Sunday, 26 May 2013

The cows and the king cups.

A lovely evening on Calgary beach on Friday night for Daughter and myself. Farmer was on his way back from Oban, and I saw him drive past as we enjoyed the evening sun.  He went straight home to move the cows who had been roaming around in small groups on the hill, while he was away (cat away, mice will play sort of thing) - they clearly could smell the grass on the in bye!

The other night, we walked up to the lochan so that Farmer could put some magic blue mastic round the pipe in the repaired dam.  It is slowly, slowly filling up. (Water went over Farmer's wellies!)  There was a mist rising off the water and secrets revealed when the levels were low are gradually being hidden again. You can see the spits of soil between the old peat cuttings.  In a day or so they will have covered over completely.

The cows are in the field between Haunn and the Point.  They have plenty of area to roam, and roughage to find.  Farmer was hoping to stop feeding them, but still the grass is slow to come. Usually by this time the fields would be ankle deep in grass, but not this year.  So tomorrow we are ordering more cattle food from Fort William.  Never before have we needed to buy feed in so late in the spring.

The calves all congregate in a 'nursery'.  There was one cow with them, and the others were spread out across the field.

Slowly the cows came up and had a look at us as well.

Looking past us for signs of the food.

Calling for her calf.

Here he is, at last. Our new bull.  You can see his heart shaped tattoo. Daughter wants to call him Cupid. Farmer refers to him as Hearty.

This cow is no 63. She is our oldest, born before January 1996.

The woodland area to the west of the Black Park is always of interest.  The willow is flowering now, and there are masses of king cup, as well as primrose and clumps of birds foot trefoil and the pale cuckoo flower.

The sea was flat calm this morning.

Wild garlic is beginning to flower.

The elm is looking so pretty.

Puffed ball in Scoma field.

Rum was looking beautiful this morning.

I am having trouble with broodies insisting on sharing a nesting box.

 The new mystery breed - those are certainly not Maran - are getting braver.

The lambs have their first try of the lamb bucket! It took a few days before they latched onto the idea of the milk coming from there and not from Farmer with a bottle.

Plans are afoot to get the in bye lambs in and through the fank.  It is too early to gather the hill, it is too far for the smaller lambs at their age to walk, but the in bye ewes are now in the hill park and Farmer will do them this week.  This is called the Marking.  It is when you know for certain how good or bad a lambing it has been.   We suspect that it will confirm it was not our best this year.

This young rowan was bird-seeded.  (electricity wires overhead!)

At this time of year it is so easy to see the new crop of natural regeneration - the freshness of the leaves on their tiny spindly shapes almost glow.

The islands this morning with some of the calves and the 'nanny' cow in the foreground.

And along Loch na Keal, the bluebells are vividly blue.

It is the Bank Holiday weekend.  There is a different atmosphere here this week, more families with children in the cottages, and a more summery feel suddenly.
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