Rats!! 22 January 2014

Or  “Longtails”  as they are known to my Manx friends have been a real problem here this winter.  As they have not made their presence felt over the last few years, we have not been paying as much attention to them as perhaps we should, and the general disruption caused by the move here and imminent building works may have encouraged the little blighters to feel at home….

Before the “bunny huggers” start complaining, I don’t actually mind the odd rat around but in numbers they are a real problem, first chewing wires in the loft (nothing concentrates the mind at two in the morning like the sound of a longtail gnawing something vital in the loft!), we sorted him out a few months ago before he got into the house!  The last week has been spent trying to control those near the poultry and horses, when you start seeing them in the evening you have a problem.  Fortunately the light covering of snow has made it easier to track the “rat-runs” back to the nests and place poison in the most effective places.  Hopefully this will bring their numbers down to more reasonable levels.  I have noticed that they have been digging underneath the new concrete floor in the field shelter but this morning I discovered that one had, more seriously, chewed it’s way though the floor of one of the hen houses.  Not acceptable!  This meant that the morning was occupied by replacing the floor with new and heavier ply, the hens can now sleep in peace.  From our personal point of view, Weil’s Disease is carried by rats and we just can’t have them running riot over the place.  Hands duly and thoroughly washed……

The joys of living in the country……..

The morning run up the field with the terriers in the hard frost and bright sun was a pleasure but with most of the top of the field and the meadow by the burn still shaded by the trees at this time of year, cold with few opportunities for photos.

I liked shot of the veining in this bramble leaf.

P1000358

This afternoon Hilary asked me to take some pictures of a moss she had collected, my favourite shot because of it’s graphic, slightly surreal feel is this one.

Tortua muralis

Tortua muralis

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