It was a lively start to the last Bank Holiday of May with seven Highland cows walking up the A684 at 6.30am with West Witton in their sights. Luckily, they recognised home - or the bull smelt some interesting heifers - and they trotted through a few mowed meadows with a noisy reception back to the farm.
After hastily getting dressed, the cows and bull were faced up the hill again - and I slid back quietly through the farm hoping no-one saw me and expected an early breakfast with all the excited noise the cows created for the full yurt site’s bank holiday lie-in.
The police were very polite - I am sure they had trickier dealings as the weekend unfolded.
Another devon calf was born this morning, and it’s always a relief when all is well. Last week, we had our first pure white calf - the cows all looked confused to begin with.
Well, someone must have had it
We always have a rollercoaster of births at this time of year. Fluffy, the Large White sow, produced our largest litter ever and amazingly was able to feed them all.
Fluffy with a pile of piglets
And the pet lambs arrived, so the bottle feeding started.
Pet lambs and cuddles
Nests were everywhere - this robin’s nest was wedged between two large hay bales.
All the other animals had to go hungry while the eggs hatched, then sadly the fledglings were eaten by a predator. It does seem cruel after all the hard work of the parents.
This nest was also found on the floor under an apple tree - it’s incredible the work gone into the art details to make it look like the tree bark.
...and the apple tree bark
But these ducklings have made it - and are on the off.
Ducklings on the run
Rolo and Elspeth were inspecting the yurt site one morning - or it could have been the new shoots on the hedge - whatever the reason, they were not popular escapees.
Yurt site invaders
Mrs. Cream leg bar has been helping to check the food amounts at feed time.
She was thrilled to keep this nest hidden for so long
She is so much brighter than her partner, who found himself in the mud chatting to the cows.
The pear blossom has been successful - tiny pears already and it’s only just gone May.
We returned from a happy wedding celebration last weekend with an interesting theme of fancy dress - I was dressed as a Newcastle United supporter, seen here talking to a nun. It’s obvious.
Fancy dress wedding
To keep up with our local MP, we rushed off to the Bedale Point-to-Point and it was the granddaughters’ first sighting of racing horses. I think the dog cuddles and ice cream were more memorable.
Granddaughters at the races
And the swifts are here! They always arrive last and it is their song that distinguishes them from their swallow and house martin cousins - we'd started to worry, but thankfully they have made it.
And talking of travelers we are expecting a young family from the Ukraine to stay, arriving next month, their worries certainly put ours into perspective.