Denise: J and I weren’t the only ones enjoying the sunshine, this afternoon. Cats just love their humans to come out into the garden, and we were a captive audience for their showing off. Look – I can run! I can climb trees! I can hide behind this tuft of grass – bet you can’t see me! But you’re not even looking! The Buff Orpington hens came over to look at what we were doing: at first just a cockerel. He found some worms in spilt compost: Brrrp! Brrp! (Difficult to imitate, but how on earth do you write it – the noise they make when alerting others to food.) Along come the girls in hurry, legs a-kimbo and underskirts flying. Cockerel picks up worm and drops, picks up and drops. Tilly comes over to investigate, but Cockerel chases her off. His hens are scratching for insects, ignoring him. Cockerel picks up worm, carries it over to them, drops it. Ah, so that’s what you meant! The cockerels don’t seem to eat much at all – it’s all for the girls. After you … Such gentlemen! Lovely to watch: even the cats are enthralled. But the light is fading already – back to the forking and barrowing!
Denise: The goslings hatched out fine – a week ago today – and within a couple of days I put them outside in the garden in one of the runs we use for chicks. Visitors to the walled garden: Lovely little chicks you’ve got there! or Can the children look at your little ducklings? They’re incredibly cute at this age: like small children at a party. Still yellow and fluffy and so soft! It’s funny to see them tugging at blades of grass – when they break the little dears bounce back on their fluffy little behinds! When they are tired they all scrum together into a little pile, with all the heads down at the middle – just their bums and tiny little wings showing. But tiny as they are the run needs moving three times a day to give them enough to eat: first goes the clover leaves and any flowers, then the broad-leafed grasses and apparently they’re not so keen on the fine round grasses – they start chirruping that they’re hungry!!
Denise: A surfeit of eggs just now, so I’ve been turning some into lemon curd: incredibly more-ish stuff it is too! I’ll probably make another batch in a week or so. Last year’s harvest of blackcurrants was very good, and looking in the freezer it looks like we’ve more than enough for ourselves, so this afternoon I made 14 jars of blackcurrant jelly; and there’s surely enough for another batch of that too.