The highlight was a badger sett, but today started with a discussion of cows and their rumen over breakfast, but I am almost too tired to type more, and besides, Bob has promised to show me the cud as it is brought up and travels down again. So really, I will start with the bottle-feeding of the animals:
I was licked by a calf for the first time — people promised it would be sweet and it really was, though also the tongue was rough and also very saliva covered. I still have not taken a picture of the calf. We fed the lambs, and then the goat, and then saw to some ewe complaints (conjunctivitis and a bit of lameness). There are lots of babies around here:
Goslings soon, hopefully.
Then off down to another field in the village, to use the strimmer on loads of nettles and docks and spreading thistles, and to dig out some bow thistles and cut off at the roots more spreading thistles and docks. I missed the scythe.
It was a beautiful large field split in half by a little stream, very beautiful. This is some of the carnage we left behind after hours of work on this very warm sunny day.
The top of the field and its lovely marshy bit:
And the view down to the other end of the field.
Apart from how beautiful this field is, it has another curious characteristic. It is mostly sand. A rarity in this limestone district, and Bob thinks deposited here by glacial activity. Because it is sand, there is a lovely long sandy bank along the edge of the field facing the pub. All along the bank you can see these dug into it:
This one was even more impressive:
The trail of grass shows that it is now in use — there is even a larger sett behind the houses across the road. While this group used always to be an auxiliary sett–with one dug then left to go out of use and then used again and more being dug–it now seems it is no longer auxiliary.
This one even had tracks pressed into the moist soil:
They are wonderful. Bob said he saw two young ones playing about on the top of the bank and he approached slowly and got close enough to just put his foot on the back of one them — just to see what it would do. It wasn’t terribly impressed and just ambled off, like he couldn’t be seen. I was jealous, I have yet to see a badger. But I have a feeling you could see them sitting in front of the pub opposite.
After lunch we did some hot dirty work sorting metal recycling, and then I pulled nettles and more nettles from the path to the caravans.
I finished reading Gilbert White’s Natural History of Selbourne this evening before dinner. Sitting in a chair in front of the caravan, listening to the birds and staring up the field and nodding off from time to time. I felt for a moment that I should do all of these blogs in his epistolary style, but was too tired this evening.
A blackbird did, however, today fly into K’s caravan where her dog was understandably surprised, and put no little effort into catching and killing it. I have known blackbirds to fly into caravans no less than seven times, generally in May and June when…
But no, effort.
I might go to sleep soon, but it’s only just gone 9.