Some of the ducks at Whitmuir have deserted the lower pond for the peace and quiet of the new pond at the top of the proposed wildlife garden. I’d have thought there was nothing there to interest them (apart from water), but the upended one in the middle of the picture proves I’m wrong. The ground surrounding the pond looks quite bare, but that will change soon. The path around the pond has been seeded with grass and, lower down the strip of woodland, wildflower seeds of species native to Scotland have been sown.
I’m hoping the ducks will return to their real home before nightfall. Judging by the pillow-load of feathers and the pigeon remains I saw today, the woodland ain’t such a safe place to be.
In training for next year’s Edinburgh Military Tattoo. The third and fourth ducks need more practice, they’re not in step. It gives a whole new meaning to getting your ducks in a row. Taken at Whitmuir Organics after a tasty meal in the restaurant. Us, not the ducks.
Note: You are heading for the kitchen, guys. The pond is the other way.
We have just had over THREE inches of rain in twenty-four hours. That, according to the meteorological office (try saying that after a few glasses) is more than we would normally get here in the whole of September. ‘Nice weather for ducks’ is an expression I was brought up with. I know ducks like water, but I had assumed that they like sitting in the stuff and floating around, not have it falling on them from the sky. I was wrong. During the heavy rain I called in at Whitmuir. Their ducks were going crazy. They had discovered the (normally gently flowing) feeder that leads to their pond and they were all there, swimming against the flow like kids in a waterpark.
I know the graph on the left shows less than 2.5″, but I took the pic 24 hours after the rain started the previous day, so add both columns. And yes… I really do need to get out more. More ducks here.
If you are down this way (from the north, where the mountains are high) or up this way (from the south, where there is only one mountain and therefore much lower, statistically), then call in at the farm up the road from us. If you have kids with you then so much the better, as there are things for them too. As well as a well-stocked farm shop there is a superb restaurant / cafe / coffee shop. Ducks may well follow you around, as probably will Lily the sheepdog, who in the absence of sheep likes to keep her hand in by rounding up the free-range chickens.
Sometimes I cook. I have even been on a one-day Nick Nairn course, which made me into an expert fish cook. Well okay, not an expert… the filleting of that white fish didn’t go particularly well, but you can ask fishmongers (do they still exist?) to do that for you. I did manage to open scallop shells without cutting off my fingers. I also killed a lobster. I didn’t plunge it into boiling water, that isn’t the best way, apparently. No, you don’t want to know… you really don’t.
Where was I?
Sometimes I cook. I am (really!) a dab-hand at small soufflés, but they have never looked as good as those I have made lately with the fresh eggs I get from Whitmuir. They have hens with attitude, I’m told, which is probably why my soufflés rise. Compared to the chef at Whitmuir I am a mere infant, of course.
In a month or so the Princess Royal (Princess Anne to those of us over a certain age) will be dropping in at the farm to look around. She will arrive by helicopter, but that’s not compulsory because you can also visit Whitmuir by car. Let’s hope Lily doesn’t attempt to round up the PR and her protection officers. Stick to the chickens, Lily, there’s a good girl….
* other Whitmuir posts: