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Taidong, April 5: First mongoose attack for the season - that i was aware of at least. Previously i had thought they were only interested in the eggs, but today i saw one dragging off a chicken. I only noticed it coz it was making a growling sound as it lugged the chicken up a rocky embankment towards the fence. Assume it was a stealth attack coz the other chickens didn't seem to be alerted to it - though ISA Brown are ridiculously docile so i wonder how alert to danger they are compared to a normal chicken. Autopsy-wise, there was an injury to its buttock, the first bite probably, and then it's neck was ripped open. No other injuries apart from that, so they really do go for the jugular. Inspected the fence near where it was heading and there were a couple of washed away bits - nothing obvious but it may have been enough for them to squeeze under - blocked the section up with rocks but not confident that there's not a dozen other ways for them to get in. Set a live-trap with some chicken meat in it - not on the site but at new vegie patch. Weather has gone up a notch temp-wise and more sunshine after a fairly gloomy few months - which i quite like actually - and that fear of summer feeling is starting to creep back - no rain for the last week - vegetables need watering almost daily now - i had been doing it every two or three days. New carrots shooting up, 3rd lettuce crop going well, and new snow peas just starting to produce in the last day or so, tomatoes still producing, though it seems rats are now getting in for their chop coz nearly half still getting partially eaten - but still no fruitfly explosion - weird. Just read through some previous diaries and this is the season for 'nature attacks'. It's not rocket science - it's breeding season for a lot of animals and there are mouths to be fed. But it's interesting how the dates are in a quite narrow band in terms of start date. April 1st onwards is high-alert time for mongoose for example - tomato feasters and hawks are earlier - but always very similar start dates

Taidong, April 21: Some decent rain from about a week ago - 60 mil in Dulan - after CWB forecast it at 0% - later revised up to 10% after it had already started pouring. Then stuck with their 0-10% thing for the next two nights - both of which rained - though as heavily as the first night. There had been a sense that the type of rain had changed a few days earlier when there was 2 minute heavy rain - distinct from the soft winter rain of the previous months. Had an exciting ride with the tomatoes - they produced strongly, but then got attacked by birds and squirrels, but still got enough for a couple of months of fresh tomatoes and 10 jars of sauce. Coming towards the end now though.2nd snow pea crop was prolific but maybe not as delicious as first - cooler conditions seems to slow down the produce stage - 2nd crop was a bit prone to whitening and over development of the pea if left longer than a couple of days. Lettuce going strong and more than i can eat and 2nd carrot crop going well but still too small for harvest Temp has gone up several notches in the last few days - right when the workers finally decide to turn up to do the fences having delayed starting for several weeks of great, cool working weather. Felt vaguely heatstruck today after three days of hard work in the sun - very hot, very humid. Getting too hot for planting and seems like the natural end of the winter crop cycle. No repeat attacks from mongoose this year - i have been diligent about collecting the eggs before sunset and locking the chickens up each night but no sign of them. Rong shu loaded up with berries and getting ready to drop. Phoenix tree losing it's bloom and no real 'sakura' this year - needs a bit of wind at just the right moment but it's been hot and mostly calm. No spring fireflies yet though reports of them in Taipei. The first big 'meiyu-type' rain in the north tonight - not sure if it's an official meiyu front though - 50-60 mil an hour in several places - nothing here yet though a big band of rain crossing the island from the north west and coming down

April 23: Turned out that the above front was just a common or garden variety cold-front, in fact it dropped the temp considerably here though no real rain associated with it, which is typical for coldfronts and a north east wind. Temps are still fluctuating a bit - some stinking hot days, but then some moderate weather, which is nice

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Page last modified on May 10, 2017, at 05:25 PM