Vera’s View – Freedom

Vera's View - Freedom

The theme for this month’s post is “Freedom”.  After five months in flockdown Flora and me were finally set free at the end of April and are now free range again.  While I enjoyed watching the comings and goings at the B&B and campsite from within my run, I much prefer getting up close and personal!  I think Kevin and Michelle’s house looks very nice and whenever they leave a door or window open I always try to get in and have a look round.

Getting to know the campers

During the first week of freedom, I visited campers down on Charcoal site by the river and enjoyed sitting by their campfire.  They were trying out their walking and camping set up for walking the Coast to Coast path.  I then went to visit some campers on Water Meadow who were down from London for a break. They were extremely friendly and gave me little treats when they weren’t out and about.  I saw they hired some bicycles from Dartmoor Bike Hire and heard they went down the trail as far as the A38.

Springtime

The bluebells down by the river and in the woods are looking stunning at the moment and smell gorgeous.  I’ve heard the cuckoo that visits our valley and the swifts are nesting in the old stables again.  I’ve seen tadpoles and newts in our pond too.

 

Bluebells by the river

The apple blossom is spectacular this year as we didn’t have any late frosts and I’m very pleased about that as it can get a bit nippy in the coop with only Flora to keep me company.  I’ve seen the B&B guests on the deck relaxing with a glass of wine at the end of the day when its warm, it looks very nice up there but I haven’t figured out yet how I can get up to it.  I do sometimes join Kevin and Michelle when they are having a G&T and nibbles on the patio though.  I’m looking forward to seeing their pizza oven in action as there are usually lots of interesting tit bits going.  It may happen this week and I think they are planning to use it for the guests over the Jubilee weekend.  

Apple blossom viewed from the deck

Gardening

I’ve enjoyed helping Michelle with the weeding of the flower beds as she uncovers lots of bugs, worms and ants, although she doesn’t seem too happy when I get too enthusiastic and did up the seedlings she has just planted.  I tried to go down and help Kevin weed the fruit cage but this time he was on the inside of the cage and I was on the outside looking in.  With all the weeding the compost heaps are a great fun to explore.

Kevin has also been busy putting in a handrail for the steps up to the new patio and I understand he’s bought a shade sail for when it gets too hot there in the summer.  

I don’t like the noise when he mows the lawn on his tractor but on the plus side it makes the bugs easier to get to once he’s finished. 

Egg Hunting

I’ve been finding lots of new places to lay my eggs and it normally takes Kevin and Michelle a few days to find where I’ve been going.  I was really sneaky one week and laid them in the coop on top of the open bag of bedding they had left in there.  There is nothing like a metre of straw for comfort and warmth.  I’m now trying harder and have gone into the undergrowth by the stream but they discovered that this morning so will have to find somewhere else for tomorrow. 

Hunting for a good egg laying spot

Flock News

Flora has always had a bit of a dodgy hip, often going quite lame for a few days but since freedom day it’s now noticeable that she seems to be having a lot more difficulty with her hips and doesn’t like to walk too far.  In the morning once she is let out she heads up to the compost heap near the kitchen door and just potters around until it is time to go to bed.  Whereas I probably do more steps than Kevin and Michelle put together.

Flora having a dust bath in a newly weeded border

I knew Kevin and Michelle were trying to tell me something last week but I couldn’t work out what it was until I came back to the coop yesterday afternoon and found 4 new hens in there eating my food, drinking my water and generally getting in the way.  They seem very timid but they have only just been rescued from the battery farn by the BHWT and haven’t been outside the coop yet, so don’t understand the freedom they will soon have.  But I must remember how I was when I came here nearly 2 years ago and make allowances. It will be good to have some new younger flock sisters to keep us company but it will take time for them to settle in and work out our new pecking order!  I intend to be at the top of the order if I can!!

The new arrivals