Wednesday 23 March 2011

Don't forget to breathe


The Ragondin is back. I spotted it twice today, browsing on weed in the sheep dip pond. I'll have to sneak out tomorrow a bit more quietly and take its snap.

The first year we were here I saw one, some, but they disappeared quite quickly before the summer and we haven't seen any since. I thought the hunters must have had them, coypu makes a nice stew apparently, but of course nature abhors a vacuum. We have a desirable residence for a bank dwelling rodent and someone was bound to take the vacancy.

I rather wish they hadn't. Although they are herbivores and mild mannered they do mine the sides of the stream and pond for their homes and cause damage to the drainage. The one I saw today disappeared down the feeder pipe for the pond, which proves a couple of things, one that the coypu is quite agile and two that the pipe must be clear of obstruction, apart from ragondin that is. I think we'll have to net the entry point, I don't want giant water rats in my pond.

The gardening is coming along very well. Today I planted the oca. It's the first time I've planted them direct, normally starting them out in pots in the greenhouse but the strays I dug up when clearing the old bed are already sprouting after a winter outside. I've planted them deep, I think they'll stand a light frost if it comes. Four rows, one each of red, pink and white and one of the rosy pink sorts sent to me last year.

However I've noticed a marked reluctance in myself to plant seeds... don't know what that's all about but I can't wait any longer to get started with things like tomatoes . Tomorrow is designated seed sowing day no matter how enticing a bit of hard digging or bramble clearance seems.

This little bush of crack willow is in entirely the wrong place, growing up through the paving by the house. So pretty though, and the bees love it.


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