Happy one-year anniversary, dear friends! It’s amazing that there have been small updates from us for that long, and that you have stuck by us. Mindy, Mandy, Molly and My are not at all surprised, they tell me. We had a chat about this, under their favorite Rowan tree, yesterday. The weather is hot and clammy, with not a wisp of a breeze, so lounging in shady places is the thing to do. My job was to chase the flies away from their eyes. Our dear sheep think that everyone wants to hear from them; just because they are so kind and maybe they are right.
Monty sends his love to all and everyone. He started tooting at 3 am this morning and has not had a break since. His friends, the hens have left for the forest. Feeding Monty an additional breakfast does not inspire him to take a break. He just carries on, mouth full and sounding dangerously close to choking. When he was younger this trick worked, but now he is too busy and probably too grown up for distractions. He still sounds a bit tone deaf but don't we all, early in the morning?!
We had a walk down the field, the famous five and I, this morning. It was just after five am, still a bit misty and wonderfully magical and we decided that the moment was right for some names. The name giving ceremony resulted in Emma, Trisha, Katie, Jill and Jane. It seemed appropriate to give such endearing hens names by all my favorite "feel good" authors. My dear husband agreed and as he was half asleep when I informed him of this fine event, I will tell him again in the evening.
Emma is still much smaller than her friend's but fast as lightning. Trisha is so big and sturdy that I thought she was a cockerel for weeks and weeks. She now told me to stop obsessing, as it was not doing her feminine side any favors. Jill and Jane are light brown and as beautiful as hens can be. Dimi, our dear friend that went to heaven much too young, had the same colouring.
The chicks have started popping over to the house with the others. They move like small doves, delicately flying here and there and being very brave. They are now named Matti and Maja and the names seem to fit them. Maja is wild but slightly more sensible about things than Matti, who just moves about full pelt and believes he is the size of a horse. He is actually the size of a small toy. A very small one... Charming birds, though.
Lina, Pippi, Henrika, Darya and Lotta also want to wish everyone a happy first year of blogging. They like the fact that they get their portraits painted on regular bases - and very nicely so, they want to add. They are right of course, this blog would not be the same without Dasha’s art work. We are always looking forward to the next, beautiful painting and we know how lucky we are to get them.
I feel blessed, being able to keep animals this way. It's an indulgence, in a way, to keep farm-yard animals as pets. I know we should be producing meat for the table and concentrate on getting cost efficient eggs from the hens. Instead we keep our sheep for life and spoil our hens rotten. Never has an egg cost so much and hopefully the taste makes up for it. The eggs are a byproduct of having lovely birds around the place.
The only animal that has put in his working hours during the years is Mr. Chip. He is now our retired personal trainer but for ten years he kept us fit and brisk on our feet. We will now slowly go to pot and he will tell us to start bicycling or something... We still walk together but as I have told you before, the speed is not breathtaking but the charm of walking with him is still there. He is feeling his age in this warm weather and takes it easy. He comes alive in the evenings when everyone else is starting to fade. So between early bird Monty and nocturnal Mr. Chip we get very little sleep at the moment.
I repeat myself but we do have a lovely bunch of animals that we hope can bring some joy to others, too. The funny thing about keeping animals is that you never sit down thinking about how well you are doing. Animal husbandry always keeps you on your toes, worrying about all that can go wrong. I guess humbleness comes into it, at an early stage.
We had a short walk, the sheep and I, last night - it was just a plod around the place when the weather had cooled down a bit. Returning home I found raspberries so I picked some for the hens and myself. Our dear sheep stood grazing nearby and I had some time to ponder on the fact that this probably was one of those perfect moments in life. Then there was an almighty crash with hens complaining loudly, in their beds. My, the sheep, had become bored and gone home, stumbling over a stable brush. Right behind her three more sheep stumbled over the same said brush and everyone was awake in the house. There is never a dull moment with animals.
Lotta gave us one of her beautiful, almost blue eggs, today. Seven-week-old chicks tend to stand around asking when their mother is done, so she must have the calmest nerves in the village. Now it's only Pippi left. Hopefully her egg will hatch soon and we can see more of Pippi, again. We do wish she could be outside, enjoying the summer days with the rest of us. Little Eric, Pippi's first born sends his love. He is enjoying life and being rather spoilt in the process. He is not so little any more but as beautiful as ever, I hear.
It's the end of July and it feels that this summer moves along too quickly! The first year, writing this blog seems to have flown by, too. I guess it's a good sign and it’s just to go with that feeling.
So happy first birthday everyone and lets hope for many more. Love from all of us to all of you and now I sound like Jiminy Cricket in the Christmas special and that's all wrong.... Take care and we'll be back next week. Mr. Chip hopes you will eat some cake to celebrate this. He informed us that we should, at least..
A blog about a small holding in Southern Finland. Each original story is accompanied by a stunning watercolour illustration or resplendent photographs.