Sunday, 30 September 2018

September storms and some sunshine

September slipped by in a haze of storms punctuated with sunshine, weeks split into pieces with new and familiar guests arriving and leaving. And suddenly it is the end of the month.    Here are a few photographs from the month.

A few calm days, great for drone practise!

The Rowans are loaded with berries this year.

This young 'hen' has turned out to be a cockerel ?

Good days for washing and drying!

SO many Rock doves.  They spend the day waiting for the hens to be fed and the bird feeders to be filled up.  They have learned to hover like humming birds on the bird feeders.

With the lambs away the ewes can recover some energy.

Not so the cows.  The calves are still with their mothers, sneaking up on them for a drink whenever they can!

Not a very glamorous job but it has to be done.  Our septic tank has not been emptied since we moved here.   There is now a company coming to the island who have a small bowser so can drive across the field.   Even so, Farmer had to pull them out as they got stuck.

Calm days. And the Eilean Ban from Croig is out below the house.

And after the storm, the seaweed.

And a sunset to cry for.

Autumn light..

....Ulva Ferry.

...Loch na keal..

.....Loch Scridain.

Sunday, 9 September 2018

Changes afoot

Summer has definitely lost out to Autumn, which to my mind started early.  And today, there are only 2 Swallows left in the barn.  The others have already flown.   It feels very quiet around the farm yard without their graceful flight and calls.

So the lambs are all sold.  They went on a lorry last week to Oban with Farmer taking the extras along in the livestock trailer.   Some fetched a good price, others an abysmal one.  However, overall, we sold more lambs than last year, and brought home a larger cheque even though our average was down.  

What is slowly dawning on us is that we would be better off moving the hill flock towards Cheviot, rather than clinging on to Blackface, which none of the finishers seem to want.

We can both remember the farm advisor Donald saying to us when we were first at Treshnish (24 years ago!) that the hill would be too hard for Cheviots.  That has always been in the back of our minds whenever we have discussed the idea of changing - because it was the first advice we had had on the matter.  Since then several other people have assured us that Cheviots would do fine at Treshnish and indeed there were Cheviots here before there were Blackface.    Our neighbour on the Torloisk side has moved over to Cheviot and they seem to be fine!

So we will be buying additional Cheviot tups to put to 150 Blackface ewes.  That should give us about 50 cross ewe lambs to put on the hill in 2 years time!   You have to think ahead.

Heather on the Sitheans.

From Lainne Sgier rocks across Calgary Bay.

You get a good view of the road towards Treshnish from 100m up!

This is the forest near Langamull.  After felling, before replanting.

And a stunning view over the devastated land to Croig, Quinish and beyond.

Meadowsweets before they seed.

Silverweed turning.

Every few years we cut this Fuchsia back as it is growing into Middle Cottage walls!  It grows back very quickly.

An inquisitive calf.

There has been great excitement around the bird feeders.  A young Sparrowhawk has been practising his hunting.  He still has a long way to go.   We haven't seen him catch anything yet, and he has been attacked by a Buzzard in the trees round the house, and mobbed by Swallows.  Today, while we were standing talking to a guest by the washing line, he swooped several times, clumsily, into the bird feeders but failed to take anything.

The final change is that Daughter is now away at college. The farmhouse is very quiet, and funnily enough the internet seems to be a bit faster...!


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