Monday, 15 August 2016

Goodbye Shaggy and Leonie

Yesterday was a sad day in Owl Wood as the very beautiful Leonie-Hen had to be dispatched.   She was suffering, nothing more could be done to help her.  She has been buried, with full honours, along with all those other feathered friends who kept us well supplied with eggs through the years.

Six became five.

Then, just a a few hours later, we found Shaggy lying spark out under a tree.  Dead as a Dodo.  She had been running around, scritching and scratching like a good 'un that morning, no sign of a problem.

Leonie was a beauty but Shaggy was quite ordinary in appearance.  

The loss of Shaggy hurts the most, she was a wonderful little character.  The smallest of the hens, shy and yet friendly, she kept her distance but was always there first for treats, never aggressive with the other hens.   Every night she was the first one home to roost, often an hour ahead of the others.  

Our hens have a wonderful life roaming free in Owl Wood with good food on tap as well as all the insects and fun they can find in the woodland, they supply us with excellent eggs in return.   I know they both had the best of chicken lives.

Four hens remain.

I don't think we'll replace them when they go.

Apart from that, the weekend has been a good one.  We took two grandchildren to visit the local donkey sanctuary.   I forgot to take my camera, so I had to use my granny phone, which doesn't do much more than make calls, at least I got a couple of snaps - which was really lucky because I hadn't got my glasses either.  It was very much down to point, click and hope.

Six buckets of carrots later we were able to leave, but only after promising to return.

I have done lots of walking around the fields and saw these little beauties as I passed through one of the farmyards.

Harvest is well under way, the landscape is changing as fields are being shaved, including the one in which  Parsonage Cottage is sited.   Dog walks will be easier, no need to take the lane for a few weeks, Dobson will enjoy cutting through the field.

Despite the heavy cloud, the skies have been filled with delight.   The Red Arrows flew low over our home, in two 'V' formations.  Unexpected, but wonderful.  They were so low I could almost have asked for an autograph.  

A couple of hours later there was a wonderful WWII plane flying overhead, a Lancaster, perhaps.

Much later and the fly past was a very noisy gaggle of two dozen geese.  their 'V' formation was not as tight as that of the Red Arrows but the noise they made exceeded the decibels of the Hawk jets, or whatever they fly these days.

The barley field around the house has been shaved, the combine was working all day.  The field is mere stubble until Farmer T and his mother come back to bale the straw, which won't be until they have harvested all their other fields of barley.  


  1. Sounds like a idyllic weekend apart form the hens passing away. If the plane had four engines it sounds like a Lanc the sound makes the hair on the back of my neck stand on end. Think it's based with the Red Arrows at RAF Coningsby

    1. Hello Bill, We are really fortunate as we seem to be on a non-commercial flight path and often get treated to some wonderful plane sightings. In part I think it may be due to the fact that two local lads became helicopter pilots and have since moved on to fighter planes. Somehow they seem to have sneaked in quite a number of extremely low (definitely below 500 feet) fly pasts as they head across the fields to where their mothers live. One very large military helicopter practically skimmed the top of the trees in Owl Wood, the noise was deafening and I crossed my fingers that there would be no horses and riders around getting spooked by it all. Best of all are the WWII planes, we hear them coming and dash out to scan the skies and await their arrival. Once I was out walking my old dog, Toby, when a trio of old planes came along. I couldn't help but imagine how frightening that must have been during the war, out in the open, nowhere to hide and potentially enemy planes approaching.

  2. Felicity, the photos are beautiful, so sorry to hear about your 2 girls. They come home when they need to go to sleep?
    When you write about your home, it is like being on vacation, I relax and enjoy, your words do paint a beautiful photo.
    Your a good woman, you love life, animals and anything that is under your protection.

    I have seen goldenrod, six weeks and we will have our first frost.

    1. Hello Nancy,

      The beautiful goldenrod! A big golden sign of what is to come, and a chance to get tender plants protected or moved before frost. I like that.

      I was born in a fishing town on the East Coast of England. Nothing wrong with that, except that from being a very young child I yearned for the countryside, not the sea!
      Fifty-odd years of town and city life, at home and abroad, and eventually my dreams came true and we moved here about ten years ago.
      I'm glad you enjoy hearing about this place and I truly appreciate your kind words. This place is an insignificant dot on the Edge of Nowhere, but I love it and I guess that is what you are picking up on.

      The hen house is set on the edge of Owl Wood, just beyond our vegetable garden. We release them in the morning, they feed and have a good drink and then they gradually wander off, returning for feed, treats and to roost. They have to be locked in because we do get the occasional fox around. The rescue hens have to be introduced quite slowly to all that freedom and space but after a week or so they begin to behave as hens should. They grow their feathers and show their characters, it has been such a privilege watching them, impossible not to become attached to them.

  3. So sorry about your two little hens. Love your pictures.

    1. Hello Molly, The remaining quartet are pretty quiet at the moment, I'm sure that soon new aspects of their characters will emerge now the balance of power has shifted. We are taking Poppy and Merry to see the donkey sanctuary tomorrow. I wonder how many buckets of carrots that will cost me. ;)


Lovely to hear from you!