Sunday, 13 August 2006


Laetiporus sulphureus: Chicken of the Woods

The weather has lost its summer shine, temperatures are cool, the skies grey. Really this should make working around the farm much more pleasant. There is less chance of overheating, no need to worry about sunburn or heatstroke, enough energy to complete tasks before exhaustion sets in but it is depressing nonetheless. We have started to worry about keeping warm through the winter and whether the buildings are wind and water tight.

The main house has a few slates missing which it should be possible to replace with a ladder and some strong nerves. If we can repair and replace parts of the gutters it should come through another winter with little further degradation. The other buildings are not so well cared for. The tractor shed urgently needs a lot of slates replacing, the facing building has reasonable roofing but no proper gutters, the gite/studio building is still with a gaping hole in the roof, evidence of some wicked weather that has ripped the flashing from the apex and scattered the tiles leaving it open to all downpours. At the very least we must get a tarpaulin over this before autumn.

The new lawnmower is a success, even though the battery starting is a dud. The 12V battery had been left discharged for so long it was past the point of recharging. We will get a new one and replace it at some point but luckily the engine is very easy to start so this is no longer a priority. The mower is tremendously powerful and has chomped its way through the long grass in the back garden, a large patch around the wood shed and pear tree and cut paths into fields and gardens that were becoming overgrown with brambles and nettles. It should be possible now for me to keep most of the areas around the farmhouse tidy and free from unpleasant weeds.


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