The moment my friend and her enchanting grandson left, the weather turned from dry and bright to truly glorious. All along the hedgerows the blackthorn blossoms in profusion, and more botanically interesting plants are slowly creeping out in places not too ravaged by the ubiquitous sheep – what a paradise this place must have been when there were fewer of them.
Sitting outside my own front door I am surrounded by birdsong, and the peace is almost absolute. It is hard to read for almost every instant there is something to see and wonder over.
On Saturday I was taken totally by surprise by an almost hysterical burst of vivid navy blue. Two swallows burst past me, ecstatic to find themselves at journey’s end. That first day they were hyper active and more noisy than usual. They have been building with the ample mud supplied by the pond. Gradually more are joining them. I was not sure today if the count was four or five.
Horatia is sitting on her eggs – but I am worried. I’ve not seen Maro mate with her, and when, to her loud grief she broke an egg, it did not seem to have been fertile. In order to save grief all round, I have ordered her four Roman goose eggs. They will be fertile, though she may of course make some fatal mistake in the brooding of them. The problem will arise if she does hatch any of her own goslings, because they will be nearly four days ahead of the bought in eggs. Maybe a hen will be broody by then?
One is already brooding (Goldilocks) and one has disappeared (eaten or gone broody – time will tell) which leaves three to go broody – supposing I an find out where they are laying.