Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Never seen so many.

Farmer was looking in a far corner of the Black Park today, to bring in a ewe which had been left behind during his gather.  Thank goodness he did.  He found a patch of fragrant orchids like I have never seen before! This evening he showed them to me. We could smell their delicate scent before we saw them. I had spent ALL day in the office, and can now see the surface of the desk, so this was a great reward.  So beautiful.

Toechtamhor is not far away as the hen harrier flies.

The cheviots have been put through the fank today. Jamie came to help.  He has been off gathering for other farmers nearby but the timing all worked fine and so they worked away together at them this afternoon.   There is a shortage of independent farm helpers (those with dogs for gathering!) around this end of the island, and with the finances of farming  the way it is, not many young folk want to go into this sort of work.  The lambs are growing well now, and the memory of lambing and that dreadful weather is far behind us now.

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Moving them on again.

There is more grass in this field now than we have seen for years.  Enough to keep the cows happy while we are away.  The clover is flowering profusely, a good source of nitrogen for the soil.

The cows were enjoying the mid field, but had been almost waiting by the gate anticipating the move.

We opened the gate and let them through, and walked down to the shore, by Lodestones and the old boathouse.

Not a very nice bit of beach plastic.

High tide.

Watching the cows, and thinking about the workshop he had been on today, near Fort William.  About bracken control.

Monday, 24 June 2013

Dusting off the lasso.

There has been a pair of swans between Salen Bay and Aros Bridge for as long as I can remember.  It was lovely this morning to see them out and about with their single cygnet.

Whilst I was taking Coco to the dog groomer in Salen (I know - she is a ridiculous breed, but now very much part of the family so I find myself entering new worlds), Farmer was gathering the Cheviot ewes and lambs off the Point, as they were due a check up through the fank later in the week.

Gathering the Point can be tricky as the cliffs are so steep and high, that if the ewes decide to go against him, Farmer may end up having to leave them until another time.  Luckily today all went well though and he successfully brought them in to the Hill Park.  There was one lamb stuck on a cliff, and I went with him to try and rescue it.

Orchids everywhere we look.  This trio were in the Haunn field.

Bloody Cranesbill, lovely to see that the stocking density on the Point has not affected orchid numbers or delicate beauties such as this.

Looking back across the Haunn field.

I don't think, before we moved here, that Farmer ever thought he would use the lasso he was given as a present in earnest. It can be just the thing, however, for getting lambs off cliff ledges.  We could hear the lamb bleating.

Farmer threw the lasso a few times which was enough to make the lamb realise it could get off the ledge by itself.  Its mother had been gathered in this morning, so was not within earshot.   But it ran off away from us, and climbed onto another steep edge, bleating.

We left the gate open into the next field where some other sheep were, and Farmer will gather them in and re-unite them later.

The cotton grass was looking beautiful.

Back into the Haunn field, and moving the cows.

They came running at the sound of the buggy.

Cantering through the Coronation Meadow!

And into the Black Park.  We opened the bottom gate so that they could move on into the Sea field.

The next field for the cows to graze is deep with grass and ablaze with colour.

This evening Cheryl, from the Mull Ranger Service, came over to look at the route for the Guided Walk she is organising while we are away - July 4th.  We saw lots more orchids, and the Wood Bitter-vetch. Sadly a lot of flowers are looking wind worn after yesterday's winds, but there are also plenty more to follow.

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