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Sunday, 21 April 2013


There's been much action since the sun came out over the weekend, including grass mowing and the arrival of the tulips which look as if they're going to open any day soon. Last year I went in for a lot of Parrot tulips like Weber's Parrot, Orange Favourite, Estella Rynveld with white and red stripes and Rococco an amazing red which open its petals so much they look like frilly doilies.The Weber's Parrot although beautiful I think has suffered from over breeding. Its heads become so heavy they droop and can snap off and for this reason I vowed not to bother to grow them again. Although I adore the Parrot tulips I have a nasty feeling I didn't order that many last year and I've no means of finding out what is in what pot because those naughty ducks have taken out the labels to make nests with. They never stay in their nests - they may lay an egg in one but that's about it - they walk away with never a backwards glance. So far this year we've had ten eggs and oh fool that I m I've popped seven in an incubator to see what'll happen. Heaven knows if they all hatch what we'll do with seven more ducks - especially if they're all boys which is their tendency. Still I'm only half expecting success as the male duck Mr Walters, who however many years ago it was came as a young, sleek, black male with his equally beautiful wife Mrs Walters long deceased, is probably impotent by now. He's certainly gone almost completely white but has a bevy of assorted females that keep him happy(and he them I suspect.}
a jug of Weber's Parrot tulips

An apricot foxglove that thoughtfully seeded itself to complement the colour of the house.

Meanwhile, we are surrounded by mole hills! Where the horses are there is a river running near the bottom of their field and when we had all that rain the field flooded and it was so strange to see swans swimming around by their feet. The field quickly became full of mole hills as well as swans. Poor things, their runs were getting flooded and they had to move up hill. Well we are nearly three miles from the river up on our hill so they had a long trek and must reckon they are safe up here. But not from cats! One of the two suspects pictured below brought in a dead mole. They must have been waiting for it to pop its head up and acted quickly. Perhaps they worked together but as they don't like each other very much I have my doubts. Perhaps they wanted to make a moleskin waistcoat.

Number one suspect Nancy

Number 2 suspect Pocket  (quarter Bengal)

In its honour here is a poem by Primo Levi.

Old Mole

What’s strange about it? I didn’t like the sky,
So chose to live alone and in the dark.
My hands were made for digging,
Concave, hooked, but sensitive and tough.
Now I travel, sleepless,
Imperceptible under the meadows,
Where I feel neither cold nor heat,
Nor wind rain day night snow,
Where eyes are of no more use to me.
I dig and find succulent roots,
Tubers, rotten wood, mushroom filaments,
And if a boulder blocks my path
I go around it, laboriously but unhurried,
Because I’m always sure of where I want to go.
I find earthworms, larvae, salamanders,
At times a truffle,
At others a viper – a fine meal –
And treasures buried by who knows whom.
In earlier days I followed female moles,
And when I heard one scratching,
Dug my way towards her.
No more. If it happens now, I change direction.
But when the moon is new I get excited.
Then, sometimes I amuse myself
By suddenly popping out to frighten dogs.

Primo Levi

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