Quail diary – 83. Eggs and beans
Four eggs this morning – bringing the tally to 80 since Easter. Well done those quail! Dandelions all round. The surviving four birds look quite lost these days in a run built for seven (plus wellies), particularly since the wellies walked off with the hutch they weren’t using. But they seem happy enough, pottering around in their shifting pool of mirrored sunlight throughout the day, bathing in the dust or leaping up and down by the wire, nibbling small knobbly things that fly through. Sometimes they have a bit of a flutter, because they can. It must be like living in a cathedral, particularly with the cats like gargoyles hanging off the roof, peering in.
The cats are becoming something of a social embarrassment: apart from leering at the quail and next doors’ guinea pigs, and catching Bantam Neighbour’s tiny bees, they wee in the potato tower (don’t tell himself), insert themselves into any hole dug for any purpose – usually to do something unspeakable – and plunder every cat bowl for miles around. I can barely look my neighbours in the eye. Next door has acquired a water pistol to try to fend them off. I feel like a character from Six Dinner Sid, only worse, because there’s two of them. Catch mice, dammit.
Still, the garden is sprinkled with cherry and pear blossom and the runner beans are unfurling their first leaves. Compost and kitchen waste have been dug in (with a little help from the felines), pots dug out and tools sharpened. Let the cultivating commence. We’ve gotta have something to eat with all those quail eggs.