Thursday, 25 September 2014

More sunshine than showers in September

Earlier in the week Farmer came tearing into the house to get me to bring my camera to photograph something quite special. For the full story click here. It was a really exciting start to the week. 

Down below the house there are the ewe lambs, 93 of them at the last count. This time last week there were 43 cast ewes too, but yesterday they went to market in Oban.  On Friday 60 wedder (male, castrated) lambs, in another field altogether until tomorrow night, will go to Fort William, for we are going to go and see how we get on there. 

This beautiful lily is one we inherited from the previous owner of Treshnish. We have always called it 'Lady Jean's nerine'! There are only 3 flowers this autumn, the others have been suffocated by the ever flourishing comfrey.

Some plants are flowering for the second time, others still developing. The blue heads of the Devils bit scabious are beginning to turn now, some have been almost peeled by the flocks of small birds that seem to flit from patch to patch of seed heads.  We walked the dogs yesterday afternoon and heard them before we could see them but neither Farmer nor I had binoculars and without them couldn't identify them.

Oxford Ragwort (I think), below, flowering freshly in the natural regeneration next to the Haunn field.

The landscape is really changing colour now, the bracken has turned.  Some of the fields are still quite green and in some the grass is really quite long. It is different every year but the same thing will happen as soon as the first real gale comes along, the salt laden winds will burn off the green grass, leaving not as palatable grass behind it.

Farmer has finished off mowing the bracken.  It just keeps the field better, and means the grass grows a bit more before the end of the growing season.

This is an area too rocky and steep to be mown. It cannot be treated chemically because it is too close to a water course.  The only option left is to swipe it with a scythe, but no one has had time this summer.  

Looking down onto the shore, you can see the rushes growing in the damper parts of the ground beside the rocks.

Walter helps himself to the many sweet brambles we pass on the way round.

We have hardly had any rowan berries this autumn, despite them flowering abundantly in the spring.  There is a strong rowan tree beside the Ensay Burn where you cross the humpback bridge going towards Torloisk and it is usually dripping with berries, but not this year.  It is our benchmark for how the rowans are doing, I suppose because we watched it for 7 years driving Daughter over the hill to get the school car to Ulva primary school.  There is hardly a berry on it.

The night before last (23/24 September) we had a cloudy sighting of the Aurora Borealis.. the Milky Way was so clear before the cloud obscured it.  More photos here.

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