Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Sunshine, Sawfly and Sharks

Sunday morning on Calgary Beach - as you can see it was mobbed. The Friends of Calgary Bay were doing some beach cleaning, and strimming/cutting thistles and we went down to help for a while before Farmer came home to watch the football. (As it turned out he should have stayed on the beach).

The machair at Calgary is flowering beautifully this summer - there have been less sheep grazing here and consequently everything has had a chance to get ahead. The Lady's Bedstraw and Wild Thyme are flourishing, in purple and pale yellow drifts. On the hill behind you can see the fence line - left of which is grazed by sheep and right of which is not.

People say we have only had 8 days rain in 6 months. We don't have a rain gauge so can only try and think back, but it certainly has been dry and calm for most of the time. Alot of the burns have run dry on the hill and we have to be careful to make sure the burns are still running in the fields where the animals are. Our cottage water supplies are holding up well, and our guests are being mindful, so we haven't been in the unfortunate situation some places have found themselves in, of having to cancel bookings as they have run out completely.

Farmer is using some of his time for routine maintenance. The wooden rails in the new fank (has it really been there for 10 years?) need treating, and he has been painting them with a mixture of used tractor oil and creosote - a pungent mixture which turns the silvered wood dark brown. It will have weathered in nicely before the next time we need to use the fank.

We are still seeing lots of Basking Sharks in between Treshnish headland and Calgary Bay, which is always a privilege. And almost every day too!

A Small White Orchid in the Haunn field. There are lots this year.

And in the veg garden, a naked gooseberry bush - victim to attack from gooseberry sawfly, which thrives in our garden. It seems to make little difference to the yield, but this leaf-less look does make it alot easier for our garden resident birds to see where the fruits are. So we battle to pick them before the birds get them!

I won't be posting for a while as it is time for a little break. Back in a couple of weeks....

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