What calls our yard it’s home?
In our yard you’ll find all sorts of animals. Some are our own, some our neighbours and some stay at our place for a while.
Our garden, which has been ecological for almost 20 years; meaning poison-, pesticide and fertilizer-free, attracts lots of wild animals too. Don’t expect a neat garden, even stinging nettles in hard-to-reach places have their right of existence. This way of gardening offers a nice place to visit for insects like wild bees, butterflies and dragonflies.
Toads and hedgehogs hibernate in the wooded banks. If the weather is extraordinarily bad, an owl will take shelter in the barn and in the summer swallows build their nest there. The swallows and small bats team up to relieve you from the mosquitos. Our cat does the same with the mice and even the chickens will take care of then given the opportunity (yes… really…).
You have a view of a crows nest, will they grow to be strong, or will a buzzard annex the nest for itself? The hedge near the chickens houses a large family of sparrows, a different part of the garden is reserved by the tits. Robbins have been raising their offspring here for a couple of years and the spotted woodpecker often pays a visit here. However, this balance that has been established may be disrupted this year as it seems that two falcons will be nesting in our garden.
If the nightingale doesn’t treat us with a beautiful concert on a warm summer night, the blackbird will gladly do the honour. A fox pays a visit every night to check up if the chickens are locked up properly (which they are) and then continues to check on the hares behind the greenhouse. Last summer we had larks breeding near us. We’re praying the fox doesn’t find them.
Wild ponies graze in the nearby dunes. Goats weren’t much of an success, because they got past the fence and started munching on the crops. When moles came to ruin our garden we were flattered, because their presence points at rich soil life. It doesn’t make us very enthusiastic though. In a period with fast, howling winds we stuck pvc-tubes in their holes. The sound of the wind scared them away for a little while, although it felt a little vile to get at the blind moles using their hearing. It wasn’t adequate though. Right after the wind settled, they were back. And we let the moles settle just as the wind did. In the meantime, our situation concerning the chickens escalated seriously. Our neighbours garden was suddenly quite the attraction. Chickens who dared to set foot near the forest got caught by the fox even in broad daylight. We had to take action. The chickens now have an adventure park in the front garden. Now that they hop around there the whole day, the moles have gone off somewhere else. A splendid status quo in our opinion.
Dogs and cat
You will probably get greeted by our neighbours excited brown labrador. He loves to go out and about so make sure he hasn’t jumped in the trunk of your car. Our dog is called Sam, a Labradoodle. She is watchful at the start, but she’s a friendly, happy dog and warms up to you quickly. Beside our own dog we’ll pretty much always have some other dogs present as we have a small scale doggy day care. You can read all about them in our blog. The dogs will stay in the house or the fenced area around the house so they won’t bother you. Our cat Momo lives in the stable. She keeps the mouse population in check and is very much on her own. You are allowed to pet her, but she’s a weird one and may lash out if she’s had enough.
Our apartments are not accessible for pets
During your stay you’ll be able to enjoy a clucking fresh egg. In our front garden we have 8 chickens and a rooster. They have everything their chicken heart could desire and to show their gratitude they provide us with an egg a day. A large flock of sparrows snacks along on the chickens food. It gets incredibly busy in spring when all the sparrow moms and dads have to feed their younglings.
We have two horses, who occupy the area around the holiday home, which has a shelter and a paddock. Pretty Merlin is a Skewbald horse, shy and soft-hearted, but also a bit mischievous. San Ares is our Spaniard, who’s now called Arie ever since living in the Netherlands. He’s quite the hugger and can be nice and wild. Bully is a Frisian and is staying over for a while. All the horses love little bites, but aren’t allowed to be fed, because they would linger around the yard too much and get a bit pushy. Furthermore, Merlin and Bully have a sensitive digestion and we don’t want them to get sick.
Planning on taking your horse or horses along to Bonaparte? Take a look at our information page about horses.