Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Roots to success

Quercus ilex, the Holm Oak, grows everywhere around the Croft.

A new leaf

It is an evergreen, and efficient at using the tough, dry moraine soil to extract nutrients. I know this because we just renewed an old cutting here at the Croft, and uncovered part of the root system of one tree. Here it is, three metres deep:

Roots to success

Even at this depth the roots are substantial:
Deep roots

These trees will be here long after we have gone

Sunday, 26 October 2014

Furry annoying invader

We have an invader. And we think she's American. Yesterday she killed another chicken - Cheepy, one of our favourites. We had already lost two other chickens and a duck over the last couple of months.

Luckily, she left evidence:

Dark and deadly

This looks like American Mink (Neovison vison), according to Animal Tracks and Signs, the wonderful book by Preben Bang and Preben Dahlstrom.

So on Friday the lovely Agents Rurals Quico and Oriol came up and helped us lay a live trap.

This way, please
We've baited it with chicken and sardines - a feast for a mink - and we await results.