Jumbo update 25 October 25, 2013
Barn scaffolding is down with no dramas and the team is busy preparing the ground for building of the foundations and concreting in of the poles. Stupidly and over enthusiastically I dug the foundations far too early and we had to cover up quite a few trenches to be able to erect poles and scaffolding which we have to reopen as well as compact the ground ( sure my team think I am a real nutcase!)
We had a bit of a fright last week when we had really strong winds including a whirlwind that shook the structure and moved it slightly giving us visions of the whole thing collapsing but we managed to secure it with rope supports until we can get the poles concreted in place. The owls and the crows love sitting on the top of the roof and think it has been made just for them. I never seem to have a camera available at the right time as last week with the beautiful full orange moon rising above the barn it was quite a spectacular silhouette especially with an owl family perched on the rafters.
Talking of owls little Napoleon is growing at great speed and is getting pretty good at hopping onto my arm for his feeds which is useful as he is now flying quite well and catching him to feed him would otherwise be quite a challenge. We have decided that Catherine is learning to speak owl before English as she is able to mimic his sounds perfectly. It is quite sweet as every morning she grabs hold of my finger and pulls me towards the door pointing and clicking her tongue (sounds like Napoleon clicking his beak) and once we get inside she points at him and answers his calls perfectly in between giggles. She does get a bit cross that she is not allowed to touch him but we feel it is much safer for both as Napoleon has lethal talons and a very sharp beak which he does not hesitate to use if he feels insecure at all and Catherine whilst very good and gentle with animals 99% of the time does occasionally try to grab a leg or tail to investigate further.
She loves the evening routine of walking to the paddock to visit Wentworth our stallion picking green grass along the way to feed him and as soon as she catches sight on him starts clicking her tongue to call him, It is very sweet to see a little tot standing at the gate, not quite reaching his knees and feeding grass to a horse whose head is bigger than her. He is such a lovely gentle soul and one of the very few thoroughbred stallions that one would feel safe letting a child near never mind a one year old.
She loves playing with the whole pack of dogs who are also very sweet and gentle with her especially Kirby the little jack Russell who has the patience of a saint and spends hours sitting next to her but her favourites of all are the Kitties and she loves to lie next to a cat cuddling it and listening to it purr. She does also love insects and we spend hours following ants around, have to be a bit careful as she did find a centipede in the dining room yesterday and the day before spent ages staring at a snake just outside the window but I guess in time she will learn what is safe and what to treat with caution,