Thursday, 3 May 2018

Wildlife and countryside

Thank you for comments....I made the olive bread again, this time using yeast instead of baking powder and leaving it to prove for an hour.  The texture was much better, although a bit doughy.  At least it could be sliced, though, and still tasted lovely.  However, in future I might just stick to an olive focaccia.

When I get up in the mornings, I spend a few minutes looking out of the bedroom windows.  As I've mentioned before, we live on farmland and have fields front and back.  The back is north facing and quite windy (the Bristol channel is only a couple of miles away), the front less so as it's very sheltered and south facing, a real sun trap.  The view this morning from the front bedroom:-

The farmer who owns that field usually puts sheep or cows in to graze, he's recently been weedkilling (hence the tractor tracks) and the grass is long and lush, so livestock is obviously due to go in soon.  I hope it's cows and calves, sheep and lambs are cute, but calves are so much more entertaining - they run around and leap about just like lambs do, it's just funnier seeing bigger animals do it.

The back field, the land owned by our farmer landlord:-

Last evening I stood there watching 2 adult foxes trot along the edge of the field, before diving into the hedge.  Sadly, one of them was limping on one of the front legs.  I know some people don't like foxes, particularly if they have chickens, but I love them just for the beautiful wild creatures they are.  The field has been sown with maize, along with several other fields, for animal feed (it's a dairy farm).

OH's polytunnel and raised veg/fruit beds, all in various stages of use and construction.

This morning whilst we were working in the front garden, I suddenly noticed a male bullfinch sitting on top of the utility room roof.  Last year we were fortunate to have a pair and an extra male grace our back garden for a couple of weeks, it was the first time we'd seen bullfinches for years.  After they disappeared (I wonder where they go?), we thought we'd never see them again, we were so pleased to see the one this morning, I hope it comes back.  And the house martins have arrived, just 4 or 5 so far, the others will no doubt appear over the next few days.  They're later than usual, by about a fortnight I think, obviously waiting for good weather.  How sensible and intelligent migrating birds are!

This afternoon we went to the nature reserve, it's so beautiful there and we count ourselves very lucky indeed to have it so close to us, a mere few minutes drive away.  We had the place virtually to ourselves, during the week it's very quiet apart from a few dog walkers and the occasional group of twitchers in the hides, of which there are several dotted around.

Bluebells in a hedgerow on the way there.....bluebells are also late around here, but, perhaps because of all the rain we've had, there are masses and masses of them around, more than I think I've ever seen before.

The following pics of the nature reserve don't do it justice at all, they're only taken on my phone, they don't really capture the beauty of the place:-

And finally.....

A gratuitous Betty shot, she was standing on my lap nose to nose with me.  She's such a heffalump now, she leaves bruises on my thighs! (not that I mind!).


  1. Oh my, you live in a very beautiful area!

  2. It all looks very lush and beautiful. Doggy is so cute too.

  3. Some very lovely views to lift your heart daily.
    J x

  4. How wonderful to have a bullfinch in the garden, and a beautiful, but not quite so wild creature in the house, she's so cute!

    One of my aims for the year is to make something bready, Dan makes most of our bread as I don't like having sticky hands, but I think I could manage a focaccia.


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