Monday, 30 September 2013

Around the headland today.

Checking the sheep today. Hard to think it was the last day in September.  It was certainly bliss out there, and we saw no one.

We did see Red Deer stags, hinds and calves,  Red Admiral butterfly, solitary molehill quite high up on Beinn Duill, pair of Grouse, single Grouse sometime later, the Coll ferry, a raven, and a wheatear still here. Also areas where the bracken had been sprayed last year revealing ruins we have never seen before, including the site of an illicit still. 

Saturday, 28 September 2013

The last Saturday in September.

Unbelievably warm, like the best summer day, except that it is the end of September.  Each day like this is a gift for the winter.

Ben More from Tostary.

 Dead tree, Loch Tuath.

Along the shore by Lucy's garden.

The broch.

The butterfly.

Ulva Primary peats.

I think it is an eggar but I have to look it up!

A bowl full of brambles.

Yikes. Ragwort gone to seed.

Along by the 'pool'.

Cap jumps in after a stone.

And dries off afterwards.

Burnet rose, and yellow rattle seed heads.

Friday, 27 September 2013

A late September summer

Tuesday was the Caledonian Marts Breeding Sheep sale, and Farmer had some cast ewes to sell.  The ferry was already fully booked when he tried to book the van and livestock trailer on for the sale day, so he and D went across on Monday with them instead.  At this sale last year, when Farmer and J went across, the weather was considerably worse, and the ferry spent 6 hours in the lee of Lismore sheltering whilst the winds calmed down sufficiently for the ferry to be able to land.. by which time the sale was over.. the rest of the ferries were cancelled.. they had to spend a night and what should have only taken a few hours took more than 24!  Luckily this year the weather was extremely kind.. calm.. and hot!

A 'cast' ewe is a 'correct' ewe, which means that she is correct in the mouth (i.e still has teeth, therefore can eat and sustain herself) and the 'vessel' (i.e no signs of mastitis, can still rear a lamb).   He was quite pleased with the price he got which was considerably higher than the £2 he saw them going for in Fort William on Friday.  Instead of buying me a new hat though, he came home with an electric acoustic guitar (for Daughter I assume).

I disappeared on Sunday for a few days away so haven't got any photographs of the collecting up of the cast ewes, or of Coco getting out of the van at the mart on Monday and of Farmer's anxious face as he tried to get her back in.  She still hasn't developed a recall button.

Instead of sheep... some Irish photographs instead.

Stooks, just before Letterkenny in Co. Donegal.

An evening view of Lough Swilly.

Fishing on the river at Ramelton. (Love the parked tractor!).

And on the way home, the first sight of land (from the sea) was Ailsa Craig, seen here from the A77 once we had landed and I was heading north.

Home.  It has been a week of still and dry weather.

These hoggs are on the run.  In the wrong place and caught by Farmer.

Very good visibility at the moment, you can see up to MacLeod's Tables on Skye between Canna and Rum below.

Farmer went bracken cutting this morning.  And this afternoon he harvested in the veg garden.

Tiny sweet beetroots.

Not quite ready in the Keder.

Sage in the polytunnel, and a basket full of sweet peas and hidden yellow tomatoes.

In the corner of the garden, nearest to Shian, the cardoons are flowering.

Thursday, 19 September 2013

Not the guest blog

I have been asked to write a guest blog for a farming website, and I am finding it really difficult to know what to write.  It feels very different sitting down to write for something else - what I write here comes almost without me thinking, as you can probably tell.

So having not written a suitable word for this other blog, and the sun having finally appeared, Farmer and I took to the fields below the house for a walk.  

The weather, it is fair to say, has been mostly wet this week.  The fields are sodden underfoot.   We are grateful to have got the silage all done in reasonably good weather.

eXTReMe Tracker