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Friday 23 March 2012

On The Inside Looking Out...

It's been a while since I last blogged. My father's sudden death meant I've been busy with arrangements and there's been so much paperwork to get through, there's been very little light relief. Luckily, spring really has arrived. This will be the first chance I've had to get out and about with a clear conscience (no meetings, no paperwork that absolutely has to be done) for about a month. The Dawn Chorus starts at around 5am, and this weekend the clocks go forward so it will be lighter in the evenings. That means less incentive to flop in front of the TV after tea each evening. I hope...
There are flowers on the strawberries in the greenhouse, and for the first time ever we've had a pair of partridges blown over the hill from the local game shoot. They've made themselves at home, so I hope the fox family living out in the wood don't find them. Yesterday I saw the spectacular sight of a pair of goshawks 'sky-dancing'  over the garden. They've nested in nearby woods for several years and we get birdwatchers from all over coming to watch them displaying. I felt really smug that all I had to do was look up while on my rounds of the greenhouses! This clip-art photo is the closest I could find to the birds we have here - this image is tagged as a Grey Hawk, but it's got that distinctive 'Mad Marigold Eye' described by T.H.White. That really stands out - I saw it when one rocketed past our kitchen window about to knock a squirrel out of an overhanging tree.
I did the first checks around the apiary last week. All the colonies of bees have survived the winter, and they're building up nicely. Later today I'll be bottling the last of our stored honey. I don't take much from the bees, just enough to sweeten OH's coffee all year and some to cook with. The more honey I rob, the more sugar syrup I'd have to feed them in return. If processed white sugar doesn't do humans much good, it seems a bit mean to make my bees eat it!

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