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Fruitful Times

2nd of November 2003

Hopefully, by the time you read this, much-needed rain will have fallen. Amazingly it seems to be a bumper year for fruit, the hedgerows were full of blackberries, wonderful jam this year, and all our apple trees are laden. Why are the apples so juicy when the trees look so dry? Having already picked and stored more apples than we can possibly eat, the sheep are now being fed a couple of buckets of windfalls a day and the birds are busy with them too. The badgers must be finding it hard to get their usual rations of earth worms with the ground so dry and they keep digging along the edge of the wildlife pond and exposing the liner. I suppose it’s the only moist earth around. The water level in the pond is now very low, only about two feet deep in the middle where it should be three and a half feet deep. We did put a little tap water in, well about five hours worth, but we could hardly see the difference and decided to stick it out and pray for rain. The water was so nice and clear and too much tap water always causes an allgel bloom so we switched off and hoped for the best. As I write (3 October) there are still dozens of dragonflies whizzing about and quite a few water lilies in bloom. Our record for one day was 60 water lily blooms!
We seemed to have had a bumper crop of young birds at this year, with the song thrushes and blackbirds doing particularly well. We hoped to see more birds drinking at the wildlife pond but it seems to be most popular with the wood pigeons who bowl up at about five o’clock each evening just as we are finishing our tea. Five or six arrive at a time, some landing on the roof of the Wendy house before they make their way to the waters edge and take a long drink. There is nothing like a nice pigeon casserole on a cold winter’s day so it looks like a bumper harvest all round!
Wendy Bathurst

This page is edited by Tony

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