Jim and Buster
While Jim and I were working in the bottom of the orchard, Buster arrived and Jim lay on the ground and made a fuss of him. Buster then decided he'd sit by Jim:
I love this photo of both of them.
Buster then decided he'd sit ON Jim! He still thinks he's a lap dog:
Flock of Birds
Weaver has consulted with a bird watching friend of hers and the flock of birds was in fact Golden Plover. How exciting. Also, OffalyGoodLife has let me know the same facts, so it must be correct. Thank you both for the information.
When I was working in the orchard, Jim called me and overhead was a huge flock of birds. They swooped round several times and we were trying to make out what they were. Their beaks weren't big enough for curlew and they definitely weren't starlings. There must have been several hundred of them. When we looked at our bird books later, we decided they must have been 'Ruff'. That's a new one on me. I did take some photos but of course they aren't brilliant. See above, they were in fact Golden Plover.
Here are just some of them - they look like ants!
Here they flew a bit closer to my camera and I could make out their wing shape. I did enlarge a couple of them to help with the identification:
Although it's inevitably blurred, we could make out some of the wing markings and see the beak size in this enlarged piece of the photo.
They flew around for about 10 minutes before disappearing on their way. It was quite a display while it lasted.
The bottom of the orchard
I took these photos yesterday, when we were working down in the bottom wood, below the orchard. Today it has been really windy so we've had an inside day.
The big tree you can see to the left is a very old apple tree and the bush behind the ladder had grown right up to it. It was also full of brambles. Jim cut it back severely and managed to hack out most of the brambles, thus giving the old tree much more light and air. To the right of the ladder are some gooseberry bushes which you couldn't see for nettles and brambles, so we also hacked those down. The whole place looks twice the size now.
This is a joiner of the little wood. Most of the trees are Aspen, with a few other varieties. There is one oak and one horse chestnut. Do click on it to enlarge it, if you have the time.
This central patch is still full of brambles, which we have yet to attack. You can't see them very well from this photo but they are there!
Joe and Tom Visit
I was about to start curtaining this afternoon when we had a surprise visit from Joe down the road and his youngest son Tom. They came bearing gifts - a quarter piece of simnel cake and a box of chocolate fingers.
Jim made mugs of tea and we sat in the sun room for about an hour chatting and putting the world to rights - and eating chocolate fingers! Joe makes art films and is a 'big name' in the film world, having won several awards. He's a great conversationalist too.
I managed to find a bit of lego for Tom to play with and a model spitfire. In the meantime Buster and Millie battered on the doors to come in! It was a super Easter Monday surprise and Jim and I thoroughly enjoyed the company.
Jim had been going to make some shelves for my wall but it was all a bit too late by the time our visitors left. I didn't get round to the curtains either but I did make a couple of ATCs, so I felt I'd achieved something.
Who knows what tomorrow will bring?