Author Archives: Frances

The Foals have Grown

I am home and yes, it is wonderful (if brief).

(Tomorrow we are on the boat to go to the 2017 Summer Festival and British Championships in Spalding)

So, anywho, today, I spent the day with my horses and ponies.

The foals are growing “like Topsy” and looking wonderful.  Powerful little peoples.

Both foals are very independent, sleeping away from each other, not even near their Mums.

(there is a stream between them).

I can already see them developing and changing.  I love this stage in their brand new lives.

To start with, they sort of get on and talk to each other, which is wonderful, though Dreki has evil thoughts and Lilja is a perfect little girl.

Dreki just has to annoy at all times.  He must.

But the half-siblings do manage to skip around together in the field, which shows a bond of some sort.

Dreki can be forgiven for his midge-like behaviour as he is very handsome.


And Lilja is precious heaven.  She still hasn’t grown into her ears yet!

(It is wonderful being home) xx

Deer and Ducks

Our daily dog walk is at 07:00.  This early, there are no golfers out and about and it feels more like our park than the municipal gold course that it really is.

Fox watch has been rather fruitless – I will have another go tonight, not even “The Magenpies” turned up and the chicken I put out is rather ripe!

But, this morning, we saw in the trees a beautiful roe deer – a buck, I think.  It stopped in its tracks and so did we.

We alI stood still and waited.  Luckily her dog, Pip, is very good about not chasing anything unlike others we have known or know!

Even though we were downwind, of course it was inevitable that the roebuck quickly spied us and went galloping off at full speed, while I tried to take photos.

It was a magical morning and we stood for a while in the early morning watching the graceful deer vanish off into the distance.

Afterwards, we walked on to our usual spot – the duck pond to feed Mum’s lone duck.  Mum has been feeding him all winter.

But, over the past few days, more and more ducks have been joining in, which is lovely.

Today a hen duck appeared with her eight little ducklings who, I think, were born not very long ago.

Eight little ducklings so now we are all hoping that there will be eight tomorrow.

Oh, the worry!

(I will be travelling tomorrow back to Shetland so NIck will be writing the blog)

The Start of Fox Watch

Every day Mum feeds a family of wild foxes.

And I want to see them too.

There are five known roe deer in the surrounding park and we sometimes see them when we walk Mum’s dog, Pip, first thing in the morning.

This visit, I have not been quick enough with my camera to actually take any photos but the deer are beautiful.

Our early morning walks are necessary because the original park that surrounds our house (once the stables) and the accompanying grand house (a new Victorian version – I will take a photo tomorrow) is now a municipal golf course!

Sad, but true.

A very popular golf course too so it can be a bit of a case of the early bird gets to walk the dog!

Anywho, back with the foxes.  Mum leaves all the suitable edible leftovers outside her back gate for the wildlife and then, while we walk around the garden, we hear a crunch of branches beyond the boundary and the food vanishes very quickly.

I have set up a fox watching place.  The chair is for putting my camera on.  I have left a piece of chicken outside in the sun all afternoon so it should be nice and smelly for this evening.

Yesterday, all I saw was two magpies!

I can’t wait to see what I “catch” this evening.

Meanwhile, the garden is still beautiful and it is bloody hot here.

(home on Monday).

I Miss My Minions

From Daisy, who is manfully holding the fort and is invaluable.

“All sleeping. All get up except Newt.
No one moves the Newt.
He also decided to try and be a big boy and eat carrots.
The original Minions are the best of friends but they also do love Albie and Newt.
Albie and newt are very close but stick with the Minions.
They love Uncle Storm most.
Waffle and Tiddles are more grown up than the rest.

Others like to annoy Newt.  They will pay the price later.”

They may regret their behaviour.  My money is on Newt.  He may be small but he can reach places no one else can get to!

Newt may also be part Yak too!

My dear little Minions. I miss them desperately.  I need my Minion hugs very much.

How it is at Home

Apparently, the grass is growing well now.  While I have been away, there has been much rain.

Mum, Hetja is happily stuffing her face.  This is the one moment no one counts the calories.  She is nursing her foal.  She needs all the green grass she can eat.

Of course, Hetja is the best mother and spends many hours following her wayward daughter, Lilja, wherever she takes her.

Dreki, on the other hand, has a mother who would like him to go away – Brá is not a hooves-on kind of parent.

Never has been.

Not her style.

The little ones are now firmly together.  They spend many hours playing.

Looking at the photos and, as you know, I am not in Shetland, I can see that Dreki’s main aim is to annoy his sister, Lilja.

But I know that Hetja is keeping a firm eye on the whole situation.  She won’t let it turn into bullying.

And, anyway, Lilja will be the first to run to Mum and complain.

She is that type of little girl – that’s her style!