How happy am I to see the new lambs arrive, just before Easter and my departure back to Australia. I counted five little creatures, but there may be more. Their mothers gave me a wary look as I took a few shots. They will do well again this year, fattening up in the lovely green fields. It will be sad not to be around to see them grow, but my sunny, warm homeland of Australia is calling me back…..
It’s a sad fact of life. Animals are reared and slaughtered for meat eaters to enjoy. We have to be sensible though and not get attached to the animals on a farm, certainly not have them as pets (as we did as children!!!…my dad had some rather lovely calves on our property in Bendigo, Australia that grew into lovely friendly cows. We had names for them too…One day a truck came to pick them up to take to “greener pastures,” Dad said. I remember being very upset when they left as they became our friends……. We had no idea they were going to end up on our B.B.Q!! Thank God for that!!!)
So, eventhough the lambs that left our property were cared for and looked after well, they were here for a purpose……I am much older now!! and realise this process!
Even Jester and Indi the Labradors were wondering what was going on….”where are our friends?” I’m sure I heard them say the next day! “Gone to greener pastures,” I said.
I was working in the cottage doing some of my colouring work when Steve arrived back from the local shops. As the door opened he said, “The Lambs are out again!” Bloody hell, not again, I thought to myself!
We raced down to the field near the veg patch and there they were…the fattest lambs you have ever seen, munching on grass without a care in the world!
John the gardener had alerted Steve and helped us to herd them back into the field. No, I didn’t leave the gate open again. They pushed their way out through a hole in the wire fence. Can’t believe such fat animals could squeeze through such a small gap! John patched up the hole and I made a few phone calls to alert the owners. The fence needs some attention in the next day or two as there appears to be a few more holes where they could easily find another escape route! Another exciting afternoon in a quiet rural part of Hampshire.
What a wonderful walk we had with the two dogs today. Jester is so well behaved now, still very wary of strangers though. Indi, on the other hand is very relaxed on his walks and still doesn’t respond to any sort of discipline when he is in a particular free roaming mood.
Today Indi didn’t run off too much and stayed by my side until we arrived back to the estate. It’s amazing how quickly things change!! As we were walking through the last field where the lambs are grazing, he took off (and Jester too) to chase a pheasant. The poor bird was cornered into an area of the fence and had no where to go. Indi pounced on it straight away and had it grid locked in his mouth, walking back towards me like he had landed some Noble Peace Prize! “Drop it!! Indi”, I demanded. No response. “Dead Indi!” I said. (a phrase gun dogs are supposed to respond to…..but not this dog!) “Indi, drop that bloody bird! Now!!” I shouted. No response.
He followed us back to the dogs room, sat down in his comfy bed, then finally released his tight grip on the bird.
Pretty horrific behaviour for a dog that has meant to have had great training! The worse was yet to come. I now had the grizzly, barbaric task of putting the poor bird, that was still alive, out of it’s misery………..this was not going to be pleasant!
So, after putting on a a pair of gloves, I took the bird from Indi and took it down into the field, to a quiet spot where I thought I could lay it to rest after putting it out of it’s misery……. to break the bird’s neck was the most humane way to put the wounded bird down. I have never in my entire life had to do such a horrible thing, but the bird had to be put out of his pain, so I had to do what was required.
I sat next to the pheasant and cried a little for the pain that had been inflicted on this bird. I felt sick in the stomach but will be well up on the correct procedure if this is to happen again.
How incredible it is for me to be surrounded by such beauty as I step outdoors at this time of year! Wow, if only my mum in Australia could see what I can…so many beautifully scented roses everywhere in this extensive big garden.
As I walk across the large terrace of the big house on this estate, I get a lovely waft of perfumed roses. A beautiful climbing rose covers part of the rear of the house, living happily with wisteria. The balconies surrounding the terrace are also covered with a creeping white and pale pink variety of rose which has a very suttle scent and as it catches the passing breeze, it provides an delightful scent in the air.
The sunken garden is surrounded by a number of varied varieties of roses and a border of lavender surrounds the top wall of this wonderful display. Just as well I am a great lover of flowers and for me this is paradise in the countryside for sure.
As the very warm spring is drawing to an end, one would think summer has already arrived with the spectacular garden that is blooming before our eyes. The grasses in the lower fields are full of buttercups and forget-me-nots and a vast array of other pretty blue, white, mauve and yellow wild flowers. As I am out with the two dogs each day, as well as checking on the lambs in their fields, I often stop to pick a hand full of these flowers to fill a vase in the cottage. Although they don’t last very long, they provide a wonderful display and reminds us of the season we’re enjoying.
So, I must finish this blog now as I have to tend my own little garden! My runner beans and broad beans need checking for the greedy caterpillars, slugs and snails that love to gorge on my tasty plants.