Thursday, March 18, 2010
Spring is close to springing, mid March and the first Daffodils have just come out. Another dry spell and the river level is holding up very well suggesting that the springs have been suitably charged during the “proper” winter that is hastening to it’s end. I had cause to travel up and down the Bourne Valley a few days ago and it is rattling along all the way up to Ibthorpe. As it races through St Marybourne, ranunculus is poking its nose from gravel that was dry in the Summer and I’m sure it wouldn’t take too much effort to find evidence of fish. A couple of Grayling fishermen turned up to fit in a day before the end of the season, and had some success on the surface with Olive patterns in the early part of the afternoon. They had several fish over 40cm in length, fat with eggs and in tip top condition. The Fish in the stew ponds have started to whack into the feed suggesting that the water temperature is on the turn.
The relentless battle with the forces of evil that reside in Crack Willow continues, another week should see the area safe from invasion for another year. Telegraph poles have also been delivered for a couple of bridges that I have to replace. They take a bit of manoeuvring so they were dumped near the top of our stretch. I then dragged them with the tractor to the river and floated them downstream to the bridge that has to be replaced. Many have nails and wire on them and it pays to remove these while the poles are in the water and easy to move around. Next week I will have to split them down the middle with the chainsaw to make two identical runners to put the slats on.
This week we were given the gift of Geese, Ninja attack Geese, and as bad tempered as they come. A Father and Daughter combination, they came with their own house and run, which we placed in the paddock. Fat White and Round they are to be our very own Fylingdales, an early warning system to warn of impending intrusion. Released from their pen after a week of incarceration, daughter has done a bunk, released from the shackles of her voluble Father she has shoved off to shake her thing with the hundreds of other geese that currently reside in the valley. Dad remains, a tad grumpy and warning of consequences when she returns. I spent one morning down on the Common looking for the winsome Goose but there was no sign. The Common was brown, not a patch of green to be seen. The winter really has hit the grass hard, but it will recover, there were also some huge stands of Phragmites, perfect habitat for our Bittern, who continues to hide in the same six foot square patch on the pond, booming away as the day draws to an end