In getting ready for Field to Fork I’ve had to move a few things around… I just put some of my percussion into the Chapel and thought what a great place it would be for musicians to create. The acoustics are pretty good too.
During August Jo’s dad started the decoration including a bit of ethereal painting to ceiling. Still loads to do but it’s another step forward. The wood burner is next and I have an old pew that I’m hoping will form part of the bed. I’ll update progress soon…
We were excited to be part of a survey conducted by Devon Wildlife Trust to monitor the population of the rare Greater Horseshoe Bat. Harewood Farm is near to the closely guarded location of one of the largest colonies of these endangered bats in Northern Europe. The Trust is seeking to gather more information about their habits and numbers.
Over the space of 2 nights in May these were the results of a survey in our entrance field using a bat detector. The device monitors calls and can decipher bat species by their unique frequency range. Much to our delight the Greater Horseshoe Bat made 3 visits along with other species we had no idea visited our land. The Common Pipistrelle are often seen flying about close to the house but the Greater Horseshoe avoids un-natural light and is rarely seen near dwellings. We’re so pleased Harewood is part of it’s habitat.
We hope to be doing more in the future to further improve the conditions here at Harewood for these amazing creatures.
Back in May we started work on a new area near the polytunnel. When it came to moving an old pile of compost we found this gorgeous chap.
One of the joys of living at Harewood is the reconnection with many of the creatures I knew as a child but that have sadly diminished in the urban environment. The Slow Worm that fascinated me in those long ago summers appear to be common here.
And then there are the animals, insects and birds that this townie never knew as a kid that are here to delight and intrigue me. I often marvel at the diversity of birds that come to our feeder… The Nuthatch and the Woodpecker, all the colourful finches and even the House Sparrow which seemed to have disappeared from our old Brighton home.
This year we harvested late and the tall seeded Nap Weed fed a Charm of Gold Finches which wheeled about the fields in murmurations.
More about what we’ve discovered flapping around our meadows next…
This morning was another day of beautiful but hard sunny frost. While I was scraping the ice off my windscreen a little Robin hopped down right beside me. He seemed to be looking for a hot drink. I chatted to him for a while and got my phone out to get a pic. With that he jumped up and perched on the phone for a closer look at me. It was such at lovely 5 minutes being so close and trusted. Bless.
The morning after the US election was a beautiful Autumn day here in Cornwall which somehow mitigated the shock of such an outcome. I’ve been building a little hideaway in the meadow for future friends to enjoy. However in such a topsy turvy world I feel that I might be spending more time in it myself. I just need now to crack on and get it finished!
Summer is a great time for getting on with building projects. The long daylight hours provide more time to get things done. This year’s main project is a glamping hut inspired by the simple rural chapels to be found perhaps in Eastern Europe or the American back woods. Based on an old caravan chassis it’s beginning to take shape though I may have to leave the spire until I get it down the lane!
I’ll be posting more when the project is further down the line but I’m looking forward to tucking up by the stove by Autumn comes 🙂
The new yoga deck was a success for the recentmid-summer yoga retreat and is now part of the infrastructure for future small events here at Harewood. Jo has been using the space for her own practice and Luna the dog has to be encouraged not to use it for stretching out! No doubt with July and August being a time for friends and family visits it’ll see plenty of downward dogs in the coming months.
It’s been a full on week in preparations for the mid-summer yoga retreat and new for the event is an inside out shower.
Constructed like a barrel and made of oak the shower cubicle is open to the sky while the cabin will house a sauna hopefully by the Autumn. Until the wood burning stove is in place the shower is heated by gas. I’ve still got the finishing touches to do but its been great to get the shower running for this weekend. My son made the barrel formers ages ago and we’ve enjoyed putting together a structure from all the stuff I’ve been collecting since we got here. The slate roof is left over from our garden room extension and were recycled from a house renovation in Devon. The oak has been knocking around the yard for a couple of years and most of the timber for the frame came from a London roof. I saved them from a bonfire! The old oak door was a real find from the village and it’s hinges are said to over 200 years old. I’ll post some more pictures when it’s finished.