Thursday, 20 February 2014

Aurora alert!

There is currently a lot of solar activity going on above our heads and we cannot see it! Last night the north of Scotland was under cloud and rain, and so we missed the sights of a lifetime, but that is just the way it goes. It just further fuels my obsession with seeing the northern lights...

Down on the ground, with his feet very much connected to the earth, Farmer has been busy with the cows and the daily feeding/chores routine.  Some times a newborn calf doesn't immediately start looking for milk, so Farmer is careful to watch to make sure that each one has drunk within an hour of so of being born.  If they are slow to get up, he will spend time observing and assessing whether or not the calf needs help especially if they have a first time mother, as sometimes the bonding process can be a little weak initially.

Daughter and I deserted the Farmer for the half term weekend and took off in search of the northern lights further north on the planet.  It was all a huge adventure and we had a fantastic trip but the 'merrie dancers' (as they are called on Orkney) alluded us due to thick cloud.  We did briefly glimpse some intense colour through the cloud, but it made me realise that when the conditions are right, we are so lucky to be able to look out and see them from our own garden gate, without having to drive round like dervishes in minibuses which is what goes on in northern Norway!

 I am not sure what you call this sort of rainbow, if indeed that is what it is.

The view from our fjord-side bonfire where we sat on reindeer skins (very warm) listening to stories and waiting.. and waiting..

It was a great trip, but as always so good to get back to this. And there was a noticeable improvement in the cottages..

...albeit with some extra holes in the walls....  This is Duill kitchen, where a window is being moved to the end wall so that you can now see the sea while you cook!  Knocking the hole through solid concrete was a long and laborious, dusty job.

There is always 'bedding up' to be done.

Igor, the Zetor tractor, who got us through the ice and snow in 2009/10 has been sold, and is waiting to go to his new home, just along the road.

This calf is 2 weeks old, and there is no problem with the bonding here.

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