Catching up…

After the initial day of ‘oh good, rain, the ground needed it’ we didn’t get dry weather again until yesterday! Talk about over-doing things….

Anyway, in that time the bunnies have produced their litters – Delilah seems to have 9 in the nest, having rejected my offered nestbox, and whenever I open the door of her cage she streaks off into the distance and has to be caught and carried back after I’ve cleaned out, refilled hayrack or whatever. The kits are fat and healthy so she must be looking after them, even if she apparently wants to put yards between herself and that nest!

Trudy has had 7, 4 pink and 3 black – Tigger, the rex buck who fathered Trudy’s litter, is a Harlequin so I’m waiting with great interest to see what colour the kits turn out in the end. Trudy, being an albino, carries a recessive gene that means she doesn’t show any colour – it doesn’t mean she doesn’t have the genes for colours and patterns, just that they don’t show. It’s possible Tigger carries one albino gene that doesn’t show up, in which case the pink kits may turn out white, but then again, he may not have an albino gene to hand on, in which case the pink kits might turn out pale-coloured, depending on what genes Trudy’s tossed into the mix. I can hardly wait to find out! The black ones are very glossy little black sausages so she may have a black gene lurking under her albino surface…. watch this space! Rabbit genetics are an interesting field of study but I’m still only dibbling my toes in the subject.

After all the rain and wind, we got to the allotment yesterday expecting havoc but found relatively little damage. The formerly upstanding artichokes have developed a lean to the south-east after 4 days of non-stop strong north-westerlies and some of the runner beans had blown down (but have now been stood up again). The courgettes had enjoyed our absence and produced nearly 1.5kg of courgettes to prove it, so there’s another 5 jars of that courgette pickle in the cupboard now. We had some with dinner last night and it’s very pleasant indeed – tangy, but not too much so.

We also pulled and ate the first of the carrots from the allotment yesterday – delicious and very satisfying, and lots more yet to come!

The last of the white onions have been brought home and are drying in the boiler shed, so in a few days we’ll weigh them all and see how we did.

We’ve pretty much reached the time of year when we start thinking of mulching the beds as we clear them, and since the tall peas seem to have reached the end of the line, we’ll be clearing the tops into the compost, digging the roots in and then piling 6 inches of rabbit-cage cleanings on top for the winter in the next few days. By spring the worms will have hauled most of it down and improved the soil enormously for us.


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