The land lies briefly fallow whilst I get on with my proper job for a short spell.
I'm surrounded by water for 150 miles in any direction at present, but fortunately back home the River Dee has dropped by a few metres.
The field was accessible last week, with a few inches of water in low spots and Monday saw just a large puddle. I'll carefully level and re-seed the grass where it is low around the orchard trees.
Noticeably, each time the river floods, ladybirds cluster at the top of fenceposts...
I was a little surprised to see the bees high up the hollow ash tree particularly active.
A couple of herons on the lower wet fields, geese and ducks noisy in the evenings and still the ocasional large bird of prey in the hedgeline that seems larger than the buzzards.
I'm now thinking the large paw print is not a badger, but a mystery - probably a large dog, as the only similar large cat would alarmingly be a puma!
An email from the County Records Office - 3 digital images now on CD of a large 1700s estate map showing good detail of various land holdings east of the River.
In my spare time, a little more local history and landscape research, although I'm particularly keen to liaise with the local history society regarding field walks and features in the landscape. Some intriguing hedgerow and track alignments spanning both sides of the river, particularly near the remains of the castle.
The Castle has a mixed history, such things tend mainly to be symbols of Welsh suppression, but the English haven't always had things their own way and some cross-border aliances and liaisons crop up in old deeds - although the drowning of two young members of historic Welsh aristocracy whilst under the guardianship of John de Warren in the 1300s leaves a folk tale of wailing voices beneath the Holt-Farndon Bridge on certain nights of the year...
While the river was up, I took some time at home to organise the remaining specialist orchard trees ready for the next planting session and considering the options for local variety wild-flower trial beds.
Then it was briefly off to Wiltshire, a stock up of some tools and consumables from Scats farm supplies at Salisbury, a few small items from a garden centre and a meander around a few riverside winter landscapes.
Some calendar filling for the year ahead - a few music festivities booked further afield, but some interesting local events on the horizon,
Whittington Castle (about 20 miles away) has a Green Fair, a Plant Hunter Fair and some interesting historical re-enactment days (as well as being an interesting place to visit near Oswestry). All the events I'm interested in are during spells when I'm away from my shift-work.
Not directly linked to my interests, but something in the news that wound me up, was the extradition hearing for Richard O'Dwyer where the US of A weren't happy (despite no UK crime) about his website hosting links to media downloads - he made a comparison to how Google works...
This reminded me that a Google Street-View vehicle had used and filmed along the gated private access track for which I have a legal right of use. I'll see how handy they are at acting upon a take-down request for privacy reasons...