Tuesday, 30 December 2014

In wintering begins

It is always good to catch up with old friends. Brownie seemed to want us to meet his new friend, the wedder/castrated tup lamb.

Farmer brought the cows in today.  They have been on the hill for the last week or so, having a bit of concentrate in the morning just to keep them sweet.

Over the last few days, they have started walking from the feed station above Toechtamhor towards the hill park fence. You could see them from the house, walking across the hill towards the field with the cattle shed in.

They were making a point. They were ready for some indoor pampering.  And the cow brush.

All mod cons.

And for the humans a bit of winter thoughtfulness!  A looked at the forecast and decided he should deliver today.  Thankfully the neighbour who had parked where the tractor needs to reverse, had left the keys in his car so we could move it before the lorry arrived.

Monday, 29 December 2014

Natural fertiliser

Yesterday was the most beautiful day, and we managed to persuade Farmer to accompany us to the beach.  He suggested we walked along the pier track as we hadn't walked along there for years..  it was lovely to look across at Treshnish from there, the sea was flat calm and still, the sun was warm and we had the path to ourselves. For more photographs have a look at the website blog

Today the beach was a little busier, but not for long.  The seaweed washed up in the storms makes great natural fertiliser, and for a farmer with a bad back, being able to use the loader to fill his trailer is a huge help.   This will go on the little triangle field behind Shian and Duill which we have cut for silage twice without applying any FYM or seaweed.

Saturday, 27 December 2014

Day and night light

Wishing all our guests and readers - past, present and future - a happy and peaceful Midwinter/Christmas and New Year. 

You could be forgiven for thinking that the Farmer is not doing much just now, but actually it has just been that I have not been out with him whilst he does the many chores that need to be done every day! 

The hoggs are back out in the fields.  The cows are up on the hill.  The tups are still with the ewes.   They all need checking and feeding every day.  Whatever the weather.  

There have been some good storms.  There have been some moments of wonderful light in between. 

Particularly exciting for me have been 3 nights in a row with some Aurora Borealis activity! What a way to celebrate mid winter and Christmas. I really appreciate the lighting of candles and lights on our Christmas tree this year, it helps to banish the darkness.

Friday, 19 December 2014

Hares in the garden

Another bout of storms, and the afternoon ferries to and from Oban are cancelled this afternoon.  The schools on the islands broke up today, so we are beginning the countdown to Christmas.  No one on the beach yesterday apart from us and the oystercatchers.

Farmer had to do some vermin controlling yesterday.  We had noticed that the kale was beginning to disappear.  Systematically, first the leaves then the tops of the stalks and finally the stalks disappearing without trace.   We suspected the hares, but hadnt seen any.  The white carrot fly barrier was put up to protect the ones they hadnt yet started to nibble.

I let Coco out as usual this morning in to the garden and instead of just trotting about slowly, she shot off round towards the veg beds at the speed of light.  Seconds later two huge handsome hares, (top halves brown, bottoms and legs winter white) sprinted past me pursued by Coco hot on their heels.  Thankfully they outran her and sped through the fence to safety.  I hope that will give them enough of a warning not to come back - time will tell though.

The light this morning was moody and wild.

Farmer and I went off to Tobermory to collect Daughter from school - the end of term treat.  We did a few errands, met a few familiar faces, stopped to chat, did some localised Christmas shopping and headed for home again as it was getting dark.

Now the fire is on and it is time to decorate the tree.

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

All over Scotland

All over Scotland, in all weathers, and often long before daybreak, farmers start their working day.  Perhaps not every one has a Walter watching over them though.

Farmer at work indoors.

Farmer at work out of doors.

Once the sun rises above the hill, it is the outdoor cattle's turn to be fed.

And then the starlings turn up to see what is left on the ground in the cattle shed.   Their feet sound like rain drops on the tin roof of the cattle building.

Thursday, 11 December 2014

Four seasons

I have lost track of when the ferry disruption started, but thinking about it, it must have been Monday because I did hear that people who were in Oban on Monday have only got back to Mull this afternoon. 

Some folk are saying this is the longest they can remember that the ferries have been off for.  I havent been further than Calgary this week so I haven't seen the empty shelves in the local shops, so dependant on supplies from the mainland.   Farmer went in to Dervaig to Dougie's shop for emergency supplies of dried milk earlier in the week.

The winds have certainly slowed down - the waves were more choppy than rolling this afternoon. Yesterday's weather was not as extreme here as in the Outer Isles, but the hail showers were painful on our faces as Farmer and I walked beyond Haunn.

Apparently there has been a power cut in Tobermory in the last few minutes or so, so I am going to stop now, in case ours goes off too.
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