Saturday 4 May 2013

Ups and downs...(and ellipses, never forget the ellipses...)

Well, the day has had its ups and downs...

We've been getting on with clearing up rubbish, and the Sage has finally agreed that I'm right in suggesting that simply getting a skip and filling it is the way to go.  As I've said more than once, I don't want to throw away anything he'd rather keep, but the alternative is many visits to the dump - that'll be my job, not his - and it'll be simpler and easier to fill a skip.

Then he let the chickens out into the veg garden, and I let Ben out - not into the veg garden, but out without a lead.  No one told me when a chicken flew over the wall, or I'd have gone and fetched her before he caught her.

I couldn't help hearing Benny Hill music as we chased them, but it was far more upsetting, even than his (BH'S) distinctly dodgy, by today's sensibilities, actions - he (Ben) dropped her a couple of times and it was apparent that she was alive...anyway, after a few minutes he either got tired or realised we were going to catch him anyway, and stayed still while the Sage took his collar.  "Don't pull!" I warned him and said "Drop!" sternly to Ben, while looking into his eyes and parting his jaws, and the Sage rescued the hen - who seems fine.  He is a retriever, not a killer, thank goodness, not that this must happen again.  Poor little bantam.

So, a five-foot wall is easy for them to fly over and we have to clip their wings.  Ben was good in all other respects ("apart from that, Mrs Lincoln...?")  and he has to be let go, to learn to come back.

I'm afraid that reporting that I'd seen bees at Al's hives was a misleading sighting: they were a few foraging ones.  Al lost all three hivesful over the winter: he's cleared everything away today and won't restock until next year.  They died because of the long, cold winter, there was still food left.  Other friends lost all their bees too - you'd have needed quite a few strong colonies to keep them going.

I had to wrestle Ben after we'd rescued the chicken, and it's been acknowledged that I'm stronger than he is.  He doesn't realise by how little - but at heart I'm a winner ... against a dog, anyway.

Al, Dilly and the children came over after Squiffany's gymnastics in Beccles - lovely to see them.  Squiff has become quite nervous of dogs, but when she saw her baby brother Hay was confident, she plucked up courage and stroked Ben too.  Tired after his bantam wrangling, he lay there looking happy.  So let's hope that's a problem solved.


Blue Witch said...

"They died because of the long, cold winter, there was still food left. Other friends lost all their bees too - you'd have needed quite a few strong colonies to keep them going."

Bees don't die from long cold winters - otherwise there wouldn't have been bees for 1000s of years.

We lost one out of seven, in the last few weeks. Everyone we know lost some this year. These are very worrying times and the UK's attitude to the EU's stance on neonicitinoids is appalling.

Can I come and look in your skip before it's collected? Good luck with the tidy-up campaign.

Z said...

Well, there's obviously more to it than that, but they had seemed healthy last autumn, though none of the colonies was that large, I suppose because of the poor summer. Al treated for varroa, he fed them - most of the land around us is grazing and not treated with pesticides.

I doubt anything will go in that isn't broken beyond repair or complete junk, but you're welcome. At the moment, I've got a stack of old plastic mushroom boxes, some broken glass, broken pots, a couple of terminally rusty old bikes, various other broken plastic things - it really is that level of rubbish. Is there anything in particular you keep an eye out for? Because if I know, I won't put it in in the first place!

kipper said...

You will never need to go to an exercise class. Ben has his own workout program for you.

Roses said...

I'm sorry to hear about the loss of the bee colonies. Damn.

Thank goodness Ben has a soft mouth and the chook was okay. How is she doing today?

And happy days for the skip! As tempting as it might be to get a skip for a clear out here, I'm going to be doing the trips to the dump. I loathe the dump, but I will be getting over that because I really don't want to move with all this crap we've accumulated.

Z said...

I love Ben, but I'm boss and the sooner he realises it the better! The chicken must be okay, I don't know which one it is - they don't stay still long enough to see which is missing some feathers.

Don't move with crap, you'll never get around to sorting it out. Only keep what you really want - honestly, love, treat this as an opportunity.