Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Another week closer

We are moving quickly, another week closer to the beginning of lambing.  Farmer gathered yesterday with J and J, and today he and Dervaig J put the ewes all through the fank.  We have our once a weekly helper SB back too, and so he saved the Farmer's back 206 times before lunch, which was great. The hill ewes expecting singles go back to the hill straight away.  The eild (barren) ewes are marked and go back to the hill too.  The ewes expecting twins are put to one side, they will get extra grub, to help balance the additional nutrition the second lamb will need.

For me, for some reason it has been a week of meetings.  The first day was a photo editing worship, which was good, though exhausting and I realise I edit my photographs in a very simplistic and basic way.

The start of the day has got a whole lot noisier with the calling of the common gulls as they fly to and from the lochan to the shore past the house.  It is wonderful to hear them though!

Last night the setting moon was wonderful casting a golden glow over the sea between here and Coll.

This morning started off beautifully, with blue blue sea and sky.

The greylags took off from the shadows as I walked towards them, with all the settings mixed up on the camera - hence the blurs!

It was lovely to watch a sanderling, so quick, on the water's edge, picking at the tide.

Too tiring for some.  How can they sleep?!

And in the fank - some of the older and wiser faces.

Sunday, 22 March 2015

The shrinking puddle

Having been so lucky with the aurora borealis earlier this week, 2 nights of wonderful skies, and with a weather forecast predicting 100% cloud cover for Friday morning, I really had no expectations of seeing the eclipse. After all the northern lights on Tuesday were really exceptional.  But, amazingly, the clouds did part for a few seconds every now and then during the eclipse and so we did see snippets of it, and felt even luckier!

Today dawned soft and still.

Coco and I disturbed a heron and a pair of mallard on the Duill lochan.

The older ewes were waiting for the sound of the quad bike.

With Farmer's new machine.  We have invested in this 'snacker' to cut down on the number of bags Farmer has to carry and to ensure the food is more evenly spread for the animals.  It seems to be working quite well.

In the afternoon, Farmer wanted to go and check that he had not left any sheep behind on the Point.

Farmer has been doing a bit of ditching. Satisfying to see the newly cleared ditch running with water again.

A robin sings its heart out, near a heartbreaking sight in a tractor wheel rut puddle.

Thousands of tadpoles trapped in a shrinking puddle.

The islands looked beautiful sitting in a shimmering sea.

Feathers from a massacre of sorts.

The first celandine.

As we walked around the Point, we had several big bird sightings - a trio of buzzards, a pair of ravens - sparring, tumbling, calling, retreating and attacking - amazing.

Thankfully there were no sheep hiding on the outside of the Point. We had a wonderful walk.  The sun was shining.  It was good to see the scrub woodland thriving - we are obviously getting the grazing pressure right there. 

When I was uploading the photographs I had taken of the tadpoles, I suddenly felt we couldnt leave them in certain death in that shrinking boggy puddle.  Farmer, Daughter and I went back on a rescue mission and transported them across to Duill lochan.   We hoped the difference in water temperature wouldnt be as big as the other lochan and that a few of them might survive. 

Fingers crossed.

Thursday, 19 March 2015

The headlights and the northern lights

I didn't expect after Tuesday nights wondrous display to find myself back outside the next night.  The day had been beautiful, clear and crisp, with a gentle sunset.  The clouds that xcweather were forecasting for evening were nowhere to be seen and the stars were so bright.

I took a photograph of Croig in November under a very starry sky, and I have been waiting since then to try and get a similar image but with the Northern Lights! The lights from the farmhouse were on and casting enough light on the fishermen's pier to light up the buoys and the sheds.

Twice the extreme silence was broken by residents returning home.   And so twice I was able to catch the headlights as they curled round the corners illuminating the darkness.

My peace was not shattered for long, and the silence returned to the haunting call of a solitary heron, lit up in one of the car headlight photographs standing stock still in the shallow mud on the other side of the natural harbour. 

After an hour of silence and light I went home.  The aurora was still glowing gently on the north horizon, but I was tired and cold and needed my bed.  Other aurora chasers on the island got more photographs later on! 

eXTReMe Tracker