Saturday, 3 October 2009

Alice, the sea eagle and the storm

This is Alice.

This years favourite pet lamb, Alice, grew up yesterday.

We had found her on Treshnish Point, at lambing time, abandoned by her mother and very chilled, nearly dead. After a spell in front of the Aga and bottled colostrum she revived, and once she had recovered sufficiently she left the kitchen and joined the other orphan lambs for a diet of bottled milk and special attention from everyone around. What will we use instead now we have got rid of the oil fired Aga we used for lamb warming before?!

Over the summer she enjoyed her elite status as family pet - her ears would prick up at the sound of her name and (latterly) if she could be bothered she would come over to say hello.

This is one of Alice's "I cant be bothered to come over to say hello' moments.

Yesterday however, it was deemed time for her to join the other hoggs, so she was given her ear tag, identifying her as one of the 2009 lambs from this farm holding, and sent off to the Haunn field, where the others are grazing, in front of the Haunn Cottages. A Sea Eagle flew overhead as Farmer returned home.

Possibly one of the poorest photographs of a sea eagle ever taken - yesterday afternoon, as the storm (see below) began to build up at sea.

As I write there is a Severe Storm Force 10 wind blowing. Not surprisingly, we did not have the usual Saturday morning sighting of the Tiree ferry heading west across our view this morning, as it and many others have been disrupted today.

The storm is very dramatic, very exciting! Somehow you expect a storm to be dark and threatening but the light is bright today and clouds scud across the sky - every now and then giving us a blast of brilliant sunshine and sharp blue sky! The sea is a deep deep turquoise. Molten metallic turquoise with whiter than white waves cutting across the rolling tops of the swell. This will take the last of the leaves from the brave bendy sycamore trees around the farmhouse. The four lots of guests who arrived yesterday will be able to watch the storm from the cosy warmth and shelter of the Treshnish Cottages, as the centralised woodchip boiler belts out the heat despite the wind and sends it effortlessly underground to the holiday cottages and the farmhouse.

The sunshine and the storm, looking towards Calgary.

October is a great month to visit the isle of Mull. The island is beginning to quieten down, and prepare for winter. The weather can be stormy, like today, but it can be fantastic too! It will probably be calm and still and bright tomorrow!

The hills are changing colour as the bracken turns to reds and oranges, and the Red Deer stags are roaring. Out walking on the hill at Treshnish, you may well encounter a group of deer - and if the wind is in the right direction you can come across them at closer range. (During the stalking season it is good to check in the Access on Mull leaflet before you go walking as to where stalking might be taking place to avoid conflict of interest! We have a copy for our guests in the Phone Room.) We have been hearing the powerful primal roar of the stags over on Ensay for a while now, it is an exciting reminder of the wild - right on our doorstep.

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