Thursday 23 July 2015

New Life On The Ranch

Nick Nack is having to share his shelter at the moment with squatters,
A pair of swallows have set up home in the corner and dive bomb us and Nick Nack when we go near the shelter
 She isn't sitting on them yet still laying, I managed to pop my phone over the edge to get a photo
5 eggs and the nest looks like it has been lined with duck feathers.
This must be a second clutch of the year, we have already had clutches hatched around the place and there is lots of young swallows taking to the sky.

Daffodil looks like she is not far off giving birth
when I did the afternoon feeds I noticed she has dropped and her flanks now look loose and empty her udder is also starting to fill with milk. Her due date is 5th of August but can go 3 weeks either side I don't think its going to be long now before her Cria arrives.

I have been digging over the onion bed today, adding some more topsoil and manure

you can see the layers in the soil, the lighter colour is the original clay soil, when it was first dug over I lay on a load of spent mushroom compost, it has now had a layer of manure and topsoil added, the clay is now a lot more friable and there is plenty of worms
A good sign that the soil is improving, there were very few when it was first dug over.
I am really pleased with how the soil is improving, I want to avoid using manufactured additives to the soil, I am sowing some more peas in here that will help add some nitrogen then in the Autumn it will be topped with organic matter from the compost heap.
Last night while walking the dog I spotted this
Its the home of a spider 
It is about the size of a 10p and was in the bank 
I have no idea what kind of spider it is any one know ?


  1. What an exciting time on the ranch, look forward to seeing the cria, will you be playing midwife or are they better left alone?

    1. Better left alone until its arrived then I get the job of clearing up afterbirth

  2. Our swallows are on their second brood, dive bombing the cats all the time

  3. I can't wait to see the exciting.
    As for the spider.........I haven't a clue...........I keeps well away from!!!

  4. Your soil is looking really good. Someone said to my mum the other day that she was lucky to have the soil she's got - She said that it wasn't like that 33 years ago when she started working it!

  5. The spider is a Labyrinthe Spider which has made that Funnel. Not dangerous, fortunately! (I only know because I googled, out of interest). I hadn't thought of sowing some peas this late, for nitrogen in the soil. Now, if I do a bit more weeding . . .

    I hope that the little Cria arrives soon : ) I should imagine that the Carrion Crows etc will soon deal with the afterbirth.

  6. How exciting for you a new arrival. I'm thinking of putting peas in the green house when everything's finished in there. Someone told me they can survive quite late into autumn .

  7. I hope that the birth of Daffodil's baby will go well! xx

  8. Now, isn't that grand? The fact that your ranch is teeming with such animals means that you have kept your ranch healthy. That's a pretty touching picture of Daffodil as well; on the verge of bringing new little Daffodils in this world. You tend to your land well, that is for sure.

    Wilbert Bowers @ Mirr Ranch Group


Thank you for taking the time and leaving a comment I do appreciate it, I may not always answer comments but I do read them all.