Sunday, 21 August 2011

Small steps and wild flowers

After a quick trip to Tobermory this morning and some lovely fresh Tobermory Bakery rolls for lunch, filled with Mull Cheese, Farmer donned his crutches and we headed west with the dogs. Tig (see photo below) had her first experience this week of dog grooming. No one has quite got used to her tight fleece!

This Cinnabar Moth caterpillar was found on a bit of Ragwort which Farmer had picked. The strikingly stripy caterpillar on this frond of Ragwort was carefully re-located to some other Ragwort plants growing in a stockproof area, giving the caterpillar a good supply of food!

I have been back several times during sunny spells this week to see if there were more Field Gentian flowering. I took this photo yesterday morning.

By the time we had got home Farmer's pockets were full of Ragwort picked on his crutch aided wander. (No date for the operation yet). It is very important to strike a balance - providing food for Cinnabar Moth but not allowing too much Ragwort to go to seed. The last thing we want is dead Ragwort in our silage.

Angelica is still flowering. Love the variation in stage on the one plant, the faint white blossom on some heads, whilst other have moved into the deep purple seedhead stage. This plant had a great curl.

St John's Wort beautiful next to the Heather.

This Birch seedling has self seeded in the Black Park. There is lots of grass, and we will let the cows in here soon - though we are waiting for the breezy carpets of Devil's Bit Scabious and Knapweed go over first. No sheep in here until October.

Looking from the north side of Black Park back towards Calgary Beach. We have been told we are in second place in the RSPB Nature of Farming Awards, with only a handful of votes between us and the leading farmer. It is very humbling to have received so much support, so many votes, not only from our families, friends and neighbours but tremendous support from perfect strangers, and that is a wonderful feeling. If you want to vote there is still time. Click here!

It is sometimes the small and common flower like this Eyebright that catches the eye. The detail in the marking....lovely when all the other plants around it were far paler. We sat looking at the view: myself lost in flower photograph compositions and Farmer looking at the march of the bracken, longing for next year when hopefully conditions will be better and he can get the precious stone dyke habitats sprayed - the storms at the end of May this year put paid to aerial spraying this year. Black Park is still inspiringly beautiful as the flowers move into a later summer appearance - purple Knapweed, yellows of Hawksbit and the blues of Devil's Bit Scabious, amongst creamy Meadowsweet.

Our 6 kW turbine was fixed last week. The engineers arrived with a machine to aid winching the turbine down. In this photograph the gentle lean shown by the turbine is not wind damage, but the motorised winch beginning to bring her down. Must be alot easier using a generator and motor than doing it by hand!

Here you can see the end of the spring, dangling top left corner of the photo - gives you an idea of the length of the spring that had sheared off and embedded itself in the ground! Much to our relief all 3 sets of springs were replaced - and off she goes again. It is like having our old friend back - looking out from the kitchen to see the blades turning again. Noticing the blades turning when the wind gets up. A stationary turbine is no friend at all!

eXTReMe Tracker