Autumn is well and truly here in our little valley. The weather has turned, the leaves are changing colour and falling off the trees. The Rayburn has been lit for a month now and is heating our home brilliantly. Hot water is no longer a luxury, we have copious amounts and often forget just how hot it can get! We’re also learning fast how to cook on the Rayburn – tonight’s success was shepherds pie with treacle sponge for dessert!
Water is a feature outside now too, we’ve had a lot of rain. The stream at the bottom of the field sounds like a river from the cottage, and we even have our very own white water Rapids. The springs surrounding the cottage are in full flow. It’s a weekly Job now to clear leaves from the french drain at the back, sweep the paths and driveway, clear the gutters and check the drains are running well. Just think of all the leaf mould!
The ducks however are loving the weather. The duck pond has finally been filled, and although it’s not finished yet, it’s functioning well. Every morning the ducks race down the hill to be first in the pond and they go mad splashing around, wagging their tail feathers like excited kids. This morning the two male ducks flew down the hill and dived into the water!! Almost every time we peer down from the road to check on them, they are in the pond. When it comes to bedtime, they run in for one last dip before slowly and noisily making their way up the hill to their duck house. It’s quite muddy at the entrance to the duck house and as its on a steep hill, you have to watch your step. It’ll make for an interesting job in the depths of winter.
The kittens are growing quickly. I’m not sure they have the hang of being outdoor cats though yet. They are currently curled up on my lap, with bellies full of food. When it rains, they hang off the windows and meow at the top of their little voices. If we can bear to ignore them long enough they go somewhere warm and dry. They have never yet come in in the morning wet. They adore Bumble the beagle and Russ is particularly fond of her. Russ is a real fuss monster and will do anything for fuss. Dill on the other hand is more demure and prefers to quietly observe you from afar. He does however also enjoy a cuddle, but is equally happy to sit on his own. He also loves climbing trees. They are both very intrigued by the ducks and watch them intently when we go down to them. It can be quite a family outing now letting the ducks out and putting them to bed. I have the dog and am being followed by the kittens who tentatively follow us into the paddock. A couple of weeks ago when I was walking the dog around the field, the dog and I were being followed by both kittens and Austin the cat. It must have looked rediculous seeing a trail of cats wandering around a field. They were all being particularly noisy as well. The neighbours must think we are very quirky!!