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a handsome zebu bull with one of his cows on San Cristobal

Before I completely forget about some of the wondrous animals I interacted with whilst away, I thought I would upload a few images to share with you. You will have gathered by now, I’m passionate about animals, and in particular mammals – from the teeniest rodent through to gargantuan whales. All, wild and domesticated, human and not so human, fascinate me. I thirst to know more! Here are a few encounters… Read the rest of this entry »

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All travelling between the islands, and most going back and forth between villages and houses, around the Bocas archipelago is carried out by boat. Dugouts, hardly visible above the waterline, holding a single Indian, a cluster of children or a whole family are paddled skilfully and silently along the edges of mangroves or across open bays where they glide with hardly an inch of freeboard alongside occasional pods of dolphins, rays and leaping fish. Read the rest of this entry »

Busy, busy, busy. I’ve been catching up on all those little problems that happened whilst I was away.
Ginny developed a bad foot the day before I arrived back (foul-in-foot) and needed treatment. Several of the cows and the bull have a nasty case of mites and are driving themselves crazy with itching. It’s extremely contagious and the whole herd has to be treated – similar to children getting head lice. So this afternoon I had great fun trying to aim 40mls of the appropriate chemical along the backbone of all the cattle, who were convinced that I had devised a homecoming gurgle-torture…they are paranoid about white plastic bottles that gurgle!
This morning after a prolonged feeding, tidy-up and general check over of all the stock it was onto the bobcat for a-shifting and a-building of the dung heap in preparation for mucking out the cows on Friday in readiness for calving.
The dogs are dillirious with excitement at resuming their daily walks with me, and even the deer in the wood sounded their wierd ‘dolphin-barks’ as I passed by.
And what a gorgeous day! Cold, but dry with sun from dawn to dusk. Desk work will have to wait till tomorrow.

panama post 23rd january

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Today’s my birthday! We celebrated with an early morning swim. A full moon white and bright played hide and seek behind low streaked clouds whilst the sun erupted above the horizon changing the smoked-glass sea into an oil smooth mirror. Kingfishers craaked noisily skimming low over the water. Herons, silhouetted against the pale sky, flew with long steady wing beats. Far out in the bay a dolphin breaks the sea glass, leaping fast and furiously chasing his morning breakfast. I slowly glide out into the bay reveling in the sensuous warm silk of the water. Robert signs – come back, come back! I shrug my shoulders – why? ‘Predators’, he mimics, ‘this is the time’. I lazily pull homeward enjoying the flipper-like feeling of my limbs and instinctual harmony with the sea and swimming. As I near the landing stage I feel a long-past remembered tingling sensation along my arm – jellyfish – a million minute stinging cells shed as she drifted past left to cling and sting tender white northern skin! Read the rest of this entry »

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Weary, travel-worn, a bit tattered and sore around the eyes, but nonetheless well, hail and hearty! Arrived back this afternoon after a very long, but relatively painless and uneventful, flight or rather flights – three of them to be precise. Read the rest of this entry »

The flight was long; well, not the actual flight but the four hour transit in New York, three of which were taken up queuing for US security, immigration and custom procedures. Frustrating, tiring and seemingly pointless considering we were not even exiting the airport! Settled into our friendly, helpful, B&B we spent the first day exploring the contrasts of Panama City. Poverty mixed with overt affluence, the city is one of contrasts, half American, half Latino in nature.

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Read the rest of this entry »

Locks Park Farm

Thanks for visiting my blog. All entries are presented in chronological order.

I have a small organic farm on the Culm grasslands near Hatherleigh in Devon, with sheep and beef cattle. I've been farming in the county for more than 30 years. I've set up this blog to share views on farming and the countryside - please do give your thoughts.

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The Campaign to Protect Rural England has helped set up this blog. We want farming to thrive in England, and believe that it is essential that people understand farming and farmers better in order for that to happen. Paula's views expressed here are her own and we won't necessarily share all of them, but we're happy to have helped give her a voice.

Find our more about CPRE and our views on food and farming at our website, www.cpre.org.uk