Thursday, 26 July 2012

Busy but in a good way.

There has been lots of fairly spectacular sunsets, but I have only had the camera out once - these two photographs were on the same evening about 10 minutes apart.

The farmhouse has been full of visitors for most of the fortnight since we got back from Barra, which has been really lovely, but inevitably distracting!! If any of our house guests read this, please don't get the wrong idea - it was very special seeing you all, and we hope you will come again soon!

Despite the guests, Farmer has been working hard. Topping thistles, rushes and bracken in various fields. Days spent gathering, putting lambs through the fank, shearing, sewing up wool bags. Checking water supplies. Looking for lost lambs. (Where did the 6 in-bye cheviot lambs disappear to between marking and shearing?) Making sure there are no 'roughies' left on the hill. Repairing the blades on the mower (farm not garden) in preparation for silage making in September. Routine lawn mowing around the cottages. And today he has been putting up tents for USCA's Beach Barbecue at the Black Sands tomorrow!

We have had good weather for drying the washing. No-carbon drying!

Daughter watched this hen rescue her chicks this afternoon! Somehow they had got separated from each other across the burn. One chick couldn't get back to her so she flew across the burn, into the undergrowth and somehow brought it back to the other side. All safe and alarm calls quietened down.

On shearing day the helicopter came to aerially treat the bracken. Bracken is the main reason we dropped our organic status as important habitat was being lost in areas where we had no way of safely using machinery to cut, and cut, and cut it. So finally last Friday, while the milk clip was being done, we had 70+ hectares of bracken sprayed. The chemical they use is very plant specific and so does not kill orchids, or harebells or heather. Controlling the bracken on the hill improves the hunting habitat for raptors too. 70+ hectares is very much a tiny drop in a very big ocean but it will be exciting to see the difference next year.

Farmer had a ride in the helicopter and took my camera with him. He said it was very difficult with the map in one hand showing the pilot where the countless different bits were to spray, and take photos as well, but I think he did quite well.

Looking down at Glac Guagaridh, and hidden Crackaig, from the east.

Treshnish Farm, with the Treshnish Cottages looking down the track to the Haunn Cottages in the distance.
The farm building with all the sheep waiting to be sheared.

The kit.

Lovely to get this view of Shian and Duill.


And a squint look back at Haunn from the west, to Calgary Bay.

The burn beside the house is excelling itself again this summer. No need for us to plant flowers in our garden!


I am not sure which particular vetch this is, but it is flowering profusely in the damp grasses of the natural regeneration woodland and also by the house.

And the simple rosa rugosa flowers are so appreciated, with their scent filling the yard as you walk by.

This raspberry plant crept in with a bundle of montbretia we re-homed for my brother a few years ago, and this summer the rampant canes have fruited profusely!
We were treated to dinner this week by some of our house guests - at Am Birlinn. They had lobster. It tasted every bit as delicious as it looked apparently. We took advantage of Am Birlinn's offer of complementary transport to and from the restaurant. Not only does it mean you can have more than one glass of wine, but it creates a feeling that the occasion is spacial - being chauffeured there and back like temporary VIPs!
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