Monday, 29 February 2016

Vigilance.

Word has spread around the village today that two Springer Spaniels have run away from their home and are on the loose.   They have run away once before and so are usually kept on the lead when they walk, but their owner fastened them together and then let them off the lead for a 'bit of a run' on her walk yesterday.   Their bit of a run meant that they ran off and still had not come home this morning.

They could easily have become tangled up in a hedgerow somewhere with that joint lead - and it could lead to a very unpleasant end - I do hope not because Springers are lovely dogs.
But of course my sympathies have to lie with all the local farmers, who have very pregnant ewes in the fields at present, so everyone is keeping a close eye on their flocks today.

A friend with a rabbit problem in her fields has had the 'ferret man' over the week-end and he has caught six adults and plenty of babies.   It seems sad to catch and kill the rabbits but around here our fields become overrun with them and as ten rabbits are said to eat as much grass as one cow, we really cannot let them all survive.

The horizon has many plumes of smoke rising up today.   The weather is dry and the burning of the ling (heather) is well underway.   Heather is burnt in rotation each year to stimulate new growth.   It is the staple food of grouse which are plentiful on our moors.   They are quite a secretive bird and rarely seen as the heather is such a good camouflage - I have never tasted it but understand that the prevailing taste is of heather!

Tomorrow is the meteorological first day of Spring.   Call it that if you wish but I shall wait for March 21st - I may be old fashioned but that is my prerogative and it certainly doesn't feel the least like Spring outside. 

So I intend to stoke up the log burner and have a good read once I have read all your blogs and finished my ironing.   Sorry I didn't post yesterday but Blogger decided he would have a day off and refused to work for me.   He is back to normal today.

20 comments:

Yorkshire Pudding said...

How much do you charge for ironing Mrs Weaver?
I do hope that the two springer spaniels make it back home. Please give us an update when you have some news on their whereabouts.

Rachel said...

That is very worrying news about the dogs if last night's Countryfile is anything to go by. I do hope they are caught before they attack.

Terry and Linda said...

Sigh! What a hard lesson to learn...if you have running away dogs they really do want to 'go about the world. A lead is the only way. I hope they are found safe and sound soon!

Linda

Derek Faulkner said...

I'm surprised the guys mentioned the baby/young rabbits. When we were ferreting years ago we always released the young ones without saying anything cause that meant you would be needed next season. We used to pack up in early March for the same reason and it's also getting into the breeding season and it's not pleasant gutting rabbits and finding unborn babies inside.

Let's hope those poor dogs get found safe and sound.

Tom Stephenson said...

Trained gun dogs are regularly stolen, so your Springers may be leading a happy life still. I have never met a sane Springer yet, so happiness is relative.

donna baker said...

It makes me sad for the poor dogs. I am surprised about the rabbits. I guess I thought they were much loved in GB. I have heard of rabbit roundups in Australia, but not anywhere else.

Mac n' Janet said...

Glad Blogger is working for you today, too bad about the dogs, hope they're found. I had no idea rabbits could eat that much grass, live and learn.

Gerry Snape said...

We become so dependent on mr PCBlogger!....mine died for a day yesterday...I still have the iPad...so the ITGenius aka son...had to come and dispense some magic. All well again. Sad about the rabbits...but that's life...I'm "baby sitting" two while the daughter is abroad....mad world!

Robin Mac said...

I hope the dogs have been found by now. I am afraid I think of rabbits as vermin - I am an Australian - and they cause havoc over here.
We are supposedly in the first day of Autumn, but the temps are still ranging from minimums of around 21 degrees celcius to maximums well over 30 - and I call that hot!

Librarian said...

Since man has done everything to upset the balance and killed off most of the rabbits' natural enemies (there really aren't enough foxes to go round for the job), now the rabbit population has to be kept in check in a different manner. Of course the idea of killing baby bunnies is not nice, but it's necessary in many parts of the world. They are so good at spreading out! I've seen old railway banks fenced off with signs warning people of walking on them; they were so full of rabbit holes that the whole bank would just crumble underneath whoever decided to walk there.

Waking up to Winter Wonderland here this morning!! So, the 1st of March is definitely NOT the first day of spring for me, either...

Cro Magnon said...

My daughter once had a boyfriend who used to go 'long netting', with a Ferret, up on the Sussex Downs. He would often return with over 100 Rabbits; several of which came my way.

You are SO right about the first day of Spring; MARCH THE TWENTY-FIRST.

Derek Faulkner said...

Judging by the Met.Office comments in my paper today, March 1st or March 21st won't make much difference to when it's Spring this year. The forecast is for an unusually cold March with potential for snow at Easter - joy!!!

Coppa's girl said...

Yes, definitely the 21st March - must we lose all the old traditions?

thelma said...

Sad about the dogs, but they do get stolen as well as working dogs. Glad I went for a cocker spaniel and not springer, heard tales about springers.. There was a lot of gunshot last night, presumably lamping, probably after all the rabbits on the bank over the river...

Gwil W said...

Dogs owned by irresponsible people are constantly getting lost in the Vienna Woods. Their canines set off chasing a deer or some other animal and all too often end up miles away and out of even doggie earshot. If the dogs are lucky they are found before a wild boar or a hunter gets them. Every springtime appeals for information notices bearing charming doggie pictures someone's of Mimi or Maxi are thumbtacked onto tree trunks alongside the walking paths and trails.

Barbara Womack said...

I do find dogs that are given the opportunity to have a "bit of a run" most annoying. (or maybe it's their owners) There is more damage done here in the Valley by dogs than by any other predator.
Here's hoping that they are found soon and don't cause any problems for those pregnant ewes!

The Weaver of Grass said...

Thanks for the comments everyone. No news so far so I presume that they may well have returned back home. Will put a stop press in my post if I hear anything.
Derek's comments on releasing the baby rabbits are interesting, especially as the man told my friend that from March 1st they didn't ferret, they shot. I wonder.

Simon Douglas Thompson said...

I'd feel better if the bunnies ended up in the pot, although why is a mystery, they are still dead. I just don't like stuff being wasted I suppose, we've already wasted so much on this planet.

Heather said...

So pleased that it was Blogger who felt unable to post and not yourself.
I do hope the dogs are found safe and that they haven't harmed or disturbed any sheep in the meantime. Spaniels are usually easy to train so the owner ought to have more control over them.
As you say, rabbits are very pretty animals, but there has to be a balance and as Simon mentioned they could be sold to local butchers and not wasted. Hopefully they end up in various pots anyway.
I am just off to do a spot of ironing myself.


The Weaver of Grass said...

Thanks to everyone for calling in.