Posts Tagged ‘Pusscat’

Finally I’m ‘with camera’ so some random catch-up shots!

November 3, 2013

Bentham sunsetI’ve been re-united with my essential blogging tool. Between some serious downpours and a day in the kitchen yesterday preparing food for a neighbours’ get-together, I’ve managed to take some completely random catch-up shots! First in the camera were one or two (not very good) holiday shots. The one on the left was the sunset seen through the kitchen window and the next two are of wee Patrick – a chap who enjoys his food! The second one is blurred but it catches a ‘father and son’ moment! (sorry, soppy granny moment!)
Andy and Patrick
Pusscat has discovered his new favourite spot…
…and during our neighbourly ceilidh last night, he made it quite clear that there was a price to pay for sharing that spot! “Lots of attention or OFF the rug!”
Any and Pusscat



Now here’s a character I’ve wanted you to meet for quite some time.

This is BB, our wee black Silkie with eyes like polished jet

Just looking at the Silkies makes me smile!



BB is a bit of a loner, only spending time with the other Silkies at bedtime. She’s quite tolerant of the occasional cuddle and it feels more like stroking a rabbit than a bird. I think that she secretly prefers ducks – or maybe it’s just their tea-time treat that she likes! Lucky and Chance don’t seem to mind.

BB, Lucky, Chance

If you remember, the Silkies were hatched along with some of our own eggs: just look at the difference in size now between Bantam BB and a black pullet of the same age. Mind you, the black pullet does have genes from Big Fella which makes the difference all the more pronounced!

BB and friend

Speaking of Big Fella, he’s quite the happy chappie at the moment as we’ve opened the ‘Winter Spa for hens’ (polytunnel) recently and he’s pleased to hang around with the teenagers in there, hiding from the rain. Such a serious plumage is hard to keep in tip-top condition when it’s wet!

Big Fella in Spa

And finally, here’s a photo which Matt sent just this afternoon….’Ghost, Ghostbuster and Ghoul’!

Matt and twins

“Weather for ducks? I don’t think so!”

August 31, 2013

That was certainly Huff’s opinion yesterday after some torrential downpours.  He always looks thoroughly miserable in the rain and yet for some reason chooses to stand out in the open rather than finding shelter under a bush! Looking for sympathy I guess.


All the other ducks are quite happy; the Aylesburys love to get out into the field and forage for worms I suspect, the Muscovy ducklings are young and carefree and Puff and Biggles are warm and dry on their shared nest.

puff and Biggles

Some regular visitors to the back door mat are Brenda and her chicks, either looking for shelter or a quick snack of grain. They very often just sit on the step and have a preen and maybe forty winks. The chicks are seven weeks old now and Brenda usually abandons her offspring around about 5 weeks. Perhaps she particularly likes their company of this threesome, or maybe she’d rather share the polytunnel coop with them rather than go back up her tree! Unfortunately, when they do visit, they have no regard for other residents who are trying to get to their lunch!!!

Let me in!

Here’s something that made me smile the other day. This is a shot of the recently refurbished bird dwelling in the old church. You can see some of our mixed bunch of chicks on the left and the wee ducklings (only 3 now) under the lamp on the right…


Now look more closely in the nesting box on the ‘mezzanine’ level – it’s certainly no Silkie!

no silkie

This is Hamie’s latest favourite spot and she actually spent the night in there earlier in the week. We knew nothing about it until Kevin went to open the church door the following morning! Of course it’s the perfect place for a girl; no other cats to bother her, nice and cosy and a window to watch the world through. We are however checking that she doesn’t get to stay in there overnight again, just in case she fancies a midnight snack!

One good thing about the showery weather is that once I’ve taken advantage of the sunny spells to get any outdoor tasks completed (which doesn’t mean that I always manage to stay dry I have to say – soaked right through to my underwear yesterday whilst cleaning ducks out!), then I can sometimes manage a couple of hours in the conservatory, painting. Recently I completed a portrait of two cats, Melody and Harmony, for a guest from Australia who stayed with us earlier in the season. I used colour pencils and it was probably my biggest challenge so far as they are seriously multi-coloured moggies!

Melody and Hamony

Now I am revisiting a canine subject who some of you might recognise – not yet perhaps! His original portrait got lost somewhere between the Old World and the New so I just HAVE to capture his wise old face once more!

Big Dog


Is there such a thing as a multi-tasking blog?

June 26, 2013

Multi-purpose perhaps? Multi-‘story’? Either way, I’m catching up on several topics in this blog, so perhaps you’d better make a cup of tea! First of all, we had a happy event at the weekend when six of our Aylesbury ducklings hatched. “Hey girls, someone’s moved into our cage!”

That's our cage!

We’re keeping a close eye on them in the kitchen for a few days, just to check that there are no slow-developing Aylesbury/Muscovy crosses this time. So far they all look great and are very active and inquisitive. They even thought that Kevin’s running shoes were something worth exploring. Brave wee souls!


Now that the incubator is free, we’re about to attempt to hatch some hen’s eggs once more. We don’t have many to spare as we need most of our eggs for guests’ breakfasts of course, but we can spare a dozen and also, during our search for a new cockerel, we’ve managed to come across someone who has Silkie eggs here on Skye! Fingers crossed! Speaking of our new cockerel, Big Fella, he’s recently discovered the front garden and seems to have appointed himself as front-of-house, meeting and greeting guests on occasion and also bidding a fond farewell if he’s available! “Are you sure those bikes are secure?”


Moving from fauna to flora, an increase in temperature accompanied by some very ‘useful’ rain on occasion, the vegetable plot is making up for lost time. Virtually 22 hours of daylight certainly helps and I’ll swear we can almost SEE things growing!

brassicas and beans


Of course all blossom and flowers in general are late this year, but well worth the wait. The rhododendrons are glorious, with quite a few of the illusive bee population visiting…

Busy bee

busy bee 2

After having no blossom at all last year, our Laburnum is positively dripping with flowers. However, there’s a big problem with the tree. Can you see how this bough is interfering with the telephone cable?


And how the tree trunk has split?

split trunk

Unfortunately, three more of the boughs are over-hanging the road and are going to have to come off for safety’s sake. When our family visited back in May, Matt and Kevin managed to insert a sturdy post under the ‘telephone cable’ bough, so hopefully it will prevent the need to take it off. Of course we’ll wait for the long-awaited blossom to fade before taking a saw to the poor thing.

Finally, on the indoor front, some of that useful rain which I mentioned earlier has given me some opportunities to work on my animal portraits. Pusscat was a lovely subject with his beautiful colours and gentle expression…


I drew him with colour pencil on pastel paper.  Secondly, I’ve had my first commission! Lalo is his name, a very wistful-looking border collie – very hairy too! I painted him in pen and ink/watercolour.



Equally exciting – for me at least – is that I’m currently working on my second commission! Two cats this time for lady in Australia who came to stay with us, along with her mum, earlier in the season. The portrait’s a secret yet though until my Australian guest has seen the end result! (If you would like to see other portraits which I’ve done, I’ve just added a wee gallery along with my other pages on the side-bar.)


A couple of oddities

May 7, 2013


Pusscat definitely has the wrong name and I’ve been meaning to tell you for a while. I think that ‘Ten-to’ would be more appropriate. What do you think?


He certainly looks neat when he’s sitting but his feet remain at ten-to-two when he walks! Kinda like Charlie Chaplin.

As for oddity number two, we seem to have a duckling discrepancy! Spot the odd one out. All four hatched at the same time and all four came from Aylesbury eggs but three of them are growing much faster than the fourth. At first we thought it was just a sickly wee thing, although it’s happy to run around with the others – even though it tires more quickly – and eats and drinks plenty. Then Kevin came up with a good point: has Huff, the Muscovy, seduced Lucky or Chance? It’s not just that the duckling is small, but its whole posture is different. Like a Muscovy duckling in fact!

Spot the odd one out

MacRae’s the regular Don Juan around here but has Huff taken a leaf out of his book? We haven’t notice any covert couplings but he is more of the strong silent type!

Cats don’t need cushions!

April 18, 2013

Since Pusscat came to join us a few weeks ago, there has been some minor re-shuffling of who sits where. To be fair, the old fella’s been quite obliging and soon learned the seating arrangements of the established feline residents. When we claim our own preferred seats of an evening, the cats take up theirs; Hamie on Kevin’s lap and Patches on the rug in front of ‘The Beast’.

Kevin’s lap was hastily abandoned when Pusscat decided to occupy the empty space between us, Hamie moving into a fireside chair instead from where she could direct some serious black looks! (Thinking about it, I guess she can’t really give any other colour of look!) but last night, after much deliberation, she finally succumbed to her favourite spot…

Hamie returns

You may notice in the background that Patches is having problems all of her own! ‘The Beast’ is not in use now that spring has arrived (!), so the rug doesn’t have quite the same appeal. She’s now decided to take up residence on the other chair but just can’t seem to get comfortable!

“What’s this thing taking up valuable relaxing space?”…

No space

“Don’t you realise that I’m not a kitten ANY MORE? A girl needs room to manoeuver!”


“Oh well, I suppose this will just have to do! Cushions, who needs ’em!”

O.K. Patches, we get the message!

A new addition and an unfortunate subtraction

April 4, 2013

So, would you like the good news first? O.K. We have a new addition here at Garybuie although strictly speaking, it’s an old, new addition! Meet Pusscat, he’s 16…


Pusscat 2

This is one camera-shy cat! I spotted his picture in the pet shop window a couple of weeks ago. He is a country cat and his owner is moving south to a city so was looking for a new home for him here on Skye. Well, what could we do? I phoned the attached number and there hadn’t been any interest in the poor guy, understandably at such an age. The thought of him ending up in a cage at the Cats Protection League for his remaining years plucked the old heart-strings good and proper I can tell you. So here he is! The first couple of days he just followed us around like a lost soul, growling at Hamie and Patches. (“Did it look like I cared?” said Hamie) But now he’s fitting in just fine. He’s found his own favourite spots for a snooze and enjoys attention at any time of day. He’s even been running around the garden and climbing trees – part way up at least! Hopefully he’ll enjoy his last few years at Garybuie. So far Patches carries on in her own sweet way and of course Hamie just glares at him, but hey, that’s Hamie!

IncubatorNow for the bad news. We’ve lost every one of our first batch of hens’ eggs in the incubator; 20 in all. All were fertile on day 7 but on checking them on day 17, none of them had developed any further. I think it was partly my fault. The incubator is placed in our dining room, a room which has the least fluctuations in temperature – usually. Last season, our eggs seemed to have hatched a wee bit early so this time around, I thought I’d decrease the internal temperature of the incubator slightly. Unfortunately, it’s unseasonably cold at the moment, probably the coldest it’s ever been for any of our previous incubation efforts. There’s no heating in the dining room overnight and I think that the combination of me lowering the incubator’s temperature, coupled with the wildly fluctuating ambient temperature in the room was unsuitable for the developing embryos. Hmmmph.

But, we must move on. Duck eggs this time and I’ve put the incubator’s temperature back to what it was! Also, as the nights are still so cold, we’ve been putting a small, portable radiator in the room overnight, in the hope of providing some sort of environmental stability. Day 3 today, I’ll let you know how they’re doing on day 7. Fingers crossed.


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