Monday, 16 May 2016

Spring wild flower walking

In no particular order, walks through the wood, along the shore, under a bridge, on the hill.  Everything is benefitting from the warmth last week and beginning to flower. 










































Tuesday, 10 May 2016

More than we bargained for

My last blog was written the day before I disappeared off to take photographs on Shetland, and with a week or so left of April - and now it is May, as I have been pre-occupied with other things and not able to blog!

Little did we realise that while I was away Farmer would have 4 inches of snow to contend with. I don't think the daily hail and snow showers I experienced on Shetland were anything in comparison.


Anyway it was not a good time of year to have snow, of any depth. Miserable for the ewes and lambs.   Farmer said, bizarrely it was not freezing cold, but clearly it was cold enough, and for a newborn to be born into snow rather than sunshine is not good.


We are 3 weeks in to lambing now, and expect by now that 80% of the ewes will have lambed.  There certainly seem to be a lot more lambs around than when I went away.  You see them forming little play gangs and bouncing around in the sunshine.  There has been a lot of rain, mostly at night, and that must be miserable for them.


This poor lamb was born in the snow as you can see. Thankfully the ewe and lamb are both doing fine. 


The only plus was that Daughter was able to build the second decent snowman of her life, and she is nearly 16! It really does snow so little here - usually!


The next morning it had all melted.  Thank goodness.




Wednesday, 20 April 2016

April in all her glory


What a beautiful day.  Clear, bright and sunny.  Completely magical!  



Farmer is in the middle of lambing, and as often is the case, part of his preparations for going out on to the hill is to apply suncream and find a hat so he can protect his ears from sunburn/chilblains!!  Luckily he has plenty.

Lambing has been going for about a week now, and last night Farmer brought in his first pet lamb.  He had, to his surprise, earlier in the day found some children who were staying in one of the cottages chasing lambs and was concerned about mis-mothering as they were separated from their mothers.  So just before dark, he went down to see if everything had settled down again.


As darkness fell, the lambing field was quiet but for a faint bleating from the far side of the field.  Luckily where the chasing had been going on, it was all quiet.   But on the other side of the field quite a strong male lamb was sitting huddled up getting cold by a gate, no sign of its mother anywhere.   We brought it home.  Earlier in the day, Farmer had milked a ewe who had masses of milk, and so we were able to give it fresh colostrum.   Daughter named him George and after a second feed before she went to bed, he was left in the porch in a cardboard box.


Simon is helping us again this summer, one day a week.  A huge help.  Today he was harrowing in the field below the house.  It has been a couple of years since we did this last, as the ground was not dry enough.  It is great to see how it rips the mosses and dead grasses out, and flattens the molehills.


This morning I went down to feed him to find the box was empty!  I heard a bleating from the airing cupboard, and when I opened the door there he was, sooking on one of Farmer's jackets.   He finished off the colostrum and later Farmer twinned him on to a ewe whose lamb had died.



Farmer took off to the hill, suncream applied and hat on.  He lambed one ewe on his way round, and on the way back along the shore beyond Port Haunn, he found an odd pile of stone he hadn't noticed before, and when he looked more closely there was a sheep's head sticking out from under the stones.  To his amazement the year old hogg (ewe lamb) was still alive.  Her ear moved.  He has no idea what definitely happened to her, but he thinks perhaps she jumped the wall and it collapsed on top of her.  He pulled the stones off, and brought her back to the farm on the quad.  She is in the cattle shed, with food and water, fingers crossed she will be okay.





Swallows are back in the shed with the sliding doors which we leave slightly open so they can get it.  I haven't heard a cuckoo yet, Farmer says he always hears his first one on a Saturday - so we will let you know.  

Celandine are flowering all across the 'lawn' in the farmhouse garden.  The first Wood anemone are flowering in the sheltered bits of the burn down by the gate into the graveyard field.  Primrose and Dog violet flowering too.  SO good to see the flowers beginning to come. 

We have one or two spaces left from Saturday 23rd April into May.  Please have a look at the website for details, and contact us for our Special Offers. 






Wednesday, 6 April 2016

The week before lambing


Brownie seems to have taught the tups that encounters with us may be to their benefit, as they seem to be much less wary of coming close. Calling Brownie over for a stroke, brings the rest of the gang with him these days.




It was a sunny start to the feeding regime yesterday morning.











We walked the dogs in the early evening, and the soft light was wonderful.





We sat for a while looking..


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