The road to Ben Nevis Nov 2009

The road to Ben Nevis Nov 2009
The road to Ben Nevis Nov 2009

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Monday, 27 May 2013

Blue Tit ways?

The bird boxes are busy. On camera - box #1 has been occupied for two weeks now. Mother Blue Tit is sitting in. Mum has been busy sitting, rearranging, housekeeping.
 It was some days before we managed to see what she was sitting on (when she was taking the rubbish out?) Seven nicely formed eggs.

And some support from a mate, with morsels of food.

For two weeks she has been busy all day and most of the night rearranging the nest and 'turning the eggs' (is this really what they do?) never leaving for more than a few minutes. Then on Saturday, early in morning...

... she disappeared for a couple of hours and came back with some new nesting material. And at 8 o'clock she vanished for the rest of the day - not reappearing until 7 that evening.This has happened for the last three days.
The first day the eggs were well covered
and today (Monday) not very well at all.
yesterday (Sunday) less well, 

 I wonder what is happening?

Have the eggs passed their sell-by date and been abandoned? Have the parents started a new day-time home somewhere else?

It is impossible for me to be sure this is the same bird that is returning in the evening. Could this be another starting up a new nest on top of the old eggs?

Any clues welcome! (you can watch the unfolding story here box #1).


Tuesday the eggs look quite exposed (cold and rainy all day)
From 6pm Tues until 5:20 am Wed

A brief spell at 7:30 and 8:00am Wed to extra nesting material to (partly) cover up

Thursday, 9 May 2013

Thursday Bread - Stretched and turned, not kneeded!

Four types of bread with different ingredients for the family via the freezer.

All of them developed using a no-kneed method.

The loaves on the right more-or-less follow the process described by Chad Robertson using a sourdough starter with a loaf of 70% white flour, 20% wholemeal, and 10% rye. Look here if you've not come across this before!

I've been using this method for similar loaves with success since reading his book 6 months ago. This is the first time however I try it for loaves and rolls using dried yeast - which seems to activate more quickly than my starter, and may not allow enough time for the gluten to develop properly without kneeding.

Those in the middle are made with Cann Mills 81% stoneground brown flour. The white flakes are barley and these loaves contain 10% barley flour and 10% barley flakes. The other two contain around 6% seeds - linseed, sunflower, and poppy.

The white rolls use Cann Mills organic stoneground white flour - which is a pleasant creamy colour - almost brown in fact. It leads me to think that most white flour must be bleached, I'll have to check this! The liquid used in this dough had a proportion of milk.