Flaming June?

A helping hand


Well no, not quite, but the days are long and mostly dry and there’s still plenty of new and growing life here at Garybuie. Fifteen of the incubated eggs eventually hatched successfully, although the this wee chick needed a helping hand after a day of struggling to break free of its shell. I was concerned when the ‘cheeps’ from the egg were becoming less vigorous and decided that a nice warm, damp cloth and some careful, gradual shell removal wouldn’t go amiss. All was well when an enthusiastic chicken leg broke free, followed almost immediately by the rest of the bird. It wasn’t long before the late arrival was with all its companions in the brooder. Presumably its colouring is from one of the copper maran Wick Chicks, as it’s down is a lovely chocolat- brown colour. Can’t wait to see how the plumage develops. The unusual colouring makes the chick easily recognisable and consequently it gets lots of my attention and seems fairly happy to sit on my shoulder for a wee while, taking in the scenery of the wider world! 

Enjoying the sunshine


At just turned 5 weeks old, the six ducklings are now fully feathered and adventurous too. The pools are enjoyed to the full and most of the garden has been fully investigated. One of them in particular looks as though it might have some AR genes. Hopefully it’s a female, in which case she can escape the freezer to become an extra companion for Francis Drake! 

Meanwhile, another of our female ducks, Puff, is still sitting tight on her nest with her hen friend! They seem quite happy together although with the obvious language barrier, what they find to talk about is anyone’s guess! The second of our confused chickens on the other hand is still muddle-headed. After seeming to settle on the specially provided, low-level nest-box, she returned to her high-rise accommodation in the main coop. 

High-rise hen


Each afternoon at feeding time, we lift her off the nest so that she can feed and stretch her legs. She gets a cuddle, some conversation and a nice ‘wattle rub’ which she obviously enjoys. With all the attention, she’ll be sitting in her high-rise for months! Other developments in the garden include the seemingly sudden growth in the veg plots. The broad beans are coming along  as are the courgettes and peas. At the end of last week, my plug plants of sprouts and cauliflower arrived (Marshall’s Seeds) and are all doing well. Both our early and main-crop potatoes are growing well and the earlies will need earthing up this weekend. A regular visitor to the veg plot is Biggles – it’s one of the few places where she can escape MacRae’s attentions! The only problem is that poor old Huff gets left on the wrong side of the fence, as he needs more of a run-up than is available to take flight and join her. Sometimes, when he’s  looking longingly through the wire with an ever hopeful wag, I give in and open the gate for him, which pleases him no end!

Early potatoes and carrots

 Believe it or not, there’s more to life here at Garybuie than ducks, chickens, vegetables and B&B! Admittedly, our social life at this time of year does tend to revolve around our visiting holiday makers, but once in a while, something unusual pops up on the social calendar! Last weekend the ‘something unusual’ was another invitation from our neighbours, Andy and Brian, who were having a ‘Eurovision Party’! We’ve not seen the contest for probably more than 30 years, so it was almost a new experience! It was a great night out – certainly something new for the glen – and Andy’s european party nibbles were wonderful! Neighbours Gordon and Dorinha apparently felt that they are ideal candidates for the UK’s 2011 entry… 

Musical aspirations!



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