Sometimes I think the Internet is a very bad idea.  We spend far too long staring at screens instead of everything around us and never use our grey matter because all we have to do is "Google it". But sometimes it's a lifesaver.  Take last week for example.  Keith and I called the lambs over for a bit of a feed mid-morning and one of them just didn't look right. It wasn't behaving right, and by that I mean, it wasn't head down in the trough chomping away as much as possible and pushing the others out of the way. It was a little apart from the others with a glazed look on it's face and then it moved away from the flock and started to froth at the mouth really badly, shaking its head and swaying a bit. Hmmm.  Definitely not right. 

It would seem there are a million and one things that can be wrong with a lamb and as Keith and I aren't total experts we were at a bit of a loss.  So, we immediately "Googled it". We found a site which described the lamb's symptoms and said that if untreated the lamb would choke to death.  Hmmm.  Oh dear.  The blog writer suggested using olive oil to disperse the froth.  The blog writer had tried it with apparently almost instant success. Olive oil! Who'd have thought it? And being very middle class we always have some to hand! So we filled a syringe (not that kind of syringe! One for treating animals) with olive oil and headed back out to the field where the lamb was still frothing away and swaying like mad. 

We squirted the olive oil down its throat and watched.  Sure enough, within minutes, the lamb had stopped frothing, stopped swaying, put its head down and started to eat, thus proving that the Internet is a marvellous thing. 

So that was the Up.  And more Ups were to follow with the hatching of five little cygnets a couple of days later.  Regular readers will know that we have a regular pair of swans who come every year to nest on the lake.  Once again, the female had spent most of April and all of May sitting atop a marvellous nest and this year she did better than ever with five of her eggs hatching.  However, regular readers will also know that things have not always gone smoothly for our pair of nesting swans and unfortunately this year is no exception.  Prepare yourselves dear readers for the Down. They almost made it to two weeks old - which is a week longer than every other year the swans have hatched cygnets.  At first things were good. Both parents were in attendance and we left them well alone and the little cygnets seemed to thrive.  But maybe they rushed things a bit much because a couple of days ago not only did we find that Dad had flown off but the cygnets were also out of the water and coming under the fence around the lake - miles away from Mum on the other side.  We tried to shoo them back into the water and had some success, but as we were doing so we saw two herons fly over screeching to each other.  And with that I knew that they were doomed.  

We don't actually know what happened but today there is a few bundles of downy feathers just outside the fence and one lonely swan still swimming around the lake.  It has really saddened me to find that for the third year in a row the swans have failed to raise any cygnets and all her efforts have been for nothing.  I don't know why they didn't keep the cygnets closer to them, or why the male cygnet always seems to leave (perhaps they'd had a row....?) but hopefully they'll get it right next year and be more vigillant.  It is a bird eat bird world out there.