What a stunning day. The skylarks are singing and buzzards wheeling overhead. The beech leaves are that fresh green that only lasts a few weeks but speaks of summer.
The air is full of St Marks flies who seem to have no sense of direction and just crash into you. They only live for about a week and are supposed to emerge around St Mark's day at the end of April.
We have a flock of sparrows that live in the nooks and crannies of the houses and they are being very noisy today. Happy with the weather and taking dust baths in our vegetable patch. Given their recent decline in numbers, it's lovely to see so many around.
Today I decided to go the opposite from the usual pony-searching direction for my walk. Now Betty has had her foal, I feel I can have a day off and go the way I feel. She is definitely a filly and I'm calling her Lizzy. Here she is in the cold mist yesterday.
So today I headed off into the wilderness where the ever invading gorse is less present and the reptiles more prevalent; a common lizard scuttling under a rock today. I wasn't expecting to see any ponies but suddenly caught sight of a whole group of young males hassling the two mares who are slightly outside the main herd. They are the mothers of foals numbers six and seven. They were being extremely annoying, galloping up the them and bucking and biting. The mares saw them off so they went for a drink together at the stream before careering away to annoy some other unsuspecting ponies no doubt. Very funny to watch and interesting to see such laddish behaviour in a big group; there must have been eight or nine of them. Not great pictures I'm afraid as I couldn't get too close.
Yesterday we managed to buy the printer in Exeter and nearly have it set up. First signs are good and even a copy of the sleeping foals on normal paper is looking excellent. Colour reproduction is very true and it's picking up the detailed pencil strokes and varying line pressure. Very exciting and I may yet get the shop open before summer!
Trigger is looking really good all of a sudden. I feed him a supplement with seaweed, brewer's yeast and linseed which, in my forced absence, he was not getting. A couple of months back on it and his coat is looking great and he's filling out beautifully, but not fatly....hoof trimming tomorrow and a walk with Snippet if there's time.
I found the elusive four coloured hedgerow over the weekend which is a good place to stop. I have a pile of ironing that needs doing and have been avoiding it too long.
Stitchwort, Red Campion, Buttercups and Bluebells in the hedgerow on Saturday
The Waterhole up close today once the boys had left