The Loofas go beserk

Yesterday when I cleaned out Leia and Pop’s coop, I had moved Leia into the top section of the nest box and dumped Pop rather unceremoniously in the Plymouth Pear tree pot. I was halfway through clearing away the old bedding when I heard some clucking coming from the pot behind me. There was Pop ecstatically digging away in the soil. She half managed to get a dust bath and then scoffed an enormous amount of food. Despite struggling with her legs still, she was a very happy chicken. New bedding in place, I removed a rather grumpy Pop from her pot and put Leia back in with her.

Today I decided to put Pop back into the pot. She was instantly more alert and happy as soon as she realised where she was. I left her for over an hour to enjoy herself whilst I sorted out the chickens in the main coop. Down in the main coop, the girls were busy scratching and enjoying the sunshine. I threw out their treats and left them with strict orders to stop being lazy and lay more eggs!

As I was wondering slowly around our plot, I noticed the loofa plants in the greenhouse had suddenly burst into flower. Yesterday there were a couple of buds but today three gorgeous yellow-orange flowers were fully out. They really are stunning. I am hoping that the other two loofa plants will flower soon as it will really brighten up the greenhouse. The vines are continuing to grow at an alarming rate – within a couple of weeks I suspect our greenhouse will be a thick jungle!

Cliff quickly grabbed me and showed me some exciting evidence of leaf cutter bees on his plants. The leaves had semicircular sections missing, carefully cut and roved by a leaf cutter bee. We then walked across to Neil’s plot where he has a bee hotel and found one of the tubes sealed with fresh leaves. It is entirely possible that the cuttings from Cliff’s plants may have been used by the bee to seal off the tube in Neil’s bee hotel!

As we walked back to check on Koko, Phil appeared and we all had a chat about the bees. Bee check is tomorrow and I told Phil about my needing to buy some gloves after getting stung. It’s a known hazard of beekeeping but as it turns out I am somewhat allergic to bee stings. Phil has lent me some gloves to try tomorrow and if they work, I will order some in my own size. If they are difficult to use, Phil suggested buying some cleaning gloves which would allow for more dexterity and are thicker than the latex gloves we have used in the past. I also thanked Phil for the latest Cheshire Beekeeping magazine and homemade Plum jam which magically appeared in the shed.

I went to check on Pop and Leia and to have a chat with Cliff. He came and watched Pop digging away in the pot. He declared her to be a happy chicken to which I heartily agreed. I ambled home shortly afterwards to start on a new project to help Pop regain some strength and movement in her legs.

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