Tuesday, 28 June 2022

This week at the Old Vic

The weather has been pretty cool over the last week with plenty of wind and some rain which is keeping the garden lush. Birding highlight was a Magpie, the last one here was in the 4th week of March HERE and the other main change has been the appearance of the first juvenile Greenfinches and Goldfinches. 

The best moth night of the last few days was Thursday night with 256 moths of 87 species. Since then been lucky to get 100 moths of 50 species a night. Plenty of new for years and also Clay Triple Lines and Meadow Case-bearer are potential firsts for the garden. Garden moth list now on 531 and year list is 275. 

We've put the chicks out now in coop and run. It's a bit early but they were getting very smelly in doors so I've wired up the coop with a heat lamp so still providing them with a 26 C area to brood up in. Started feeding them more garden weeds (chick weed etc) and introduced a few meal worms. 

Had the first full meal from the garden so setting a new record with the first  fully self-sufficient day of the year. From now on we should in theory be largely self sufficient (or heavily supplemented) for several months (and will try and preserve as much excess as possible). So hopefully well prepared for the escalating cost of living crisis. Once the chickens are laying eggs will be even better. 

This week's addition to the mini-zoo include a Striped Raphael Catfish, African Aquatic Frogs, Mixed Danios and Nerite Snails. 
Clay Triple Lines - a new for garden (and lifer)
Barred Yellow- a garden NFY
White Satin- the first one for this year 
Buff Arches
Scarlet Tiger- seems to be a good year for these. In the heat wave I had six one night and they've been regularly turning up in one and twos since 
I've had the VES lure out but only been attracting Orange-tailed Clearwings- at least three around 
Kent Black Arches- the first for the year 
I think this is Meadow Case-bearer- the striped antennae are a feature which can make this species one of the few Coleophora species identifiable by sight. If I'm not wrong this is a new for garden and lifer. 
Small Emerald- the first for the year of this lovely species 
Short-cloaked Moth- a nice fresh specimen of this new for year 
Presumably Gordon Ramsey would spontaneously combust with this being paraded as a meal but boiled potatoes and broad beans supplemented by duck eggs (from Steve's) was the first fully self grown meal of the year. A bit of further cheating with some mayo and butter and it was delicious. I'd have to lock horns with Ramsey on this as there is something about eating the food that you grow yourself, you can taste the effort, the patience and the care, the love. It's a bit like your ugly baby or partner  that only you find beautiful. It's intimate and personal. It's a unique dining experience and the government can't tax it, and growing food is like printing money so basically it's the best taste in the entire universe. It’s the taste of freedom.   
The chickens at three and half weeks old outside 


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