Highs and lows of 2010.

 As it’s the last day of the year, I thought it would be a good idea to take a look at some of the highs and lows of 2010.

Mini sculptures?

The year almost ended as it began with the glen being a frigid place to be. But over the last few days, temperatures have risen somewhat and the white stuff has done a disappearing act. We did have a white Christmas though and unlike the beginning of the year, constant sub-zero temperatures allowed for no thawing, resulting in a seemingly ever-increasing build up of ice crystals blanketing the surrounding fields. Sunlight striking the countless facets of  these icy shards, produced an amazing glistening landscape. The scene was even more magical by moonlight. On returning home after a very pleasant evening with our neighbours, Mark and Gerlinde, a couple of days before Christmas, it looked as though the  glen had been scattered with diamonds, the eerie light making the whole sparkling spectacle appear to shift as we walked.
Conditions were different at the beginning of the year however, when regular thawing and re-freezing turned the glen into some kind of over-sized ice rink! The chickens and ducks weren’t happy at all and the Muscovies in particular liked nothing better than to sit in a pond of warm water – no matter how small – to revitalise their feet!

Mini hot tub!

 As the year progressed, it turned into our busiest season  – and longest – yet on the bed and breakfast front. Self-catering wasn’t quite as popular, a similar story heard throughout Skye. Someone was very busy early in the year, Kevin. His goal was to demolish the redundant Piggy Palace and recycle it to produce a new duck house in the garden.

Demolition man!

Des. Res. for ducks

 On the family front, during our annual journey south of the border, we took the opportunity to visit Matt and Sarah in their new home. Paint pots and flat-packs were in abundance but the couple were rightly very happy and we’re looking forward to seeing all their completed hard work during our 2011 visit.  

New home, new cooker!

 We had an odd pairing in the spring when one of the Wick Chicks decided to share Puff’s nest! The hen hatched one chick and Puff produced two ducklings, one of which died.

Shared duties

Biggles on the other hand hatched four ducklings on her first attempt but her dreadful parenting skills resulted in all of their deaths. After a short spell of mourning, she decided to try harder at the whole motherhood thing and promptly duckknapped Puff’s remaining offspring!  

Homeward bound

 Second time around she was very attentive and spent lots of time in the safety of the veg patch – not so good for the veg patch however!

The cabbage patch kids!

 Another ducky disaster was the death of one of the ARs, most likely caused by the over enthusiastic attentions of the two AR drakes. After halving (!) the drake number to prevent future problems, just two remained which was sad. Luckily, our first batch of incubated ducklings provided a pair of runner-type females and Francis Drake was happy once more! Unfortunately, the remaining original AR female suffered a prolapse and had to be destroyed.

Remaining ARs

 By June we’d had another new arrival at Garybuie, not animal or vegetable but most definitely mineral in the shape of a Triumph motorbike. Kevin’s still grinning!

New addition

 Always a good mother, Broody Brenda only managed to produce one chick early in the season. To regain her reputation, she surprised us both when she emerged from under one of the hen coops with FOURTEEN chicks! Sadly, four died after a couple of weeks, suffering from aspergillosis. The remaining ten remained in fine fettle thank goodness. 

Much bigger family!

 More poor parenting skills provided us with two orphan ducklings, Lucky and Chance. They were both a great hit with our visitors but since becoming fully grown they spend their time with the other ducks. Their nighttime choice of drake varies somewhat however!

Lucky visits the new arrival

Later in the season, Puff managed to produce another duckling which really enjoyed the company of  its extended family. It spent its day running around between the other birds and because of its colouring, resembled a very busy bumblebee! Unbelievably, the wee mite got crushed somehow in the duck-house!

A family cuddle - Lucky and chance looking on

 Another character found her way into our hearts with her particularly affectionate behaviour – Delilah the pullet! Consequently, we changed her destiny somewhat by moving her in with our layers rather than into the freezer! Unfortunately, finding her own way home of an evening proved to be a challenge for her bird brain and manual relocation was required for several weeks!

Nightly transport

 And finally, one of the more significant new arrivals at Garybuie this past year , was totally different type of  beast. A multi-fuel stove. The whole getting to know each other thing has been quite a challenge but hopefully, the start of 2011 will be the time for ‘The Beast’ to realise that it’s the two-legged animals around the place who are REALLY in charge! 

Big appetite!

 Well, I think that just about puts Garybuie events of 2010 in a nutshell. Who knows what’s on the horizon of the new year?  I guess you’ll have to keep visiting the blog to find out!



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5 Responses to “Highs and lows of 2010.”

  1. Paul Says:

    A very happy 2011 to all the Garybuie residents.

  2. Dorinha Says:

    May the new year bring everything you wish.
    Have a happy one.
    Lots of love,

  3. Teri Says:

    Happy new year to you too! Hope you had a great holiday!

  4. Jenny MacRae Says:

    Happy New Year Kevin & Christine…….and you too Dorinha & Paul. (Sorry for hijacking your blog space!)

    The MacRaes xxx

    • garybuie01 Says:

      Thank you all for your well wishes, and thanks too for visiting Garybuie’s blog! (Even the odd hijackers!)

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