Friday, 22 March 2013

Just learned to use caption text

It still hasn't rained!  In fact when Amy, in the trusty Royal Mail van, drives along the track a cloud of billowing dust chases behind her.  It is very, very cold and the wind is blowing ferociously tonight - a good test for our new (and slightly exposed to the wind) satellite dish for the internet...

Preparations in the cottages are going well. Andrew came to fit the new door on Toechtamhor, Ian came to fit the 2 new heaters there as well.  Studio is being put back together and feels so homely.  Farmer had to remove the old windows from T'mhor and the garden looks far less like a building site now. They were seriously heavy. Neil continues to work his way down a seemingly endless list of bits and bobs.  We are so grateful for all the help we get, and hoping to see the other Neil very soon too - to move a thermostat in Studio. 

We saw the aurora borealis. Everyone had gone to bed so I called them out to see it. It was very beautiful. I took some shaky photographs and as a consequence I am determined to get better at night shots.  

The Aurora Borealis from outside the farmhouse

A bitter blow last night as it was beginning to get dark. Farmer went to do a routine check on our water supply as it has been so dry (Yes it is March!).  He found a dead tup which had hanged itself (I think) accidentally by getting a horn stuck in branches.  Farmer asked me to be his eyes as he used the tractor to raise the dead tup up out of the gully.  I was grateful it could be done by machine.  The tup is now buried, as per regulations, and his death recorded with his individual ear tag number.

Lifting up the dead tup

Taking away the tup

Dusting of snow on Rum

Rum from the woodland regeneration project near Haunn
Farmer has one of the in bye ewes in the shed just now.  She is not well.  He drove down to the vets this evening to get her some multi-vitamins and the sheep equivalent of an energy drink.  It may be twin lamb disease though she gets supplementary feeding like the rest of her flock so it is unlikely to be that. Jamie came over to help Farmer today. They put the in bye ewes through the fank.  They get a dab of red keel on their backs to mark that they have been through the fank today, as well as a line of blue down their spine which protects them from fly and tick. The majority of them are in good fettle - they were so calm in the fank, just standing and looking as if they were sharing confidences. The main hill gather will take place next week weather permitting!

Jamie and Farmer discuss

Getting ready to inject the ewe

What a view from the workplace

The red spot is keel, the blue is the medicine

West Cottage with Coll in the background
Glorious morning down at Haunn.
Farmer takes the last old window away
Farmer finally moved the caravan (a sort of make do mobile wendy house) out of the vegetable garden.  It has not been played in for a long time.  The vegetable garden looks a lot nicer now.

Half way out

We were being watched

Cows being fed above Toechtamhor
I went out for an evening in Tobermory in the middle of the week.  We had supper at Cafe Fish (delicious) and then went to see Tommy Smith Quartet play at An Tobar (excellent).

Cafe Fish

Over Calgary headland 

First thing in the morning
There are still a couple of cows to calve.  We had one last year who held on for weeks after all the others, and hopefully that is what this lot are doing! They are keeping the bull company.

As I write the wind has stepped up a gear. I think I will stop just in case the power goes off and I lose all this!

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