Well winter is almost over now, although snow was forecast on high ground, this weekend!!
The dawn chorus is well underway and I heard the first Cuckoo the other day.
The weather was dry and sunny, if a little cold, over the Easter weekend but it is now a little damper. The pheasants are back in force looking for food at every opportunity and the roe deer are getting a bit more friendly although they still keep their distance. We now have at least 3 hinds and a buck. I hope they will have young soon.
is me feeding one of the Pheasants
is one of the hinds taken from the Kitchen window
Diff is still
with us but is getting older by the day.
The garden is getting more colourful by the day
but as fast as things grow the deer and rabbits are having a banquet – oh well I suppose you can’t have it both ways – or can you? I have been promised a poly tunnel so I can grow things without the automatic pruning.
this space for the aforementioned Poly Tunnel
Sunday 10 May
Another week has gone by, today the sun was shining and it gave us a chance to catch up on things outside although it is still a little cold. We got most of the plants for the tubs and baskets at the beginning of the week and since we don't have the polytunnel yet we are still using the mobile pottiing shed!!!
We caught site of one of our girls this morning who had hatched a huge clutch of eggs, she came wondering across the end of the garden and I just managed to get the camera before she disappeared again into the undergrowth.
All the little spots to the hen pheasant's left are chicks. They are tiny.
Here she is disappearing with her brood.
And here is the handsome Dad, we think.
We have decided to fill the boat with plants this year so Don was busy fitting boards inside so that we can put some grow bags in for the flowers.
While he was busy painting, I got on with potting up the baskets and tubs, hopefully it will give us a splash of colour this summer if nothing eats them.
SUNDAY 17 MAY
Can't believe another week has gone by. We have had a fairly busy week. On Tuesday I spent the day in Fort Augustus as a tourist with a friend. We had a fabulous day, I couldn't believe we could spend such a good day less than 10 miles from home. The weather was lovely and sunny and warm. First we had a trip on the Royal Scot which was an hour long and told us all the information about Loch Ness. Then we had a quick trip in the rigid inflatable boat that runs up to Urquhart Castle four times a day. It doesn't call at the castle but you get wonderful photo oportunities from it.
Fort Augustus Abbey from the Boat Virtual camera on the Boat showing the bed of Loch Ness
The Royal Scot taken from the Rib And of course "The Monster"
Urquhart Castle taken from the boat
Mother pheasant has had a hard time. Pheasants do not make very good mothers and unfortunately she has lost most of her chicks. Donald managed to take this photograph on Tuesday but by Thursday she only had 4 left.
The other really exciting thing that happened this week was that the Polytunnel was delivered. Don has been working very hard to put it together, it arrived in a kit of 12 different parcels, HELP. As you can see from the photograph, I was project manager for the first stage of the proceedings. I think it will be very different when we come to put the cover on but that will be another story. See you next week.
The Kit of Parts
The Project Manager. (note the glass of wine)
Making the Doors
The frame is up.
SUNDAY 24 MAY
Here we are again and what a week we have had. A week of really mixed emotions.
On Tuesday we finally managed to get the cover onto the polytunnel. It was an evening decision and we began at about 17.30. The weather was lovely when we started, sunny, warm and still but within about an hour it clouded over and a wind got up. Luckily it was not too strong although at one or two points we wondered if we were about to be airborne but in the end it all worked out ok.
Preparing for the cover
Finished at last
As you can see it was dark and very late when we eventually got finished.
I was over the moon and desperate to get on with planting etc but then poor old Diff took a turn for the worse. He had a really bad day on Wednesday and was getting weaker and weaker. We then knew that we could not let him suffer any longer and having taken him to the vet on Thursday we then had to make a very difficult decision.
I therefore now have to inform all of you who knew Diffly Dog that he is now at peace and that there is a huge hole in our lives. Fourteen years of love, friendship and loyalty will be very sorely missed and all I can say now is rest in peace dear boy.
SUNDAY 31 MAY
Here we go again. Weather has greatly improved and planting in the polytunnel has begun. We have planted beef tomatoes, ordinary tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, strawberries, lettuce, cucumbers, three different types of lettuce, spring onions, peas and beetroot. We are experimenting at the moment to see what will grow well. I would like to grow melons, sweetcorn and peppers along with some really exotics but lets get past the basics first. I will try and get some photos for next week and hopefully if you are due to stay later in the year you will have home grown tomatoes for breakfast.
Lawn had another cut but I didn't get a chance to get a photo as I was busy planting.
Mrs Pheasant has been back and only has one chick left, she is ferociously defending it, but will let us get reasonably close when feeding her. Three of our roe deer hinds are conspicuous by their absence, I suspect that they are close to or have already given birth. If we get a chance we will do our best to get a photo.
Not much else this week apart from the usual routine and scorching hot weather which we do usually get at this time of the year.
We had a chance yesterday to go for a run, so we decided to go to Mallaig for lunch. Below are some of the scenes we saw along the way. Unfortunately the sun was in the wrong place for good photos of Ben Nevis and the Glenfinnan Viaduct (Harry Potter's Bridge) and because the road was closed due to an accident on the way home we had to return via the coast through Lochailort, Acharacle, Salen and Strontian crossing the Corran ferry and home through Fort William. It was a fabulous run, stunning scenery and although we live on the doorstep we don't get out often enough to enjoy it.
Unusual view of Ben Nevis Viaduct for the Trains near Morar
The islands of Eigg and Rhum in the distance Inner harbour at Mallaig
The ferry leaves for the island of Skye Full ahead for the Corran Ferry
BACK TO DIARY PAGE