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..


Wednesday, 30 March 2016

March ends well on Mull


You might be forgiven for thinking that Farmer is not doing any farming just now, but it is not the case.  He is as busy as always, but I have not been around when he has been doing photographically interesting things this last few weeks!  He has had all the sheep in and through the fank, including the tups before lunch today, so everything has been checked over and all the ewes have been given a drench against Fluke.  So everything is in place now for lambing - each group of ewes and the gimmers (1st time mums) are in their particular fields, or back on the hill, ready for D day - in about 10 days time!


The turkeys are still here, much to Daughter's dismay.  She is not keen!  I am quite enjoying watching them but I am no closer to understanding what they are about.  The Silver laced Wyandotte doesn't like them, particularly at feeding time, and sees them off.  I was surprised to see these two hens spatting yesterday, all feathers flying, and to see Mr Turkey come in to swipe at them with his powerful wings, which knocked one of the hens into the burn.  She wasn't hurt, and quickly went back to stand her ground with the other hen.


We took an hour to walk the dogs down to the Ensay burn-mouth yesterday afternoon. I wanted to see if the Hebridean Bulb Venture daffodils were out yet, as Farmer was talking about putting the tups into the graveyard field. The only daffodils flowering were the ones inside the Morrison grave plot which is more sheltered than the open field.  The tups will stay out of that field for another week or so. 


It was lovely to see a good clump of Primroses,  at the edge of the wood.


The herons are nesting in the same place as last year, and from the graveyard we had a great view of 2 of them flying and one sitting on the nest at the very top of the same tree!  A long light neck sticking out, it looked quite comical.


Jan and Walter looking as if butter wouldnt melt.


Cap makes for the water as soon as we get to this spot, always ready to retrieve something.  It was too cold for dog swimming, even though it was sunny.


The Croig boat was out lifting creels off shore, it is always good to see them here, especially in calm weather!


Early evening and the light changed, became quite dramatic.




Before bed the camera picked up some colour in the sky though all I could see was stars. 


And at about 2 in the morning, the camera set to click every 10 minutes while I was asleep, picked up this pink cloud which surprised me this morning when I checked the camera. 


A glorious school bus dog walk this morning at Calgary and only one day left in March which appears to be ending well for us... 







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