Two days ago we were all very surprised to find a lamb had been born to one of our ewes as we are not due to start lambing until March! What we think has happened is that a ram lamb somehow escaped being castrated and has gone about his fell deeds amongst the flock. How many more lambs will appear before March is anyone's guess!
Yesterday the Farmer & I visited the National Botanic Gardens near Carmarthen. We have not been for several years and had been promising ourselves a trip there while there is an exhibition on of fungi that has been brought down from the Botanic Gardens in Edinburgh.
The exhibition was very good with marvellous huge models of mushrooms & toadstools and very good videos of time-lapse photography showing the growth of fungi and their importance on every aspect of the natural world.
The gardens themselves and the plants growing in the great glass dome were looking very different from when we last saw them. The plants in the dome were well established now and look extraodinary though I did find it a very surreal experience and rather discomforting...it is very odd to walking round a 'garden' under a roof, it is completely artificial environment with a constant hum of the heating system in the background. There were a couple of sparrows flying around & they must have have a very strange & unnatural life. It is not like seeing plants growing in a greenhouse somehow. There is a very attractive greenhouse with collection of bromeliads which was amazing.
The gardens proper outside were lovely, even in January & there were daffodils in flower, also primroses, pulmonaria and beautiful red hammamelis. It was interesting to see the place after a long time and would receommend a visit.
Entry to the gardens is free throughout January.
During the week a local foot pack of hounds worked their way through the valley and caught 2 foxes, though there are many more living in the woods. Today one of our local mounted hunts is out and will be working this end of the valley as there is a pheasant shoot going on at the other end. With some of our neighbours already busy lambing the foxes will have to be kept under control.... we lost our peahen to one recently and of course we will be lambing too in the next couple of months.
The Farmer & Younger Son have gone beating for the shoot with the labs who were very excited as usual at the prospect of a day spent rootling through briars and thick undergrowth.