Tuesday, 26 October 2010


Now that the mice have stopped running around the house so much we've got a plague of another sort, oh but quite a nice one. Ladybirds or ladybugs, whichever you call them and we have plenty. They'vre taking advantage of the autumn sunlight and basking on the house walls during the day, but a certain amount of them have found their way inside and are congregating in the bathroom of all places.

I don't think I've seen so many in one place at a time and there are lots of variations on the red coated, black spottted ladybugs that we all know. There were yellow with black spots, black with red spots and some just plain red with no spots at all. I wish there had so many around earlier in the year to eat the aphids that attack my garden during the warmer months. Maybe it's worth looking into the habits and habitats of ladybugs and seeing if I can encourage them to come to the garden earlier.

Now I'd be lying if I said I hadn't tried to take photos of the ladybugs, because I did, but the light, my camera skills and the fact that they were moving rather fast didn't produce anything good enough to be shown publicly. But hubby managed to take some rather nice pics of this spider I spotted next to our front door.

Apologies to anyone arachnaphobic (spelling???) but we thought it was pretty amazing and rather large too. That's a Bulgarian 1 stotinki coin next to it (slightly smaller than a british penny) for comparison.

And lastly for Jak and anyone else who was wondering what baba socks are, here is a pic of my prized posessions, loved for keeping me warm throughout the winter and also because they fit inside my wellington boots too! Hand knitted, usually by older Bulgarian ladies and sold at our local market. They come in a variety of colours and are worn by both men and women.

P.s if you'd like some I'm sure I could post them to you :)

Sunday, 24 October 2010

Things that go Squeak in the Night!

It's that time of the year again when the rodents try and move indoors and the war starts as we try to keep them out of the house. Not that I have anything personally again the furry little critters but I just don't want them running around the house while I'm asleep.

A couple of weeks ago we'd started seeing signs of rodent activity inside so off I went and bought more traps, baited them and waited. Within 20 minutes I'd caught a mouse and was half hoping that we were of top of things, but over the last few days we've noticed rodent signs again and this time there wasn't just 1, but what seemed like a whole fleet of the buggers! So armed with a small amount of lard we set 3 traps last night in areas we'd seen droppings and within 3 hours we'd caught 5 mice and another overnight.

All seems quiet tonight although Molly the cocker spaniel is still on mouse watch. She's become obsessed with trying to catch them (but not suceeded as yet), Snotty the cat is not interested in the slightest and prefers to spend his days snoozing and waiting for a human to feed him! What a life eh?

This weekend I've managed to pull all of the pepper plants out, collected the last of the green tomatoes and make a start on preparing the raised beds for the winter. I'm hoping to turn one into a hotbed to try and extend the growing season, although I've not yet decided what I could grow. We'll see, I'm sure there is plenty of information available on the internet if I do some hunting around, maybe that will help me make my mind up. Hubby and I also sorted out the feed room today and moved all of the sacks of corn and barley further away from the house in an attempt to try and keep vermin away. This also meant moving little Butch, the Bulgarian bitsa back into his "winter" house where he'll be warmer when the temperatures drop.

Lately we've had some rather frosty mornings but today the sunshine was glorious and I had to remove my baba socks as I was getting a little warm while working. The washing dried well, spirits were lifted and we've had a quite nice, relaxing sunday with a lovely roast leg of our home reared pork for tea mmmmm. How has your weekend been?