Tuesday, 6 January 2015

January sheep work

The full moon setting over the Isle of Coll this morning as I got back from the school run to Calgary.

Farmer has moved the hoggs into the field in front of the house.  It is nice to hear them all gather in anticipation when they hear the quad bike, knowing they are about to be fed.  And what a view!

Soon a silence falls over the field as they all tuck in.

Later the sun rises over the hill, and they find themselves a sunny spot having finished their premium nuts.

N, who helps us (heroically) every winter, has started decorating West Cottage bedroom. It hasn't been painted for a few years and we are using the lovely Newlife Paints we have used for the last 2 winters in Studio, Shian and Duill.  

I and G,  electricians, were working in Toechtamhor, and needed me to go down and agree where the new LED lights should go.

In our GTBS audit last summer, I mentioned to Stuart, their auditor,  that we wanted to further cut our energy consumption as our small scale wind turbines and solar PV were only generating about 80% of our usage.  Rather than install more technology, we wanted to use less.  He advised that we began a programme of changing our light fittings from low energy to LED. I had always resisted this before as I felt it was a waste of the embodied energy in the light bulbs, but after further thought and discussion, we decided it was worth doing.

Tube strip lights are particularly wasteful as Stuart pointed out that the ones we use in the office burn 35 watts where an LED strip light would burn 5 watts.  The farm building uses lots of them and some are in need of repair so they are an obvious place to start, and there are one or two in the office/laundry too.  

I, the electrician, provided the solution for the Haunn cottages, which is to upgrade the low energy ceiling lights to LED with a simple convertor so they are doing that for us this winter too.   We are hoping, little by little, it will make quite a difference to the electricity consumption.

Some showers over Coll on the way back and beautiful sundogs (ice rainbows).

Farmer wanted to take the tups off today as the weather was so good, and to put the ewes through the fank and give them their annual Co-secure supplement 'bullet'. We know the land is deficient in certain minerals (selenium and cobalt) which the sheep need to keep them well. 

It was a beautiful day for it. I don't think I have ever taken photographs in the fank in such lovely light.

Some guests arrived for Shian just as it was getting dark, and it was lovely to see the glow from the sitooterie, and on the horizon, as I walked down to say hello to them.

What I didnt realise is that I could have photographed the Comet if I had aimed the camera a little higher over the farm steading on the way back!  The green glow on the wall is the glow from our Electric Car Charge Point! 

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