The weather these past days has been sunshine, rain, showers, and wind, and with every alteration in the weather comes good points and bad points, and no matter what the weather brings I do so love this place for it holds beauty in all the variations.
When the sun shines and I am outside, be it with the girls, or animals, or gardening, the hills are a stunning backdrop, the downside to the hills ...they are higher than the one I am on and therefore can hold back/pinch the snow i often long for, the positives to that is my plants are protected from to much snow as are the animals. Being on a hill the winds certainly get a pace on when whooshing past, plants have to be fabulous at Palates, and the wildlife need to know where the hiding places are, which we make sure there are plenty of nooks and crannies for them to sneak into when the wind wishes to blow them down or up, depending on the direction of the wind. The positive to the wind, it really does have a knack of making one feel alive, and it keeps the midges away while it is blowing.
When the weather forces one to go inside and get on with the things one needs to be doing, well from inside I get a cozy view of the wildlife and the countryside through the window, especially with the feeders situated so that one can see the visitors to ttables from the windows, from there I get to see Woodpeckers, Robins (my fav) most of the Tit family, and I get to see the Leverets, hares, bunnies, pheasants and partridge that come into the garden for shelter or food, and if I look into the skies I see the Buzzards and the kites hovering (they too are good at hovering) above looking for a meal, or swopping through the valley, or even just resting on the stone walls.
Now we come to one of the events this week that made me think of Good and Bad... The Stoat .. oh how I hate those stoats, but even in them there are positives if one looks hard enough. I shall tell you the positives first which will lead straight into the big negative of the Stoat. The stoat is such a beguiling creature to watch, it's speed, it's playfulness, it's love and protection of it's young is to be admired for it will move the young often from one nest to another, and it is such a beautiful creature, and it keeps the rabbit and hare population down......yep that is where the bad of the stoat is.... A couple of days ago I heard the cry/scream that I hate to hear, it's the sound that comes from an animal that has a ridiculously small thing (in comparison to it prey) trying to kill it, and because of the size difference the death is not an instant one and neither is the length of time the animal has to suffer in sheer terror. Sadly the animal suffering this time was the beautiful young leveret that I had watched only the night before playing outside my window, shaking in such a funny way when a drop from a branch would drip on his nose, he had also been making friends with a rabbit, which was a joy to see..... but now he was in front of me, stoat gone by the time I got there, as did the poor Leveret after a few convulsion through shock and a bite on his neck from that darn stoat. Hares are an animal that should be admired for it lives a hard and lonely life, but it does not kill, unlike that darn stoat, and I know the stoat needs to eat, and life always balances out, but it would seem to me that the stoat has a far more joyous and gifted life that the hare. The baby stoat has a mother and it's brothers and sisters to play and grow with, a Leveret (baby hare) has nothing most of the time, not even it's own mum who will only check in so to speak. A stoat has many cozy homes to run too, while the Hare braves all weathers just tucked in a dip on the ground, not even a burrow, now that I'll never work out for if I was a hare I would want more protection, but I suppose they need to be above to keep their eyes open for that darn stoat.
As a meat eater, I can't say much about the stoats way of life, especially as it is an animal an I am a human, but because I am a human I can feel sadness about an animals suffering, and as a Human I can and should make sure that the meat I eat had an excellent life and an extremely fast death. As a human I can and also should make sure that the animals in my care do not suffer by my hands, not even for 5% of the time, for I have the intelligence as a human, and hopefully the humanity as a human, to be able to prevent needless animal suffering, hence why none of my girls are hit when being trained by me, for it is not needed and my humanity demands that to be the way.
It was my humanity, with the aid of an extremely good man, that meant I ended (very sadly) one of the ducks life this week, he was born this year, sadly he went shooting around a slippery corner to fast and in the process damaging his leg beyond repair, I would not and could not let him suffer and so we ended his pain in a split second. As a meat eater, he will be used, and I will eat a duck that lived a darn good life until the accident, he roamed in fields and swam with his family to then wonder in and sleep on a straw bed at night all nestled together.
In my mind, because we are humans we are floored, but because we humans we must use are intelligence to be kind to the animals we eat, and to rear/train in total kindness and understanding.
Now I shall end this on another positive/negative, with the rain came great joy for the ducks, their little stream became a pond.
Enjoy life, be kind, do not make excuses up to justify wrong done to humans or our wonderful animals, and always look for the positive!
And just for Good measure, and because they are the reason the blog is here
A Couple of the Girls from this week, as are all the other pictures.