Saturday, February 12, 2011

Clams, mushrooms, penguin eggs, Sealions and Elephant seals

Gave up on the idea of gathering.  Chris checked the ram paddock fence and put the electric wire on.  Hopefully we will not have any escapees and no early lambs. 
He came back with a large bag of clams that he had dug up while he was away.  Lunch was clams and penguin egg omelette.  I see people getting up in arms WHAT penguin egg omelette!!!!!  Let me reassure you that the collecting of penguin eggs is regulated with licences issued.  We personally only collect enough to  share between family and friends.  They are collected straight after the first laying, the penguins will then lay again within a matter of days much like a hen.  The eating of penguin eggs is fast becoming a thing of the past.  At one time they were collected in great numbers and pickled by families and where a vital part of their diets.  Now very few eggs find there way into Stanley so our younger generation in many cases will not even have tried them.  This year there was a penguin census and all the colonies of Gentoos in the islands were counted.  We counted all the rookeries on our islands and numbers are up by thousands since the last census.  The Gentoos have all now hatched. It was pleasing to see nearly all the birds had two healthy chicks.
After lunch we went for a run in the vehicle to look at the cattle.  It has been a good season for them and they are all in good condition.  We then decided to go around the coast to look at the Sea Lion pups.  They have also had a good season with plenty of pups.  It was nice to see 5 elephant seal hauled up on the beach also.  Decided to head back home and turn the sheep in on the way as the fog had lifted.  Found lots of wild mushrooms, the flat headed variety and button ones.  Nice collecting mushrooms here because they don't get the little maggots and you can collect them at any time of day and they will still be good. 
Freshly picked wild mushrooms

Freshly dug clams

Sea lions and their pups

The pups are the little black chaps

Elephant seal
At four o'clock decided to gather the sheep, the wind is in the wrong direction but hopefully will get them in.  I am just waiting now until I start seeing the sheep pulling towards home then I will take the vehicle and dogs out and help finish the gather.

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