Sunday, 27 May 2012

Sand, sun, seaweed and counting lambs

The weather this week has continued to get hotter and hotter. Planned farm work has been done in accordance with the thermometer which at times has reached 29.6 degrees (in the shade).

With a flock of in-bye sheep like our Cheviots and the dozen Zwarbtle crosses, who live all year round on the fields and do not have the open extensive hill to graze, it is really important to ensure that they are protected against the infections that are present in the in-bye grassland. So despite the heat, the ewes and lambs needed to come up to the park, and be put through the fank. Avoiding the heat in the middle of the day, the lambs were vaccinated and ewes and lambs were protected against fly and tick. This is when the Farmer is able to really tell how lambing has been - as he counts the lambs that go through the fank. Last year was the first year that the cheviots lambed as gimmers, when they are more likely to have single lambs. This year our lambing percentage has noticeably increased on last year, so Farmer was quietly and modestly very pleased (indeed). The hill lambs won't be gathered for another couple of weeks, so we won't have a final figure until they have been put through.

And after the working day, in this weather, the beach at Calgary has called us down a few times.

The sea has been calm, calm and seriously blue. Farmer did swim and said it was very very cold despite the temperature on the car reading 29.6 degrees at 6.30pm!!

Buttercups glistening in the sun on the machair.

Even when the beach is busy, there is a feeling of space.

And the water so clear, although there is a lot of fresh seaweed, washing up along the tideline, and I wondered if it has anything to do with the boats which have been dredging the seabed recently out at the end of the bay.

The tups will be sheared soon along with the hoggs, and any eild ewes (who haven't had a lamb).

Lots of interesting wildlife has been seen too this week. Prasad spotted a Red Kite yesterday, and also a Red-backed Shrike. This morning a Short Eared Owl hunted in front of the farmhouse, and up above the steading later on, the sun catching its wings in its distinctive faltering flight. We are seeing them so much this year - and each sighting as special as the first.

Enjoying the sun while we can. Al fresco meal outdoors.

Post sunset skies are so magical. The views from Shian and Duill particularly this time of year looking straight out on this. Light enough to walk down and back up from the boathouse beach without even thinking about taking a torch.

The baby rabbits are growing fast.
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