Saturday, 2 March 2013

The burn is running dry

Some ups and downs this week.  Ups include the builders starting to put Toechtamhor's windows in, the doors for Shieling and Toechtamhor arriving from Perth and having lovely guests in 4 of the cottages all enjoying the amazing weather! Downs include the phone call from the Duill bathroom manufacturers saying that there was a fault on the shower screen and it was being replaced 2 days before guests arrived - couldn't make it up - and the phone call telling us that the scanner (coming to scan 120 ewes to find out if  they were carrying singles or twins) wasn't coming as he had broken his machine and was going home to the mainland.

I bought a second hand lens for my camera which was being sold locally.  Steps up the opportunities to try and capture some wildlife on the beach.

What a difference a fence makes - trees or no trees. 

And peering into the bird boxes.

What glorious weather to be working in. We are very relieved these huge windows are being installed in still windless weather, and not raging gales.

At Toechtamhor there is a hive of activity. Holes in walls and piles of pallets which the windows arrived on. The builders are using the airtight spec., so using tape and special expanding foam to ensure there is no heat escape.  The big windows for the kitchen living room are heavy and the old ones were really difficult to get out!  They will help improve the energy efficiency of the cottage, and look really good too.   It has been reassuring to see that the cavity wall insulation has been done really well too, as when the old window comes out you can see the foam all around the opening.

A haar has been rolling in and out of view during the last few days.

Farmer was clearing out the cattle shed this week, and the pile of dung was popular with the hoodies.

Disappointment about the scanning not happening is major.  Not only does it involve time in gathering the ewes in from various points to be ready and waiting for the scanner to arrive.  But the results of the scanning would have meant that the ewes would have been fed according to the number of lambs they were carrying, and those who were not in lamb would have been kept separate.  This is obviously good proactive management and having decided to start scanning again, it was irritating to be thwarted at the very last minute.  The scanner, with his faulty machine, has returned to the mainland!

This birch tree is in one of the woodland schemes, fenced off from stock. You can just make out the deep colour of the profusion of new growth around the base.

This wall was built for the film Eye of the Needle.  The moles are busy everywhere - meandering lines of molehills appearing all over the place. 

Jan, with a head for heights. On the Dun, at Haunn.

Looking at flowers on the Dun - today! Skylarks were singing.  

Out and about in Calgary bay and beyond.  The weather has really shortened the winter.  March - and it feels like spring is here.  The 2 turbines have been having a rest, while the PV and solar have been flat out! We are very lucky to have a mixture of renewable technologies.

Some escaped sheep in Salen earlier in the week. 

More of the mists. No more calves to report. The male calves have been castrated, and those cows who have calved are going out to the hill above Toechtamhor any day.  

This hair is from a Red Deer.  They jump the fence by the Ensay bridge, looking for a way into Treshnish's green and pleasant land.

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