Sunday, 21 February 2010

Watch the Birdy!

I have always loved doves and it was only when we moved to the Fairyglade that we had the space to put in a dovecote. We started off with a single pair, though at the time we didn't know if they were an actual pair. It really only becomes apparent as they get older and take on certain characteristics. This mainly involves the females sitting coquettishly on the roof of the cote and the males running round and round in circles with their tail feathers brushing along the ground making as much noise as possible and chests puffed out with importance..mmmm, does that sound familiar?
A coquettish female, sitting pretty.
Over the years they have steadily increased and we now have a flock of around 24 or so. It fluctuates up and down as some fall victim to the local sparrow hawk and neighbours cats. They have also stayed predominately white, though one or two have bred with strays that have flown in for some supper and have never left when they realise that the pickings are so frequent and plentiful. This is one such pair. The browny female is an interloper who caught the eye of one of our lads and that was that.

She chose this rather fetching abode when man person was doing some building work in the garden a couple of years back now. The dovecote only houses 6 dominant pairs and they hang onto their boxes with a vengeance. There is stiff competition to retain or steal such a lucrative dwelling. Unfortunately, some get desperate and find alternative places to build a nest and go onto breed.

This sweet little female chose a seed tray in the bottom shed and went on to raise several babies over the year.

Last year we had to make a concious effort to try and stabilise the population because they were eating us out of house and cote. This meant having to remove the eggs every couple of days. At one point we had as many as 40 doves. Too many for us to cope with and frustrating for them because of the lack of suitable nesting. It is sad, and I can hear you all saying what a wicked lot we are, but occassionally one is overlooked and this is the result.......

How adorable is that, only a few minutes old. But they grow fast and that has now grown into this............. so there are some happy endings!

They are canny cats when it comes to food and are not above stealing it wherever they can.........poor Hamish, he doesn't stand a chance bless him! But, see how gentle he is, those two are actually feeding from his bowl.

Now, don't start panicking, he is a whippet and has always been thin. He is not actually dying from starvation despite all the ribs on view.

So basically, they live the life of riley here at the Fairyglade, bathing in warm puddles..................

Gossiping in the early morning sunshine...............

Sitting coquettishly eyeing up the talent but appearing to have no interest what so ever, as you do.............

Eyeing up coquettish females who have no apparent interest in such a fine creature as himself.....................

Yes, all in all, life is pretty good here for our winged friends. They are a joy to watch and their gentle cooing is balm for the soul.

Dev x

Thursday, 11 February 2010

Walking in a Winter Wonderland!

Who would like to take a walk with me? You will have to wrap up warm, find your scarf and gloves and wellies would be a jolly good idea I think. Are you ready....then off we go!

We must walk round the patio furniture first....mind your step.

Say good morning to Griddleshanks, (the resident dragon)! Yes I did say dragon, what's so unusual about that..everyone should have one! Honestly, his barks worse than his bite.

Down the path we go and out through the gate, should we go left or right? I think it should be left today, the hill is a bit too steep and slippery. Hope you are warm enough, pull your collar up because the snow will go down the back of your neck. Don't you hate it when that happens?

So down the lane we go, walk carefully the snow is deep, at least 12 inches in parts, it's going over the top of my boots. It's breath taking isn't it. No one else about, only the birds flitting from bush to tree to wall, looking for breakfast. Wish I had brought some corn with me. It's so quiet. No cars..sheer bliss. The main road is empty, a car abandoned on the lane opposite, too steep to drive up I guess. Someone hopefully didn't have too far to walk home through last nights blizzard. The road at this time in the morning is usually wall to wall cars. The rush hour, work, the school run. All is quiet, nothing stirs, except a man on a bicycle funnily enough.

The village green is totally deserted except for the Littlest Fairy. She has come along too. No school for her and her classmates today. The bus unable to get through the drifts.

The village pub offers morning coffee, but not at 8.30 am. Sorry to get you up and out so early.
It's snowing now and getting colder by the minute. I don't know about you, but my feet are freezing. Shall we head back now?
Say bye bye to Badger, he isn't looking too happy the wind is picking up a bit. Come on, I'll race you.

Let's go back the way we came shall we? Up the lane again. The snow is falling quite thickly now and filling in our footprints. Lucky I know the way home so we won't get lost...promise.

Littlest Fairy is full of the joys. She doesn't seem to feel the cold at all which is lucky. She stops for a rest though and makes one of these.

Then decides to make one of these to keep it company.

We are tiring a bit now, it's hard work walking through such deep snow. Are you okay, try and keep up it's not far now. Lets rest a while by the wall at the bottom of the lane and get our breath back. That's better isn't it?

Ready?... then lets get back, turn right.. there's the Fairyglade tucked away on the hillside. Can you see it through the trees, nestled there, warm and cosy?

Through the gate we go and we are home safe and sound. Did you enjoy that then?

Take off your wet things and warm yourself by the fire. I will put the kettle on shall I? Fancy a chocolate biscuit...or three!
Dev x

p.s. Check out Tabibooland for more wintery gorgeousness. She lives not far away from the Fairyglade and so got to share our snowy, snow too!

Monday, 8 February 2010

Happy Birthday...Again!

Happy Birthday Littlest Fairy!!!

This was taken last year, hasn't she grown up? (note the snow in the background..more is forecast for us this week)

So gorgeous and funny and wonderful and sassy and all mine.

The Birthday is still on-going. She had a friend to stay over the weekend and then opened her presents yesterday evening. Today is her official birthday and we all went out for a meal this evening. This coming weekend, it's off to the cinema with girlies and more food afterwards. I don't know whether I am coming or going, who should be where and when? So disorganised this year!

However, I have managed to make a few cuties for the party bags. Remember my last post..... Well with a bit of practice I made a few little flutterbys,

I added a few of these gorgeous buttons...aren't they cute?

Pinned everything out on a soft towel and spritzed with water, then left to dry over night.

And hey presto....the prettiest handbag charms in the glade. Do you like them...and more importantly, are a bunch of 10/11 year olds going to like them too.....finger crossed!

Dev x

Monday, 1 February 2010

Deja Vu!

Well, I came home from work on Friday afternoon, sat down with a coffee, looked out of the window and guess what I saw..........

It was heavy and thick and laying rather rapidly, just for a brief 5 minutes and then it was gone again! However, Saturday morning at around 7 am I opened the curtains and...well....there it was again!!

Nowhere near as bad as last week, but there all the same, crisp and white and very,very pretty. All rather odd really, and all rather gone again!

So what's a girl to do when the weather presents itself like this yet again..? Yep you've guessed it....crochet, crochet and more crochet. I have foolishly decided to make party gifts for Littlest Fairy's forthcoming birthday. Instead of the usual party bags full of expensive nothingness, (she is past the stage of a balloon, a plastic something or other and enough sweets to have them all bouncing off the ceiling), I had my second epiphany in as many weeks. I know...why not make something for each of them, something small and cute and woolly...mmmm! (Lots of exclamation marks in this post)! See I told you.
So my current WIP are these little pretties.

Above is stage one. Stage two involves a butterfly and stage three might be a ladybird. I haven't decided . I'm not going to give the game away just yet, I am going to let you wonder for a few days, let you ponder what they might be when finished..mmmm any idea yet? There isn't much to go on I know.

Another project still in the planning stage involves chickens and wool and Debbie Bliss bargains. Remember this pattern that I posted about?

Aren't they cute and designed by a very clever lady called Susan B Anderson who also happens to have a lovely blog . She also designs and lists her projects on Ravelry. I had to get the pattern from America from here. With postage it cost me $11 in total.

The next thing was to source some lovely cotton wool and in that I was rather lucky. I was reading Nina's lovely blog and there it was, her stash of gogeous new Debbie Bliss cotton yarn in the most scrumptious colours. So what's a person to do...I followed her link and bought myself a stash too. Sweet spring colours, lime green, soft primrose, pale pink. I think I might make the stripey one first.

I think these were reduced from £3.99 to £1.99. Bargain!!! Go and have a look for yourselves, there are some fantastic savings. I still have to get some circular needles before I can get started, but have spent my quota this month.

Anyway, for now I have a butterfly chart to master, so must dash.

Dev xxx

p.s. Saw Avatar on Saturday night, loved it!!