Friday, 30 May 2014

Counting lambs

J came over to help do the in-by lambs today.  The ewes were scanned in February, which means we knew how many lambs to expect.  Thus Farmer has been able to count up the expected lambs, minus the ones that died during lambing and compare with the number they marked today.  We are several lambs short.  No definitive explanation as to what happened to them.  

In the fank.

Waiting their turn. 

Down below the house, the field is a carpet of blue of the bluebells, forget-me-nots and speedwell and the white of pignut, with dots of yellow creeping in from buttercups and the wild flower meadow essential the yellow rattle.

Who has been sleeping in our field? The stag who got the wrong side of the deer fence the last time we opened the gate to let the hill ewes into a bit of in-by field.

Lady's mantle and speedwell on the washing green.

The roses are flowering beautifully outside the Studio now.

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Back to sheep work

Farmer has been checking the sheep on a daily basis, but despite this, he does not have eyes all over the farm all of the time.  One of the advantages of having holidaymakers walking here is that they do sometimes see something that Farmer didn't see when he was checking along the coast - and more importantly they let us know.  That is always good! It means we can do something about it. Yesterday a woman mentioned a ewe on a cliff, so he went off to see if the ewe was still there.  She wasn't.  Thankfully there was no sign at the foot of the cliff of an accident either.  So all was well.

The lambs are growing well, and it is time to bring them into the fank for counting and a bit of TLC - tick repellent and a vaccination.   Farmer has some maintenance to do on the fank before they come in, involving a gate and recycling some sheets of tin from the old schoolhouse, which he has been saving for just that reason.  (They might come in handy - they certainly have.)

It was unbelievably calm and ethereal this morning as I drove back from posting my camera to the repairers.

There are dozens of heath spotted orchids flowering just now.

This tiny nest of eggs is right beside the track in the Haunn field.  It illustrates just how important it is to keep dogs on leads, as these eggs could be gobbled up fairly fast by a hungry dog..

The fank repair.

Down to beyond Haunn this evening, the light was beautiful. 

Prasad has moved his blog to a new website: It is now at  He saw two leverets yesterday, which was really exciting. However the brutality of nature had its way, and one of them fell prey to a hooded crow.  We can only hope the other one managed to survive.  What a rocky road.  

We are really fond of the hares, they appear to trust us by coming so close to our house and Prasad's  - so much hope invested in them breeding successfully, so it was really sad to read that account on his blog.  

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Missed the whale

Down below the Treshnish cottages this afternoon. 

Apologies for photo-heavy blogpost but I was so excited by what I was seeing, and wanted to upload the photographs as soon as I could.   I couldn't see beyond the flowers, especially the best ever show of bluebells and pignut in the field below the house. 

The sea was flat calm, as it was last night when we watched four tiny boats sail very very slowly into the bay as the sun was setting.

It was lovely to find the tiny forget-me-not, I am not sure which one it is though.

And the beginning of the endless red campion and bluebell series!

Drifts of common twayblade. They are so rewarding to find, because once you get your eye in, you suddenly see lots!

Silverweed on the shore.

The marsh marigolds are just going over, and the seed heads forming now.

Water Avens drooping!

Clusters of Butterwort, I found these very challenging to photograph.

The thrift is beginning to go over now too.

Sea Arrowgrass is another of my favourites.  It looks so ordinary until you look up close.

When I got back to the house, Farmer pointed out the minke whale I had missed when I was looking at the wild flowers. It was moving towards the beach.  In my excitement, changing the lens on my camera, I jammed the macro lens and damaged the camera body too.  I did enjoy seeing the whale.  Who needed a photograph of it anyway?

I won't write any more now - off to pack up camera and lens to send off for repair.

Sunday, 25 May 2014

Sunshine, showers and sunsets

Farmer suggested a family cycle ride at Cailiach Point.  Unfortunately his bike broken down, but we had a lovely time anyway. We walked over to the west side and looked back towards the Treshnish Isles and Treshnish Point.  We experienced sunshine, showers and rainbows.

I think we need a sign like this on our gates. We have had some trouble with groups walking through and not closing the gates properly.  A large group with a guide walked through the yard this morning, stopping as they do to gaze over at our life on their way past, and this summer, reading our walkers interpretation board!  Luckily we had seen them walking through so Farmer went to check the gates where the cows were after they had gone.  Sure enough the gate was not shut properly.

When we first came here, salmon were still being netted in this bay.  Not any more.  The netting station is in disrepair.  For Farmer's birthday one year, probably in 1996, we got a wild salmon from N, who said it would be one of the last he caught here as they were so few in number now.

This wonderful rainbow, with Ardnamurchan's Ben Hiant just showing through the red to the west of Glengorm.

The flat nose of the Treshnish Point, where I took the wild garden photographs from the other day.

The Treshnish Isles almost hovering above the sea.

Home, and the sunset unfolded wonderfully.

Until its grand finale.

Good night all.  Have a good week!
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