Friday, 21 November 2014

A new season begins

Our neighbours cow walk to breakfast at Ensay.

Loch Cuin.

Slow sun rising on a November morning.

The new farming season is beginning.  This week Farmer has been sorting the sheep out prior to putting the tups out.  J from Dervaig came to help him put the hill sheep through the fank.  He has to condition score them at this time of year and take a faeces sample to test for liver fluke.  The oldest age group of ewes left the fank with a bright red blob of 'mark' to show at a glance how old they are, and they headed off to their tupping field with the new Lleyn tup.

Sunrise over the Ben, taken at the top of the Burg hill before it drops down into Loch Tuath.

This is taken looking down towards Treshnish with the Isle of Coll lying on the horizon.

Waiting to go out, the Ensay tups. Or possibly waiting for their breakfast?

We had a visit from N today, from the Scottish Agricultural College in Oban.  Earlier in the year a Soil Nutrient Network Monitoring meeting had taken place at Treshnish, in order to look at soil fertility and how best to understand the methods of using nutrients correctly.  Farmer had acted on recommendations made at the first meeting during the course of the summer, even going as far, on one tiny bit of our in-by fields to applying a bit of nitrogen.  As ex organic farmers, we were quite pleased to see that the nitrogen had not really made any discernible difference to the amount of silage produced on the one small patch.  

Today we looked at our land categories too, as all farmers in Scotland have had their farmland classified - and need to check that it reflects the land type you consider it to be.  Ours didn't.  So N will be helping us communicate with the Scottish Govt. about it.

Tobermory was glowing in the strong afternoon sun.

2 nights ago I went to Croig and the house beside the jetty had kindly left their outside light on.  It illuminated the jetty beautifully under the stars.  It was so still and so quiet.

I will take some photographs of the tups and ewes soon.
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