The team might not have had Casey and I at the farm this week, strangely it was too hot, but what a week they had. It would've been a little easier for them if the sun wasn't quite so powerful, but hey, the weather is rarely perfect and it didn't stop the work this week. To be honest there is very little that stops our team, especially Chris who is still finding more ideas, so it's always a shame when the weather keeps me and my boys away.
As the weather started to heat up last weekend and Casey was spending most of his time in his other grandparents paddling pool, Chris was on a journey. Yes, he actually left the farm. His journey took him on a bit of a drive to collect some of our latest animal team members, three beautiful barn owls.
Myself and Chris always remember my Grampy (Chris' dad) admiring the barn owls we were lucky enough to have living wildly around the farm. He loved catching them in flight as he leant on a gate and looking over the land that is now home to CaenhillCC. Anytime I've been lucky enough to see a barn owl at the farm I think of him. Although he is no longer with us to be able to enjoy our new residents, it makes us happy to know we have a few new additions that he would've loved. It's also a bit of a dream for Chris as well.
Our owls are young and have been hand reared, so Chris and Caroline are continuing with this and sticking close to a routine they know. Once they are a little more settled we'll hopefully have them flying around the farm and meeting guests. Of course, before we do that they need some names and we haven't named them yet because we like to give our animals time to settle in. Their naming is on the agenda for next week though, so keep a lookout. I hear Chris will be selecting some night time names with Caroline, thankfully relating to the night sky though rather than looking for names like Snore or Pyjamas.
If owls weren't enough to get you excited about the animal team developments at the farm, we had another three arrivals, just as I think it's going to start slowing down. And, on Wednesday we welcomed Chris' Grin, Caroline's Tickle and my Chuckle to the world. Which animals would we give names like these I hear you ask, geese of course. A big thank you to everyone who helped me select the final goslings name, Casey wanted to name it Duchess just like the cat we named last week, so I ended up needing some real help once I found two names I loved. I think Chuckle is happy with the final selection.
Caroline's already built a great relationship with Tickle after helping the little one hatch (check her social media channels to see more) and now keeping it on temporarily as a houseguest. Don't worry, Tickle still visits the farm and will live with the others soon, they're just spending the crucial early days together to help their bond. While Chris is taking Grin and Chuckle with him to socialise in the local town and sit with him over breakfast. I'm feeling a little left out if I'm honest, but babies and cats who have forgotten about how they shared their home with chicks don't really mix with goslings. So, it's certainly for the best that I'm the odd one out.
Being able to be a part of the CaenhillCC team and spend time with the animals really is privilege enough without taking any animals home. I'll be sure to remind my boys of that in future when they're begging to take animals home. It's even more of an honour when I'm asked to help with names whether choosing something from your suggestions or looking for something new. Although, as I said last week, it is a bit daunting to pick names for animals that will become a part of so many people's mornings or evenings. I think we've done ok so far though with Chuckle, plus Smudge the cat's mum Duchess and potato, another cat, who I introduced on my Twitter and Instagram CaenhillCC account yesterday.
We do enjoy getting you all involved in names as well when it's possible and recently our live viewers have been sending their name suggestions to volunteer Nicky. As it's always difficult to make naming fair, she put all of your name suggestions into a hat and on her latest volunteering session this week, picked some out for some new ducks and chickens. And, if everyone waiting to see if their name was picked wasn't enough pressure, the selection process went out on local radio too. Thank you BBC Radio Wiltshire for coming back to be a part of it. I'll bring you the latest names next week when I've caught up.
Nicky wasn't just volunteering to help with names and she and Rosemary travelled for another volunteering day at the farm. Volunteers have always been a special part of our project and while we're mostly looking for volunteers with skills to help us with things like building, maintenance and sorting fences, you can still get involved. Whether you live further away and help to raise funds or become a patreon to the project, or live closer and join our adults volunteer group at the farm on Friday evenings or simply visit. We're happy to have you as part of our project.
The most important part of our project though is the young people, however they join us and this week was a little different. Not just because we had the lovely Jas join us on her week's work experience. Thank you to Jas for wanting to join the team for the week, I've heard great things about her. But also, as it's now the end of the school term, our students have been finishing their placements with us. While some will hopefully return in the new school year, we said goodbye to those moving on in their education. It's not been the year or two that we'd hoped to give our students due to Covid, but nothing has been normal and it's been wonderful to have them with us when restrictions allowed. We wish them all the best summer and lots of luck in their journey ahead.
There's so much more I could talk about from our busy week, but I won't go on any more. Instead I will finish by sending lots of love to our friends in Watamu, Kenya. Our thoughts especially go to Dave and the children at the Happy House (a charity of which Chris is a trustee) after their sad loss of Mama Sue. She has spent so many years dedicating her life to the children in her care and doing her best to give them a bright future. Here's to her work continuing in her memory.
Until next time keep safe.
Kara, Casey and Teddy