Thursday, 10 November 2011

Pest control and blue eggs.

These larches defy the wind in the small copse fenced off from the sheep, for regeneration, near the cattle building.

These 2 handsome tups have come to Treshnish from Knock Farm in the shadow of Ben More. In 10 days time they will be out in the parks with the hill ewes. Next week the fank, so often still and empty, will be a busy focus for sorting out the hill ewes and the cheviots, checking over all the stock before they go out for tupping. This is when we use the higher numbers of ewes to mob graze the fields, bring down the heights of the tufts. All good for next year's pollen plants! The hoggs will need to learn how to 'feed' soon - and so Jamie has been getting the cattle shed ready - bringing the troughs in from beyond Haunn, and making sure the water troughs work.

The wind turbine field is a useful holding field for the 'odds and sods'. These are lambs and cast ewes who should have gone to market last month when we were in Shieldaig. We couldn't find a space for them on a lorry or trailer for the last sale so they are still here - probably luckily, as the return ferries from Oban that day were cancelled because of the wind and alot of farmers got stuck in Oban overnight. We have had a dry week, with only a very few showers, and most of them at night (perfect). It hasn't felt that windy either but the turbine is heading up to 26,000 units now which shows it has been windier than this time last year.

This Escallonia is outside Toechtamhor garden, it is a remnant of the garden planted when the cottage was built in the 1940's. In the spring there are rows of daffodils leading from the gate beside the escallonia to the road too. It suffered very badly during last winter, and its splayed desperate shape is perhaps not pretty, but we are loathe to remove it. Look at it flowering in spite of its falling splat in the wind. And those bright shoots on the trunk. A kindly chop and trim are needed to allow it to recover as it deserves. The further away one has completely died (bottom photo).

These handsome hens are Araconas - our new additions to the poultry flock. At the moment they are doing a great job, living in the Keder tunnel, scratching up and eating any grubs and bugs as they go. We are looking forward to having their blue eggs to give to our guests next summer.

The barn owl box in the sunshine this morning whilst walking the dogs. It is such a bonus having the brightness of the sun as the days get shorter.

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