible.
I’m going to count the sheep at Aglionby. This is no easy task, we have 18 Ewe’s and 33 lambs there at the moment and of course they wont stay still to be counted. The Ewe’s are not so bad, I can usually get all them without much trouble, it’s the lambs that are the problem. They hide, in bushes, in the long grass, behind mum, behind each other, behind a bucket anywhere they can. It sometimes takes four or five goes to get the right number. Today one is standing on top of mum to get a better look at what I’m doing in their field and there is one hiding in a hedge behind the ditch. I think it was asleep. Come on now lambs, line up to be counted!
We are having a jubilee beacon at the Croft and its going to take some planning. The old bonfire spot in the crab apple field is too near the Tyler room and Wildlife trust office so we need a new spot, 50m from the fence. Ive enlisted the help of Halo group to get the project started. We need to lift the turf from a 12ft x 12ft square and put it on the spot where the old bonfire is, there is no point wasting it. I think the gang would prefer to be making an actual bonfire, but they will get the chance, it’s a bit early to be building it yet. We set to digging out the turf which is no mean feat considering the quantity of ran we have had in the last few days. By lunch we are pretty tired and have got about a third done. I think a change of task is necessary so after a hearty lasagne (thanks Boss!) we have a bash at cleaning the goose hut; the goslings will want to move in soon…Speaking of which, I went away for the bank holiday weekend and I’m sure the goslings have doubled in size, they are squeaky as ever but are much bigger and more inquisitive. They have decided that the tent which shields them from drafts is perfect for nibbling, it is already a bit holey but I suspect nothing will be left by the time they have finished. They are also displaying typical goose cockiness. If you go in the stable and say hello a chorus or squeaks is your reply, they have to have the last word.