Thursday, 12 June 2014

Watching the forecast

I can hardly remember what we did before the advent of online weather forecasts.  It was all so hit and miss.  The forecast for yesterday said rain at 7.00 and 10.00 with 8% cloud cover, followed by the sun and shower symbol for the rest of the day.  I had to drive Daughter to Ulva Ferry at 7.15 am and there was certainly more than 8% cloud cover at that time (more like 108%).  It was all a question of trust.  Farmer delayed the start time by an hour.  And headed off to collect J from Dervaig nearer to 9.00 than 8.00.  By 10 though, the sky had cleared, there was much more sky than cloud and it was bright and dry for the rest of the day.

There was one slightly hairy moment when a vehicle appeared just as they were trying to get the sheep from the field into the fank, and the sheep started to get away on them.  However it was all okay in the end.

This is always a very time consuming fank.  Lots of different things to do.  It is also the time when the hard work of lambing is assessed.  Was it a good lambing or not?  It was definitely a good one as we have more lambs than last year!

I am not very domesticated these days. (Was I ever?) I am far too preoccupied by the wildflowers.  So applying myself to cooking and catering for the fank day, particularly when the sun is shining, is always a challenge.   However I managed to prepare 2 meals and not burn anything, quite an achievement in the circumstances.

Letting Coco out at lunch time I found this beauty in the long grass beside the house. It is a day time flying Silver-ground Carpet moth.

The clover is beginning to look lovely beyond Studio.

Once the fank was finished, the lambs and ewes re-united, men fed and watered, I headed off with Coco into the Black Park.  I realise that I have been walking straight through in my eagerness to get into the Haunn field and missing lots of lovely plant communities in the process.

Wood Bitter-vetch is happily growing in lots of areas there too. And the Fragrant Orchids are popping up everywhere.

Because of the grazing pattern we have adopted, in some places, you could almost call this Burnet Rose tall.

I dropped down towards the shore.

I went back to the bank in the field with no name where we had seen dozens of Heath Spotted Orchids a few weeks ago, I feared they might be going over and I hadn't photographed them properly.  This patch of Cotton-grass caught my eye instead, it was SO white.

And a lovely patch of orchids which I think are hybridised Northern Marsh Orchids but I will consult Prasad!  There is a little spider's web in the left of the photograph which I only noticed when I was uploading it.

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