This morning we received a very special gift from the cats at the end of the bed – a full sized rat they had thoughtfully killed, dragged through the cat flap and wrestled upstairs for us. Mmmm nice. Pingu and Dobby clearly feel that, with Lyra and the Cows as competition, they need to up their game.
Lovely walk with Lyra. It had rained overnight but by the time we set off the sun was out and there was no wind so it felt balmy. We took the road over towards Little Swinton. Astonishing the difference in the soil in just a mile (if that) makes. Our soil is thick clay. In the summer it bakes to hard jagged lumps and to work in the compost you have to shave it into shards with a sharp spade before forking through. Our buttercups are seriously muscular. Over Little Swinton way, which is just round the back, a field away, they have enviably light friable loam. All along the field margin there are giant clumps of purple comfrey and the moles have turned up piles of fabulous topsoil that, I confess, I would spirit away in a wheelbarrow were it not for the fact I am an officer of the court…..
We found a giant burrow which has the look of a badger set by its size but was perhaps a little too out in the open. That said, I have seen a young badger on the Butterlaw road nearby. (It was out in the middle of the afternoon gnawing a pheasant – clearly it had not received the memo about nocturnal habits). Having wrestled Lyra out of the burrow, we were strolling along between two fields when I spotted a hare running straight towards us (rather poor photo below but I was hanging on to Lyra whilst juggling reading specs and phone). It came within a few yards and then, after a positively cartoon moment of realisation, turned round and legged it.
Lyra’s love-in with the cows continued on and off for the rest of the day. In the afternoon she limboed under the gate for a tryst. I had the other end of the lead though – so at least there was no steeplechase getting her back. All the little cows have been over for a doggie nose lick now – only Shuna Spurtle stands aloof and remains wary. She is six months older and seems to have developed a cynical world view.