The sun came out today. It did honestly. And it shone the entire day long. The Blue-Tits were quite beside themselves so they were...peering into the gaps and holes between the stones of the little sheds and squabbling if they thought another Blue-Tit was about to steal their best nest site...like there aren't enough holes for everyone...
It's the Starlings which are funny though...one pair nest every year in the same hole in the wall of the potting shed...and it's situated where they are endlessly disturbed by us walking past...it doesn't put them off, but they perch in a tree opposite and bawl obscenities every time one of us appears. I've had a word with them...suggested they find somewhere else which is quieter...but they still come back and rear their squawking babies regardless of our 'interference'.
The resident Wood Pigeons don't bother with the niceties' of careful nest building though...they drop a couple of sticks into a clump of ivy and think that'll do, then wonder why the eggs fall out. Their favourite tree broke in half and floated away down the river, so they'll have to find another nesting place this spring...
It'll probably snow again tomorrow which will make the birds quite befuddled altogether...
Rural Ireland has very few rules and regulations...they tend to be those which are based more on morality than anything laid down in a court of law...and one is...you don't allow your animals to trespass on someone else's land. Grazing the long acre is a different matter altogether...but scorn is poured from a great height if your cow or sheep is in another man's field because you put it there. Straying in is not the same...Tom's bull is invariably in a field he shouldn't be in.
But ...Wendy has put her horses into the forestry land...with an electric fence across the entrance. Many people plant pine trees as a long-term cash crop...especially on land they own which isn't fit for anything else...then the trees are harvested by professionals and they re-plant with baby trees. You have a nest-egg for your retirement, or if you were younger when you planted, then the money would pay off a bank loan for instance...
These plantings aren't attractive, though they do provide plenty of dog walking spaces because they have rough roadways running through them...and they're excellent for providing masses of pine cones.
Those who are desperate will often dump ponies and donkeys into forestry plantings...then it's up to whatever welfare group to wade in with halters and ropes and try to catch them...it is a practice which is heavily frowned upon because the lack of grass underfoot means equines will eat the tree bark...and the tree keels over and dies.
In a nutshell, it's stealing another person's property.
And neither Nancy or Tilly have collars yet. I've stressed the importance of collars to both Wendy and Jason...and to Jamie...who looks vague and says he'll save up to get one.
It's all a bit of a muddle.