Monday, June 14, 2004

Hi Gang:

Jesse left on Saturday, so It's my turn in the daily email barrel. I'm hoping he had a quiet trip home. I went with Byron up to the mine on Saturday, and had a day of tree trimming and hydraulicing. All of the various trees and Hawthorns had grown to the point of being a menace to anyone who drives up to the Quarry, so Byron's solution was to borrow pruners and a bow saw. Anything that thought it might grow out and in the way for the next two years has now been pruned.

This was my first visit to the mine this year, so I got started on my yearly flower hunt. Along with the flowers, we have Oyster Catchers in the quarry again. The have laid this two eggs next to the road. They lay them in a shallow depression in the rock and then ignore them until they hatch. They spend little time on the nest. Mostly they run around the quarry, trying to keep everyone's attention off of the eggs. When they finally hatch, they will be inseparable. There are Swallows in the mine. At first they would get lost in the mine, because the door was now open. Now they just scoot by and ignore all of us.

Dave, Byron and Jesse had moved some rock the day before, and Byron was anxious to get a look at the face. Right now it looks heavily mineralized, but with no real development. We washed all of the mud off the walls, which were mostly covered in calcite. Makes a really nice white wall, but has no fluorite in it. So, Dave and Byron will muck and timber. After that another round of moving rock. We are still pulling stuff out of the walls elsewhere in the tunnels.

After a few hours of that we came out of the mine wet and muddy. I wanted to have a picture taken, to replace the first hideous one, in my jumper. The camera batteries did not cooperate. So I now know to carry both sets of batteries with me everywhere. After leaving, we stopped at the Grey Bull and had a pint. I got to talk to Donna for the first time this year. Then we went to the Rookhope Inn for another and to visit Berry. I wanted information on rates and rooms for future guests. It is still odd to sit in a pub and be a 'local' on all of the jokes and gossip. I love it. The bicyclists were out in full force, all dressed in lycra. We then headed for home and dinner. Mushroom Chicken. MMMM. Even if I did cook it.

Sunday we split up. Byron went to the mine to saw and poke about and thinking where to break up the wall next. I went to work on the house. Lots of laundry. Lots of cleaning. Then I went to work on the duck pond. I'm hoping it will look really nice when I'm done. Bob and Mary are quite happy with me pudding about. Theirs is a working garden. If any of you have a garden, you will know. In the last two years they have done quite a bit to the grounds around the house. There are ponds, bridges, and features everywhere. Given a year or so they will be quite settled in here. The chickens, ducks and, yes two peacocks, rule though.

Speaking of which....My little brown pocket duckling and most of her brother and sisters made it through winter. So now there are fourteen ducks to five chickens. This year I will try for chickens. We have had five baby ducks this year, but only three are alive. There are Jackdaws nesting in the chimney pot and they keep making a snack out ot the eggs and chicks. I taken to running them off whenever I see them. The ducks seem to know that if I am working in the garage, to stick fairly close. I am a portable Scarecrow.

Hope everyone is well. Talk to you tomorrow.

Cheers,

Byron and Jonina



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