Monday, 4 September 2017

Long journeys and autumn discounts!

This umbellifer has appeared beside one of the bird feeders.  It is Wild carrot.

It is the time of year for lamb sales.  This year Farmer has done the same as he did last year - where he booked a lorry to take the bulk of our male lambs all in one go.  In previous years he has taken the livestock trailer over with 60 or so lambs, but this is very time consuming as it takes several weeks to get through selling them all.  So last Tuesday the 29th our wedder (male) lambs all went off to Oban to be sold.   We were not as pleased as last year with the prices, which was an average of £4 a lamb down.   And we made a new record - by selling one lamb for £2.  (Bear in mind, it costs about £3 to get the lamb to market in the lorry and about £4 in medicines so there is a loss in there...)

Aurora spotting season has started.  Here is my first (very faint) tick, a faint one fighting with the light from Shieling outside light!  I couldn't see anything with the naked eye.

The late summer growth in the garden was buzzing with bees, loving the comfrey in particular which we have in huge clumps.

The Herdwicks have been in the field around Shian and Duill for the last week or so.  They are sharing it with our ewe lambs (the hoggs).  They are so noticeably friendly compared to the Blackface - who leg it in the opposite direction when they see you!

I ventured down to Croig to collect some crab from the local fisherman.  It was beautiful down there, so still and quiet.

The Devil's bit scabious are thriving this summer.  I have never seen so many.

Sadly I think it is only a matter of time before the swallows take off on their long journey to Africa.  The air is noisy from their gathering song and flight.  Such a wonderful sound of summer, but bittersweet to hear it now, and now that they will be off any minute.  This year it seems like there are more swallows, certainly, than last year.

We still have some spaces in October and are offering a £50 discount on a week booking or £150 off a two week booking taken during October or November.  Please contact us for details. 

Friday, 25 August 2017

The middle of August

The middle of August has gone by in a flash. The Salen Show signals the beginning of the end of summer for us as the schools go back the following week, always.  And now unbelievably they have been back for more than a week, and we are staring at the end of the month! 

We have had moments of good weather, but there has been a lot of weather forecast monitoring before outdoor decisions are made.  

Tomorrow Farmer will be gathering the hill in order to spean the lambs on Tuesday and send most of them to market in a lorry.  

The fields are getting that ragged end of summer look.  Prasad has been monitoring the Painted lady caterpillars on the creeping thistle down below the house.  There are still a few around. It seems a bit late to be seeing them, as they still have to pupate and then fly off back to Africa before it gets too cold. 

Monday, 14 August 2017

Show day 2017

The weather has been mixed the past week or so, and we were anxiously watching XCWeather to see what Thursday was going to be like for the Salen Show!   Daughter was taking two of the Herdwicks to the show so we needed to know! 

Luckily Show Day dawned dry, whilst not overly sunny, it didn't rain and wasn't too hot for the animals.  

Herdwicks aren't primitive breeds like Hebrideans or Soay or Shetlands, and they aren't Blackface or Cheviot, so they end up in the Other Breeds class along with the Texels and the Suffolks!  There is a very strong flock of Texels along the coast from here, so we were pretty realistic about our chances.  Not to mention the fine Suffolks from Loch Frisa.   Anyway, what was that saying, its not about the winning its about the taking part?  

The Mull Slaughterhouse BBQ stall selling burgers was upwind of the sheep pens so all day we stood downwind of the amazing smell of frying onions!  They made a good brew as well.

My favourite tin shed was put into use, as the Poultry section.  Again our fine Wyandottes chose to moult so we couldn't show them.

Farmer helped some of the other competitors hold their animals in the different classes before and after ours. 

An appropriate hoodie for the show. 

Kyle the wonderful ice cream maker from Tobermory has bought a trike so she can attend the shows. What an excellent idea and it proved very popular!   There was a queue all day long. 

2 of our near neighbours were showing Highland cattle.   

And a friend of Daughter was showing a Mother and this was her calf who had to come along with her! 

We didn't enter any veg this year. Or eggs! 

Here we are coming in to the Other Breeds classes.  The handsome Jacobs tup from Loch Frisa against the Texels from Fanmore. 

Then finally it was our gimmers turn.  

Well done Daughter.  (She came home with a handful of rosettes!)

All in all, a great day. 


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