WHY CAN'T SPANISH DOGS LEARN ENGLISH?

WHY CAN'T SPANISH DOGS LEARN ENGLISH?

Sunday, October 19, 2014

NEW BIRDS IN THE FLOCK

Today we added to our dwindling flock of hens.  We went to Sa Pobla market, where there is always a chap named Rafael who sells hens, pigeons, cage birds, guinea fowl, turkeys, guinea pigs and rabbits.  His farm is in Ariany which is about a 20 minute drive from us here in Sa Pobla, but I usually wait till market day to buy from him.  I was only going to buy one hen today, as I was expecting them to be quite expensive (it's been a while since I bought any new ones).  It turned out they were much cheaper than I thought, so I bought two hens at point-of-lay and 3 pullets, 2 female and one male.  I'm not really sure how you tell whether they are male or female at such a young age but Rafael seemed to know.

So I quickly put the makeshift pen together for the pullets as they are still a bit small for the bigger hens - they could be damaged by pecking hierarchy! I call the makeshift pen our 'patchwork coop'!  I just used what I could find around our small farm.

Here are a few photos.


The new hens & pullets

Checking out the hen house!

Admiring her new surroundings!
The crazy, make-shift mini coop

Jess making sure I tidy up!
As I am writing this, even though during the day it is still like summer with temperatures topping 29 - 31 degrees C, I can see, looking out of my window, that the sun is already disappearing and it is only 18:10 in the afternoon/evening.  So Autumn is here, but you wouldn't guess it during the main part of the day - which is wonderful as it means extra beach days.  I will just leave you all with that thought.


Tuesday, September 30, 2014

RAIN AND STORMS

Yesterday afternoon, brought a huge downpour which almost flooded us! Luckily it stopped before I had to bail, and I had no idea where my Wellington boots were!

Before the storm hit us, I took a group of photos as the clouds were amazing.  I tried to get a shot of the lightening but missed it each time - darn it!







Even the big rotten palm tree bowed what is left of it's trunk!
Today the sun is out again, for now.

Monday, September 29, 2014

AUTUMN IS ARRIVING

Another long gap since I wrote anything.  Life has been somewhat hectic of late and the uncharacteristic weather from this summer has contributed, along with work constraints and visits to the UK, to the craziness of life.  

I am sad to say that our final original hen has passed away.  I found her stiff as a board in the hen house on Friday afternoon. I've no idea what she died of, she was not showing any signs of obvious disease. Now I am left with 3 hens who only lay when they feel like it! so rather a shortage of eggs at the moment.  I will probably need to buy a few more hens to get the egg supply going again.  I loathe buying them from the supermarket.

A whole day of rain yesterday - which was good for the land, but dark and dismal for me - means that the earth is soft for planting.  However, I am not sure I have the time on my hands to plant anything this week - we shall see.  I could do with cauliflowers, broccoli and cabbage.

The pool turned emerald green the other week and I couldn't get it back to its wonderful blue colour, so we've emptied it and we'll start again.  

Puss-cat is sleeping in a little more, especially over the last couple of days, he isn't keen on rain!

Puss, having a snooze and chilling out
 As the Autumn is upon us, when it isn't overcast and grey, we are having chilly evening sunsets, some of them are beautiful but I haven't caught a great one yet.

When the skies aren't overcast we are having wonderful Autumn sunsets


 J and I went snorkelling up at La Victoria - there is always lots to see there.  Sea urchins, octopus, lots of different fish, crabs etc.  I don't think we'll be going again this year unless we have another hot spell, but that's doubtful.

A dead sea urchin collected on our final snorkelling trip of the season at La Victoria near Alcudia.
 The farmers are harvesting their corn at the moment and I watched as they gathered it up in the next door field.  Their corn is used for animal fodder.  After the harvest, the field lies bare with only the short stems remaining and we can see over to the poligono (industrial estate) across the fields.
Jess, keeping me company as I watch the harvesting of the corn next door.

Harvest time - this corn is used for animal fodder.

Ruffa Roo waiting for the huge combine to reap the corn

The cloud builds, on a walk with Ruffa in Sa Pobla

Friday, August 8, 2014

WHAT A HOTTIE!

A very hot and humid day today, but this evening was wonderful and the humidity seemed to drift away, a little, as a cooler breeze blew in from the North.  

A quick dip in the pool cooled us down - with a few shandy's thrown in!

Not a lot happening at the moment.  More figs are ripening - may try to do more jam.  The grapes are almost ready for picking, but don't taste as sweet as usual!

Will post soon on the fruit situation.

It's Friday again - yippeee.

VIEW OF PORT IN PALMA DE MALLORCA

Friday, August 1, 2014

VERDICT ON THE JAM - GREAT!

I am happy to report that the jam tasting went down a storm yesterday afternoon.  Not too sweet with hints of spices - and it actually set - hooray.  Perhaps I will try to make jam again but this time without burning myself!

It's a hot day today here in Sa Pobla but with a breeze blowing through.  This year's summer weather has been rather strange.  Normally here in July we get very little cloud with usual blue sky days, but this year we've had a lot of cloud and even a little rain (although negligible) on the odd occasion. The hours between 3am and 6am are usually the coolest here, especially when the farmer next door puts on the watering system (mangueras), which makes a racket splashing against the tall maize stems & leaves.  However, we are now used to this noise and generally sleep through it.

Happy Friday everyone.  Enjoy the weekend.

ONE OF THE KITTENS SLEEPING OFF THE DAY IN A FOOD BOWL!


FIG JAM

Incredibly, for the first time EVER, I made some jam last night.



Firstly I'd like to say that I had no idea how painful it is to burn yourself with boiling jam! OUCH, but with super-lightening reaction I managed to save a blistered finger - lucky.


The green figs on the tree are ripening and I picked about two kilos of them yesterday late afternoon.
I looked at the pile of figs and, as I don't like them, decided to try my hand at some jam making.  I think it worked well, although, my chief taster hasn't tried it yet.  I shall deliver fresh figs and a pot of jam later today - the jury is still out!  I added some ginger so I hope that gives it a kick, I will definitely try it later.

The figs and grapes are really coming along.  Only some of the grapes have been covered so I hope that the rest don't get eaten by the insects, only time will tell. 




The olives are growing ready for the olive season! I can never remember when that is, we have two olive tress that fruit at different times so it gets a little confusing.


The prickly pears are abundant but won't be ready till they are a lovely pinky colour - again I'm not keen on these fruits, but I know many that are.

PRICKLY PEAR FRUITS - HAVE TO BE PICKED IN A SPECIAL WAY AS THEY ARE VERY, VERY PRICKLY - AS THE NAME IMPLIES!

BEAUTIFUL YELLOW FLOWERS OF THE PRICKLY PEAR PLANT.

We have pears growing by the pool which will be ready very soon and the veggie plot is about to have its soil turned over ready for (finally) some veggies to grow in.

The kittens are growing (what's left of them).  We lost so many this year due to a terrible cold virus they all caught.  Puss cat is doing well and enjoying trying to make friends with the cat family.  He is in quite a bit during the day, but goes off into the fields at night.  So far no sign of him fighting - I hope he behaves himself.

PUSS HELPING ME UNPACK THE SHOPPING!

The hens are fine and the broody one seems to have broken her broodiness, thankfully.  However, I found it strange that I couldn't find any eggs at one point and searched everywhere.  They have been allowed out of their pen and roamed free around the veggie plot and pool area.  In the undergrowth near the pool I discovered a hen snuggled down (looking broody), when I put my hand under her and lifted her off - there were 15 eggs!!! I had to test them all before eating them.  You do this by placing them in a deep bowl (or basin) of water.  If they sink they are good.  If they float - bin them!

THE HIDDEN PILE OF 15 EGGS!!

Add caption

THE POSSIBLE CULPRIT UNLESS ALL 4 HENS BANDED TOGETHER!!

That's it for now.  Back with the verdict on the jam.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

EMOTIONAL ATTACHMENT TO ANIMALS - WHY DO WE DO IT?

So this week has been rather stressful for us, as a family, here.  As you may, or may not, have read my previous post, you will have seen our lovely, new family member - Pink.  We'd had her for just over two weeks and the friend of mine, that gave her to us, called me with a dilemma of strange irony.

A couple had driven up to her house asking about a little black dog!  It turns out Pink had another family, in fact she quite possibly had a couple of families, including the librarian in the village, who used to feed her regularly, thinking she was a stray.  The couple were devastated to hear that my friend (who actually owned the dog) had given her to us.  This couple, it turned out, was my friend's next door neighbours, neither of them knew each other, and my friend had had no idea that Pink was going there regularly.

To cut a very long story short (there is a lot more to it), I battled with my thoughts for a few days and in the end decided to do what would be best for Pink, not for the couple or for us.  Pink had been with this other family for about 4 years, she'd only been with us for 2 weeks.  She also knew the village she was from very well, and the people in it, she didn't know our area very much at all.  And there were quite a few other factors involved.

Yesterday I met the couple at the veterinary surgery so we could change over the paperwork.  I felt like I'd been hit by a truck, and I didn't expect to feel so upset after just 2 weeks.  My son J is devastated also, I don't think I'd seen him so upset for a long time.  I didn't stay to chat to these people as I couldn't really speak and needed to get home quickly.  My friend appeared at the vet's and helped out with the process of transfer.

Why do we get so attached to our animals so quickly! We get broken hearted, bereaved etc and then we do it all over again! Are we (by 'we' I mean people in general) gluttons for punishment?   

So Pink is now back with who she should be with and although I am happy that she will be happy there, it has been a rather devastating blow! We will certainly be getting another like her (or a little smaller) when we can.

Onward to other things...

Yet another little kitten has died.  It didn't grow and thrive so it must have had a problem inside!

The figs are growing and the grapes are coming along beautifully - I need to put paper bags over them to stop the birds and insects from destroying the crop.

The pool is lovely and clean and great to jump into when the weather is too hot to move!

No photos today and my blog won't be written for the next 10 days or so as we have a very busy time ahead.  

See you all in July.




Saturday, June 21, 2014

CATS, KITTENS, DOGS AND HENS

We have had a crazy time of it recently with various animals appearing, disappearing and joining the family.

Firstly, our four mother cats all had kittens.  In total I think there were 12 kittens.  Sadly 4 died because of sickness etc.  The others seem to be doing OK.

We have had another two new additions to the family also. 

Puss our new indoor/outdoor cat, as you know from the previous post.  Pink has joined us, she is a lovely little dog, her breed is Ratero (possibly mix), she came to us from friends who are about to move to the UK and various people who said they would have her, changed their mind!! My friend's only option was a dog home - or us.  Of course we would have her.  She has been great, but as she has a habit of escaping and disappearing for a week or more at a time, we are keeping a close eye on her.


PINK GOING ON A CAR RIDE TO THE BEACH.
She is quite nervy but terribly sweet and I hope she'll be with us for some time.

A HOT DAY ON THE BEACH. 

PINK MAKING FRIENDS WITH THE KITTENS

AS DOGS ARE NOT ALLOWED ON THE BEACH, WE WALK ALONG THE ADJACENT STREETS AND PEER AT THE SEA THROUGH THE OCCASIONAL CLUMP OF TREES.
The hens seem happy for now.  We have no veggies growing so they are running about the veggie plot and pecking about quite happily.  We have a broody hen, who I need to do something about still.  But she is feeding and drinking in this warm weather.  About 31 degrees today.

More to follow very soon.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

DREARY BUT NEEDED RAIN TODAY

Today is very overcast and it's been raining.  Not really a bad thing, the ground needs it as it's been so dry and dusty recently.  

Many people here are suffering with allergies it seems - including me!  Bring on the anti-histamine!

Our broody hen continues to be broody.  I am trying different ways to keep her off the nest and get her to change her mind set, but so far - no good!  If anyone has any solutions, let me know.  She fluffs herself up when I approach her on the nest, and clucks angrily at me.  She also pecks my hands, but luckily it doesn't hurt.  We will see how she goes over the next few days.

So the gardening is on hold for today.  Yesterday I began clipping back the overgrown bougainvillea.  The fig trees are in leaf and the olive trees are looking better after a good pruning earlier in the year.

We have a new addition to the family! A friend had a problem keeping her cat so I said I would take him as he'd lived on a finca before and was more suited to country life than apartment life.  His name is Puss (as in Pusscat).  He is very sweet and playful and will stay in the house for a few days before I introduce him to the other cats outside.  He has already met Ruffa and was far from impressed.  Infact I heard growling that I thought Ruffa was making, it turned out to be the cat!!



That's about it for today, I will be back with more soon.
Thank you for reading.

Friday, May 16, 2014

WHERE DID THOSE MONTHS GO?

It has been nearly 7 months since I wrote anything here and so much seems to have happened.

We are still here in Mallorca, for the time being at least.  Life just seems to have taken over and left me no time to concentrate on the blog, but I am hoping to take it up again and leave as many posts as I can.

Animal update: We still have two dogs here, Rex and Ruffa.  We now only have 1 of our original hens but we have another 3 girls as well, the cockerell, as you will know if you have read the blog, has gone - thankfully.  However, we now have a broody hen who will sit on the nest for hours incubating eggs that won't hatch!  I have to lift her off constantly.  Not sure what to do about her yet.  

Cat update: some have gone, some are still very much here, and there are many new additions.  Samuel Sprat comes and goes, and he turned up tonight with loud meows and is currently asleep on one of the kitchen chairs.  He'd been gone for about two weeks and I did miss him.  The lovely Jess has had babies (3) and Pipla, her daughter, has had two, one of which is not right (just like her last ones), we will have to wait and see what happens to that one.  Another girl has had 4 kittens and is keeping them nestled under the log pile in a small nook.  Her name is Mittens, but she is not very trusting of humans and quite feral.  Total number of cats (including kittens) around here at the moment is about 16.  The good thing is that I haven't seen any rats or mice for ages!

The vegetable plot is suffering.  It is full of weeds, which we are tackling next week, and there is nothing growing in it at the moment.  We are going to deal with it and put some chicken manure down, dig it in and plant again.

The pool is still covered because although the sun is warm during the day, the nights and mornings are quite chilly still.  The weather should start hotting up pretty soon.  We had a very mild winter, I didn't even put the rugs down this year, which was probably due to laziness, tiles are so much easier to clean!

Well, I hope I can keep this up again, feel free to nudge me if I don't.

Here are a few pictures of the past 5 months!!

AN OSTRICH AT NATURA PARC - ZOOLOGICAL PARK.

EARLY MORNING SUNRISE

MASSIVE RAIN STORM.  ONE OF THE HENS IS STANDING OUT IN IT - CAN YOU SPOT HER?

JESS WITH HER BRAND NEW KITS

PIPLA IN THE FOOD BOWL, SOAKING UP THE SUN AND HAVING A SNOOZE

POSSIBLY THE WORLDS SMALLEST MANDARIN, GROWN ON OUR TREE.

STREET BONFIRE BUILT AND READY TO BURN.  SANT ANTONI JAN 2014


THE STORM IS COMING.  (AND IT WAS A HUGE ONE).

SA POBLA WINDMILL

SANT ANTONI MAYHEM, ALL THE CHILDREN CHASE THE DEVILS AROUND THE TOWN, THE DEVILS GO INTO EVERY BAR!
And finally.....

OUR 4 GIRLS, PECKING HAPPILY IN THE 'NO VEGGIES, VEGGIE PLOT'.