Thursday, 10 June 2010

Sunsets and rainbows

This week we have been bathed in glorious June sunshine, it has been warm and bright, the sky so blue. As for the sunsets....there have been some wonderful ones, and one with rainbow - when Farmer's Daughter discovered that we don't have a 'pot' at the end of the rainbow we have a curlew.

A team of engineers from Scottish and Southern Energy (who everyone still calls 'the Hydro') have been on Mull for years replacing all the old overhead electricity wires with new copper wires. They have reached our area now and so the turbine had to be turned off and padlocks put on it whilst we are on generators while they deal with the lines. Luckily it isn't that windy and we are re-connected to the copper wires next week.

Tragically the beautifully made House Martins nest fell off the wall 3 days ago, and Prasad has done some emergency cementing to the wall surface in the hope that they will try again - as they are still ignoring the new build option Terrace that Farmer put up earlier in the year. We keep our fingers crossed.

Gathering took place yesterday. Farmer, Crofter from Dervaig and Contractor walked the hill with their dogs, bringing in the ewes and lambs along the coast and across the hill ground. It is always a slow gather, with young lambs. This is when we count the lambs and give any medicine required at the time. They get a nick in the ear to show they are ours - this is an old tradition and each farm or croft has its own individual lug mark, so that locally you know whose lambs are whose. Up in the north of Scotland, around Durness, we saw branding on the lambs, a letter or a number on the fleece to show which crofter each lamb belonged to. When they all graze the same common grazing this is important to be able to easily identify your own lambs.

Farmer always does a bit of gathering on his own before the 'big gather' up onto the Sitheans to bring in the ewes hefted to that part of the hill. He came across a sight he had not seen before - a red deer fawn suckling from its mother. There are lots of fawn stories going round at the moment - the children at Ulva School observed a fawn which momentarily had its head caught in the rylock fence on the edge of the playground. Apparently it made a strange noise when it cried out for its mother.

The Treshnish corncrake is still calls from below the farmhouse, and the Haunn ones from the garden of East, Middle and West.

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