Monday, 23 May 2011

Laburnum Hedges, Demise of a Peahen,

Despite the vile & unseasonable weather we are having at present, the farm is looking beautiful in its May-time glory. Yesterday we had a short respite from the blustering winds & rain and I was able to take photos of the laburnum, or golden chain, which grows in our hedges and looks so magnificent at this time of year.
Many miles of hedges in this area are planted with laburnum trees which have grown from fencing posts put in by the farmers many years ago. They pose no threat to livestock which is always a concern to people who see the hedges for the first time. Cattle just don't touch it.
The rain over the last few days has brought the growth on apace in the fields & gardens, though the winds have damaged certain of the garden plants, particularly the taller rambling roses & I have had to remove stems laden with buds as they been snapped off by the wind. The hedgebanks are full of pink campions, stitchworts and jack-by-the-hedge & the last of the bluebells, looking like a medieval tapestry.

The Farmer came in yesterday with the sad news that Hettie the peahen was dead. Having looked after her & Charlie all through the winter and seen them safely (we thought) released to wander around the farm it was a bit of a blow. We can find no reason for her death and she had even made nest a laid an egg. The Farmer had removed the egg as peacocks are notoriously bad sitters & mothers, and as we have a couple of broody hens the egg will go under one of them, so maybe we will get replacement for Hettie. Charlie meanwhile is still strutting around though rather less vocally than he has been I suppose because he no-one to screech at now. He was chased by one of the Labradors (who was soundly scolded) and I saw the extraordinary sight of a full grown peacock with his massive tail feathers trailing, flying across a meadow and landing up in a tree. He was most put out & spent the next little while sitting on a branch about 20 feet off the ground being tossed about by the fierce wind that was blowing, looking very foolish.

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