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Saturday, 30 March 2013

Caterpillars in March?

I was a bit surprised the other day when I was in the garden and found this clump of caterpillars underneath my olive tree, in the grass.

I've never seen any like this before, and certainly not at this time of year; it seemed a bit early to me.  They didn't seem to be moving around much, just stayed where they were eating grass stalks and weeds.

I've looked on the internet, but can't find out what they are.  If anyone knows, please leave a comment.

A French friend of ours was here today and I showed him the photographs.  He looked a bit aghast, and said to cut off the branch of the tree where I found them, and burn it!  But they weren't on a branch,  they were in the grass under the tree.  I'm a bit worried about my olive tree now - obviously they're harmful.  Oh well, maybe I'll just have to treat the whole tree.   

Friday, 22 March 2013

Who Said it was Spring?

This is what we woke up to on Tuesday.  That was Tuesday 19th March.  It's supposed to be spring - our local farmer told us, so it must be true.

Thankfully, normal service resumed yesterday (the 21st) :-

This is my almond tree, the one that was completely covered in snow just a few days ago.  The flowers seem to have survived OK though.

Today was HOT!  Maybe I won't be needing these after all :-

New socks, just finished

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Do Mice Like Mayonnaise?

Well, do they?

I think so!!  This is a glass jar which was being stored in the food cupboard where I just keep jars, bottles and tins.  I don't keep anything in there that mice can get into (or so I thought!) because we do sometimes get the odd mouse sneaking in.  Jak can't get into this cupboard, which is why we occasionally have a problem.

The day after finding this, I saw a rather fat mouse squeezing itself under the door and back into the cupboard, presumably for another forage.  Time for Super Cat!!  That same afternoon we were going out, so we left the door open into the corridor where the cupboard is, hoping that the mouse would re-emerge and Jak could catch it.  We came home in the evening to find a small patch of blood on the floor . . . RIP Mighty Mouse!  Sad really - this one had tried so hard to survive.

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Dancing in the Fields

There was a very strange sight yesterday in a field quite local to us.  Some idiot in a red jacket was jumping and prancing around like a new-born lamb!  Thankfully, no-one managed to get a photograph (I hope!)

So, what was the cause of all this hilarity?  Simple.  My alpaca (Impala) ate his carrots from my hand for the very first time (FINALLY!).  All those weeks spent trying to tempt him to eat from my hand have paid off.  And, strangely enough, it totally took me by surprise.  After all this time I just didn't expect it.

Here he is, laughing at Jorrocks I think.  Well, wouldn't you?  Look at the state of him :-

One of us is going to have to spin that mess!

Saturday, 9 March 2013

One Skein Wonder

This is how the wool turned out that I was spinning :-

265 yards/245m, 12 wraps per inch, which makes it sport weight or 5-ply.  I've posted two photos because I was really surprised at how the background altered the colours. Although maybe it had something to do with the light too.

In the end I spun some white and plied it with that.  This is the first skein - I'll probably manage another  two I hope.

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Bella's Eye

I've had a number of people asking how Bella is getting on after her nasty experience last week, and we're pleased to say that she's a whole lot better.  By the following day she was starting to open her eye again and she didn't seem to have any pain.  Rob and Tammy have continued putting in her drops at regular intervals each day and she seems to be getting back to normal.  Her eye still has a whitish cast to it, but she reacts to movement on that side, so we can only presume she still has some sight.  Hopefully, by the time the treatment finishes, she'll be even better.  The "girls" have all been in the barn since this happened, and I think they'll be very happy to get outside again into the field.

One positive thing that's happened whilst they've been inside is that one of the other girls, Cerise, has started to eat her carrots out of Rob's hand.  Now, when am I going to get Impala to do that?  Each day I take him some carrots and he runs down the field to meet me, but stops dead just before he gets to me.  It's like there's an invisible wall between us.  Yesterday he came so close I could have touched his nose without stretching my arm, and twice he's actually touched the carrot with his nose before jumping back a few feet.  Oh well, at least he's getting to know me and starting to trust me a little bit.  I'm sure we'll get there in the end.
Impala (photo taken by Rob)