What came first- the chickens or the blog?

Lucas stands guard

The Gillybirds were already in residence when Lucas arrived as a puppy nearly three years ago,so hens have always been a constant in his life. He did cry with confusion when Apollo and Darling disappeared only to be replaced by these exotic looking newcomers. He is very curious about the hens, but would never bark at them, unlike Mr Buttons whose deep bark sends them running for safety at the very back of the coop. It’s enough to put anyone off laying!

They have all got used to each other’s presence very quickly and he is always out having a chat in the yard with the new girls, and patrolling on fox/cat alert too!  


Lucas and Mary deep in conversation  

Lucas checking everyone is getting enough fluids. 

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Please Look After Kai, thank you.

This sweet dog, Kai, has become an overnight internet celebrity. For all the wrong reasons. On 2nd January Kai was found tied to a railing in a railway station in Ayr, Scotland. Beside him was a suitcase with a pillow, bowl, toy and food.
Kai, a Sharpei cross, was abandoned. His microchip gave details of his name, and a previous owner, who had sold him in 2013 and had no information about his current owner.
The Scottish pet welfare charity is looking for a lovely new home for this healthy, handsome young dog and offers of love, belly rubs and long walks have been made from all over the world.
The similarities to the story of Paddington Bear, from Darkest Peru, found in Paddington railway station with a suitcase and a label requesting that someone “please look after this bear thank you” are remarkable. But Paddington bear is fiction.
Kai is a real living, loving animal. Someone for whatever reason has chosen not to take responsibility for him any more.
Kai, we here at the Coop hope you find a new safe secure home really soon.


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Hurricane Gonzalo brings an End to Autumn Glory

It has been a most glorious autumn. Dry, bright, sunny, warm, long golden days. The trees have really been showing off.

We’ve had beautiful walks kicking through piles of pretty leaves

And making long shadows in the early mornings. Long legs, small dog!

All my spring bulbs are planted and our new garden has had a few extra weeks to get established before winter sets in for real.
Harvest was celebrated. This year I followed a rainbow theme on the Communion Table running the spectrum of red to purple in fruit, vegetables and flowers. It was only during the worship service I realised I had forgotten to cut open the water melon for the reddest of reds! Oops.


All the golden glorious-ness however came to a very abrupt halt with the stormy arrival of the tail end of Hurricane Gonzalo which created such havoc in Bermuda. The heavy rain and wind cleared our avenue of trees of their leaves in a couple of hours.
Now the clocks have turned back. British Summer Time is over.
The hens rise after 7am in the murky dawn and tootle off to bed around 5.30pm.
Days are getting shorter. It’s less than 9 weeks to Christmas!


Writing 101- My Fears, with apologies to Dr Seuss

We all have anxieties, worries, and fears. What are you scared of? Address one of your worst fears.

Today’s twist: Write this post in a style distinct from your own.


Lucas and I, we go for a walk
In the park daily
Just him and me
And we like to talk,
About the things that we see.
One day we chanced upon
Balloons in a tree
A bunch of balloons
So pretty to see
Red, blue and yellow,
Purple and green
Such shiny balloons
Had never been seen.
I do not like them!
I really feel sick!
Said I to young Lucas
I’m globophobic!
There’s nothing to worry
You silly old thing!
It’s a bunch of balloons
All tied up with string.
But they go with a bang!
And they burst with a pop!
All this sudden noise
Could make my heart stop!
My Dear Mrs Gilly
Mrs Gilly my Dear
There’s no need to worry
There’s nothing to fear
It’s only a pop
It’s only a bang
It’s not like a bell that goes with a clang
Or a gun with a bullet that goes with a crack
Or a firework that screeches
Or thunder that booms
They are wonderful, colourful latex balloons
I think that you’ll find
There’s no need to swoon.
But if I walk past them
They’ll surely explode!
How can I walk past them?
Let’s find a new road.
Stop it! Please stop it!
Don’t be so scared!
Those bright coloured orbs
Mean that someone has cared
A birthday, a party,
A hullabaloo
Those bright shiny orbs
Bring happiness too.
Remember the movie,
The film called Up?
A boy, an old man,
A talking pup?
A house that took off
Half way to the moon?
A house and not one
But a million balloons!
So here’s what we’ll do
You silly wee miss
We’ll let them down gently
They will sigh with a hiss.
So we carried on walking,
Just him and me
To the end of our walk
When it was time for our tea.
And after we walked we rested our legs
And dined on our dinner
Of green ham and eggs.


My sincerest apologies to all lovers of poetry and Dr Seuss!
This post is part of the Writing 101 challenge by the Daily Post

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Mr Buttons and Naughty Lucas. Our Dogs.

Writing 101 challenge – Write a post based on the contrast between two things — whether people, objects, emotions, places, or something else.
Today’s twist: write your post in the form of a dialogue. You can create a strong opposition between the two speakers — a lovers’ quarrel or a fierce political debate, for example. Or you could aim to highlight the difference in tone and style between the two different speakers — your call!

You’re sitting on my side of the couch.
no I’m not
You are too.
no, really I’m not!
And get your skinny leg off mine
why are you so grumpy anyway?
I’m older than you, can’t you give me some respect?
but you never want to play! You’re boring
You’re annoying!
Why won’t you play with me? I think you’re great
It’s been nothing but trouble since you arrived. You’re so cute and playful. I’m just old and stiff. I think they love you more than me
but mum adores you! You let her stroke you when she is sitting reading quietly. You protect her from everything. I just drop chewed toys in her lap and steal her yarn. That makes her crazy
Fair point Lucas. That’s all true. Do you remember when you chewed that first edition signed book she gave dad for Christmas?
how can I forget? No treats for days for me
Mind you, I was in the dog house – literally – when I bit dad for trying to kiss mum and he had to get a tetanus shot.
how could you do that? I love dad so much. He throws the ball for me for hours
Chasing a ball is so dull. What’s the point? I’ve never understood it. Best thing to do is lie in the sun waiting for the postman. He loves a surprise!
and squirrels.
Yes! Squirrels!!!
lets go and chase some now. Come on! You know you want to!


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Monday Morning Mayhem

Enjoying the last official day of Summer 2014 Naughty Lucas got carried away off lead jumping through tall grass and splashing across a large stagnant pond.
A quick wash in the sink has left my laundry room in serious need of a wipe down and a trail of mucky paws across the kitchen floor.
Happy Monday!

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The Mousetrap Mystery

In the evenings we are often entertained by the movements of a very small mouse running around at the background of the house.
The gillybirds also stop what they are doing to watch this “mini” mouse (sorry for the pun) though I think should it stray into the coop they would have it pulled apart between them if it didn’t run fast enough.
Early one morning I was opening the coop door when the mouse hopped over my bare feet. I’m not the squealing kind, but it fairly woke me up!
At the local hardware store I was chatting to the shop assistant about how many homes have mice just now when lo and behold a mouse popped out from under a shelf and ran the length of the pest control aisle right in front of us. I’m sure I could hear it saying ” nah na na nah na! Can’t catch me!”
Apparently a local Pest Control officer calls every morning to the shop to remove the mice caught during the night. They have a serious problem and as a result are having to stop selling bird seed which the mice are gorging themselves on.
Undaunted, I purchased two traps, loaded them with Nutella and set them up where neither curious hen nor dog could get caught.
The next morning the bait was taken, but no mice caught.
Mouse 1 Mrs Gillybirds 0
I switched from Nutella to peanut butter.
Now this morning I awoke to discover that one of the traps is completely gone. Disappeared. Vanished. Missing.
Is there a mouse with a trap stuck to its tail lying injured somewhere?
Or did the mouse get caught and then mouse, trap and all were taken by an opportunistic fox?
I wish I knew.
It’s a mousetrap mystery.

I previously wrote about an encounter with mice in blog post called of mice and hens

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Guard Dogs

Of course no blog update would be complete without photos of the ever vigilant Mr Buttons and Naughty Lucas who were able to eyeball the hens while they were at the Beach Club




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The adorable Henry

We visited with our farming friends at the weekend and they have a new dog- a jack Russell/miniature daschund cross called Henry.
Henry is the cutest dog EVER. He has big soulful eyes, long elegant paws and a very waggy tail. Add to this an ebullient personality and tonnes of character. It is impossible to capture all this in a photograph.
They had to check my pockets to make sure I hadn’t smuggled him home.
A lasting memory will be walking across fields of high grass as Henry bounded in great leaps in front of us, all we could see were two black ears flapping with every leap.
Such a cutie.
I think I have a serious case of puppy love.


Cat Sitting

My name is Mrs Gillybirds and I am a cat person.
As the official owner of two dogs and three hens this may come as a surprise. I love cats. Really love them, but due to Mr G’s cat hair allergy we don’t have cats in the house.
I haven’t been owned by a cat in over 20 years.
So it is very exciting for me to be cat sitting for Miss Izzy and Miss Cookie whilst their lady takes a well deserved holiday.
And since I have opposing thumbs and the ability to open a pouch of cat food they are apparently just as excited to see me.
I had forgotten just how aloof and independent cats are. And how utterly silent.
In comparison if I leave the dogs at home even for ten minutes my return is greeted with a full parade of wagging tails, big doggy grins and loud barking.
When the back door handle is rattled the Gillybirds stop whatever they are doing and look up to see who is coming out and more importantly what treats they may be bringing.
But cats… Not so much.
As every good cat sitter knows, I spent some time last week in their home chatting with their lady about feeding, sleeping arrangements, waste disposal, and home security. (not wanting any cat burglars. Ha)
Cookie and Izzy have met me before, Izzy is a one woman cat, Cookie who is adopted, is more friendly and likes a head rub every now and again. She even let me pick her up, it’s amazing how little cats weigh, no wonder they move with such quietness and ease.
It’s much better to keep cats in their own home where their comforts are and things are familiar. So I’m calling round twice daily, for food and fellowship. Cookie is generally waiting for me, tail twitching, ready for breakfast. Izzy is more cautious, stealthily sneaking by when she thinks I’m not looking.
Izzy loves her lady so much she brings her love tokens on an almost daily basis, so I have a good check around for dead partially consumed wildlife which would not be a pleasant welcome home for anyone!
I chat away whilst they eat with such fastidious daintiness, today I even played the piano for them. Not sure how appreciated that was.
Hopefully we will get along just fine. And I can enjoy being a cat lady once more, provided I remove all traces of cat hair for fear of setting off allergies or alerting the dogs to the fact that for a short while I am reverting to my true self.