Bold Wildlife

M2E100L202-202R378B378
M2E100L202-202R378B378
M2E100L202-202R378B378

Just checked the wildlife cam again after a few weeks: as well as many crows, jackdaws, pied wagtails, the local semi-feral grey cat, a speedy fox, streaking badger, many cheeky rabbits and a pigeon showing off to camera, there are also pictures of a very rude deer prowling the field not only at night, but also in the middle of the day. Seriously dude; 2.30pm?!

Advertisements

Wildlife Cam

M2E6L0-0R350B362
Flying fox
M2E6L0-0R350B362
Naughty wabbit

So Santa bought me a very exciting present this year: a wildlife camera! I’ve been wanting one for years, and not just to see which little blighters have been eating certain crops (the deer prints, badger burrows and rabbit droppings kinda give the game away); but there is something very exciting even to a hardened grower or farmer about seeing your fields appearing unfamiliar snapped in the dark and the local wild nightlife out to party.

 

M2E47L69-69R411B381
Spot the redwings

The camera has infrared LEDs to work at night and a motion detector which can be adjusted for sensitivity, and can take photos or video. I set up the small box in the leek patch between Christmas and New Year just to see what was around. Although the nights were cold (several pictures of freezing fog with the glint of an eye just visible through the mists), it caught quite a bit: a flying fox, rather large and bold rabbits, lots of blackbirds and thrushes (hurrah! Eat those slugs guys!), and redwings. I’ll set it up somewhere else today I think and see who else comes to visit…

 

A Leek in the Bleakness

leeksBlurgh; so this chilly damp weather is what we’ve come to expect in December over the last decade or so: not crisp enough to be bracing, mostly overcast and pretty wet and cold, with no sign of exciting snow to lift the spirits (and make a good enough excuse to stay indoors or go out and play on a snow-day). However, our leek patch has done really well this year, and rewards those chilled-extremity efforts; so far we’ve harvested around 800kg+ of the lovelies since September, from 2 of the 3 varieties planted in blocks, and have another 60kg+ left of good-size Tadorna’s to pick (smalls are left to grow on for spring), with good-sized Hilari/Pandora/Lancia leeks pretty much picked out. Then the last block is all Hannibal leeks, of which I’d say we have around 400kg waiting for us in the New Year (wholesale orders available – please get in touch!). The leek patch (especially the almost-empty first 2 blocks) might look pretty bleak in the mud, with piles of leek leafy leftovers left to rot down (great for next year’s beetroot & salad crops though); but the wildlife love it – a mixture of leek forest for cover and stealth, plus turned-up mud for hunting grubs and worms, and leafy and rooty veg waste islands to eat and hide in. We found a neat half-rabbit half-burried in the mud on Monday, presumably by a wily fox to keep fresh in the muddy larder for a Christmas Day treat?

20161209_123941Once you get in the groove, picking and stripping leeks is a pretty good job; especially if you can liven it up with some festive music on your phone or mp3 player this time of year: we’ve been enjoying the internet radio station Xmas in Frisko for some hilarious alternative Christmas music, and you can get a  good rhythm good of chopping and slicing while signing ‘Walking Round in Women’s Underwear’ to the tune of ‘Walking in a Winter Wonderland’. Probably best if I don’t actually sing the words out loud though as the lane running past the hedge is often full of walkers…