Posts Tagged ‘weather’

No staying power

February 4, 2019

That would be Thelma. To be fair, she was a wee bit of a fidgety-britches on the nest and, as was semi-expected, she’s abandoned the eggs. Curiously though, she’s still staying with the other girls but next to them, rather than in the nest-box.

 

Maybe she just fancies being an auntie this time around, instead of the whole mother thing. If so, she’ll certainly provide a valued extra pair of eyes when the chicks hatch. We had a big problem with theft-by-crow last year.

While the snow has been around, she’s had Wee man to cuddle up to in the straw. He really dislikes walking on the snow (never used to bother him) so refuses to come out in a morning! Wuss! Anyway, most of the snow has gone now, washed away by the rain, so it’s just Thelma and the girls once more.

You can just about see Garybuie in this shot, at the end of the fence-line, between the trees.

Never before…

January 26, 2019

…have we had three Silkies sitting in a row!

 

 

BB, Thelma and Louise all appear to have gone broody at the same time, although Thelma is a wee bit fidgety, so only time will tell! We don’t usually allow the girls to settle so early, just in case the weather turns inclement. But this year we have some exciting travel plans in October, so we need all hatching and dispatching completed before then, returning to minimum bird numbers for our ‘chicken sitters’! There’s more than enough room in the Silkies’ home for the new families if it does turn cold. As usual, we’ve exchanged their wee eggs for regular sized hens’ eggs, so assuming that Denis is doing his job, we’ll have some good sized meat birds for the freezer.

As I’ve been neglectful of Garybuie’s blog, it’s been AGES since I shared ‘The View’. Well, the other day I was out for a walk in the glen and on returning home, there was a weird kind of light over the ridge. Like a very diffused spotlight.

Kind of eerie don’t you think?

Watery matters

January 26, 2016

What with rain, rain and yet more rain – both the vertical and horizontal varieties – there not much of The View to see! So, I let Puff provide a little interest in today’s shot.

Puff

There’s really not much to report at the moment. We’re down to just our permanent residents in the garden, so outdoor chores are down to a minimum. Of course this reduction in numbers does mean that we have a couple of well-stocked freezers!
It’s the time of year when we head south to visit family but no WWOOFERs this time, just our trusty neighbour, Gerlinde, and for the first time, morning duties will be carried out by a young neighbour, Elliot, on his way to school.

So, before we head off, I thought I’d show you how the VERY slow progression of our bathroom transformation is going!

bathroom

I’ve got everything crossed here in the hope of the plumber returning within the next couple of days! After the joiner completed his work last week, we still need the shower, towel rail and sink fitting.

At the moment, we have a Wash-Stand minus the all important wash part!

bathroom

The First Post of 2016

January 5, 2016

‘The View’ – plus two ducks!

Puff and Biggles and view

We’ve had a few welcome dry days and it feels like we’re walking on terra firma once more! No wind today either so feeling less raw. Constant wet weather has meant that collection of fallen leaves is much delayed this winter as they’re all stuck like glue to each other/the ground. Consequently, all of our pavde paths looked like this today…

leaves

…so it seemed like a good opportunity for a major belated sweep-up!

If there’s one thing I hate it’s food fads. There’s always something new that we should or shouldn’t eat and believe me, we encounter quite a few of them during the BandB season! Today however, I finally came across an article on ‘Yahoo Lifestyle’ which bodes well for our 2016 season:

P1020718 “LIFESTYLE”
Forget Broccoli – The Superfood Of 2016 Is Fry-Up Favourite BLACK PUDDING – by Andy Wells 05 January 2016…

‘One thing you wouldn’t expect when compiling your superfood diet now that January is here would be something you’d find on a fried breakfast.
However, this year you can include black pudding to your new year shopping list as experts reckon it is about to be extremely popular in 2016.
The divisive breakfast staple – traditionally made using pig blood and oatmeal – is actually full of protein, calcium and potassium.
It also enjoys the benefit of being nearly carb free and packed full of anaemia-preventing iron – something lacking in modern diets.
The addition of black pudding to the superfood list will be something of a shock to most, and Darren Beale from MuscleFood.com is just as surprised.
He said: “Some of the foods have been on the up for a while like avocado oil and maca root, but others like mushrooms and black pudding have been a total surprise to us.
“It’s great to have this new research available to find out the hidden qualities in food and we can’t wait to see how these new trends take off.”
The black pudding surge has already begun in earnest, with one Scottish butchers, famed for their blood sausages, already seeing sales soar.
Shona Macleod, managing director of Charles Macleod Butchers in Stornoway, told MailOnline: “The shop has just opened again.
“I opened the mail orders and we had about 40 black pudding mail orders to go out today.
“That’s is a lot for the first day open in January.”
Other superfoods set to be huge this year include seaweed, black beans and birch water.’

Birch water?!!

We always offer Stornoway Black Pudding – it’s delicious – but many times it evokes a wrinkling of the nose, so who knows, now that it’s firmly on the food fad list, we might not be able to keep up with demand! N.B. to all potential Garybuie guests, do NOT expect birch water – or maca root for that matter!

Sunset

The first frost

December 13, 2015

Finally we have a break in the wet and windy weather. We’ve had our first minus figures – albeit SMALL minus figures – these past couple of days and what a difference it makes. The ground has firmed up with a fairly hard frost and it’s much easier getting around the place; much nicer than slithering around in mud.
Polly Blue-tail and Mrs Under-by decided that a higher perch was the best way to prevent frosty feet!

musco-teers

“Hey Big Fella, what’s up with this water then?”

Big Fella

One thing’s for sure, everyone is keen to make the most of a high-energy snack of mealworms.

mealworm feast

Back in from the cold, the bathroom project is seemingly heading from bad to worse. There is however, a plumber on the near horizon! A joiner on the other hand is apparently an even rarer breed but never mind, I guess that half a bathroom will be better than none!

bathroom

Still here!

July 2, 2015

Dinner guests Good grief! It’s AGES since I posted on Garybuie’s blog but worry ye not (on the off chance that you were!), we’re still here, just busy, busy with guests, gardens, birds and dinners! Skye is heaving with visitors so we are full every night and many of our guests have been taking us up on the offer of dinner.
Besides spending more time in the kitchen, outdoor tasks are also at their peak. The weather is awful; damp and dreary, cold too until the last few days. We may have reached mid-summer but it sure doesn’t feel like it. Of course our daylight hours are abundant and Pusscat seemingly disapproves, trying his best to seek SOME darkness to facilitate his naps. At least I have an eye mask to help!

Pusscat

Anyway, as it’s been so long, I decided that a pictorial ‘catch-up’ would be easier, so here goes!

The quail are OUT!

Quail

quail

quail

Aunts Puff and Biggles took over ‘child-minding’ duties of Polly Blue-tail’s offspring…

Puff, Biggles, ducklings

…whereas Mrs Under-by’s three remaining ducklings have been learning all about adult conversation…

muscovies

…and are seemingly unimpressed by it!

muscovies

Broody Brenda decided to sit…

Brenda

…and the Plymouth Rock decided to join her!

Brenda

Brenda appeared with the first three chicks of the joint hatch…

Brenda

…followed a couple of days later by the Plymouth rock and seven more. They’re still all sharing the same coop.

Plymouth Rock

Feeding time is certainly more chaotic with such a motley crew.

Feeding time

And as for the Guinea Fowl, after having most of their eggs stolen by our local, dastardly crow, they have finally made a nest out of his sight – which they’re all sharing – and we’re now getting a great supply of eggs! They do enjoy our rare days of sunshine taking a bath…

Guinea Fowl

…or squawking up a tree!

Guinea Fowl

As a culinary conclusion, we’ve enjoyed our first quail and have sold our first eggs!

Roasted quail

Quail – part deux!

April 13, 2015

Our second batch of quail eggs seemingly got lost in the post so the supplier sent replacements which arrived today. I’m just ‘revving’ up the incubator for “Quail-Part Deux!”

quial eggs

Our first batch of birds are two-weeks-old today and continue to be entertaining! For the past few days they’ve been practising their jumping technique; this is a skill used in the wild as a means of escape when surprised by a predator. They can get a good distance off the ground using their in-built springs; about two and a half feet in fact, which is quite startling to observe. The comical thing is, that when one of them performs such a feat of athleticism, after landing, the athlete poses, legs apart, head and chest forward, just as though he’s waiting for onlookers to award him points out of ten!

There’s also other incubation going on around the place. Mrs Under-by, one of the musco-teers, has set up camp in the ‘over-by’ coop in the lower nesting box.

Mrs Under-by

The thing is, the over-by coop is actually the home of the guinea fowl! I suppose that at least this time she’s IN the coop rather than UNDER it!!
There is other seemingly serious nesting going on too. The ‘box-within-a-box’ which we always provide for Broody Brenda has been adopted by Louise, the silkie. Brenda meanwhile, has made a lovely nest behind the box, within the main body of the coop! I don’t know, but maybe there’s all this sudden nesting just so that the birds can get out of the weather! We seem to get a couple of good days, then we’re bombarded by strong winds and hailstones! Maybe you can see the next squall brewing at the bottom of the glen; at least when we see such a sight, we can head for cover in plenty of time!

Rain coming!

Seasonal weather and greetings!

December 23, 2014

Obviously, Mother Nature has heard that variety is the spice of life. She’s certainly gifted us with her whole catalogue of winter weather over the past couple of weeks; light rain, heavy rain, rain with and without gale force wind, calm frosty days, crystal clear days, mild and murky days, snow, and ferocious hailstone. Some days we can see the Ridge…

The Ridge

…and some days we can’t.

The view

All of the animals deal with whatever Mother Nature throws at them, each in their own way.

There are pools for bathing.

Chance

Perches to reach with your newly grown primary feathers.

Mrs Under-by

There is grassland to forage. (And running to be done if you’re Kevin. Obviously the Guinea has spotted him in the distance!)

Guinea gang

Or one can get up close and personal in the hope of a wee treat!

guinea gang

The hens don’t like to get wet, so spend a lot of their time in the Winter Spa They also tend to be ushered to bed as soon as decently possible by Big ‘Don’t even think about wetting MY feathers’ Fella!

Big Fella

There are one or two hens however, who seem to feel that a good downpour enhances one’s hair-do!

Thelma

Of course, both cats choose to spend the bulk of their time indoors. Needless to say, Patches does it with style!!

Patches

So finally, whatever your weather, I would like to take this opportunity to wish you and yours a very happy Christmas!

Open for business

April 2, 2014

THE VIEW

the view

We are now officially open for business and the weather at the moment is certainly very holiday-like! No guests yet though but our first booking is on Saturday. It’s unusual to get people just turning up on the doorstep at this time of year. But we’re ready if anyone does! I can’t wait to serve breakfast in the new conservatory…

conservatory

I have to confess that I’ve developed a bit of an obsession with the windows! Everything is so shiny and new that I can’t abide a blemish! I’m not a lover of cleaning windows but last week I gave them all a good wash ‘n’ polish and then can you believe it, an over-night shower deposited Saharan sand all over them!!! Winds are coming from the south-east currently, picking up sand on their way. As long as the winds don’t become gale force as I certainly don’t want any accompanying camels! Anyway, they are all shiny once more, so clean rain only please Mother Nature!

Because the weather has been so lovely, we had our first we trip out on the bike this year on Sunday. I’m surprised that there’s actually anything left of the machine after all Kevin’s over-wintering polishing! Anyway, we travelled around the north end of the island, a lovely circular route. Although it was sunny, it was quite hazy. A day for nature’s muted palette. This is Duntulm at the northerly point of Skye…

Duntulm

We didn’t see any visitors but we did encounter an unusual pedestrian!

highlander

Other good weather news is that after recovering the polytunnel, I finally got around to getting it ship-shape for spring. No more Chicken-Spa, much to their annoyance!

polytunnel

Spuds are chitting, there are lettuce and brassica seedlings coming on nicely and some garlic on the go.

polytunnel

And yet more spring news: after assistance throughout her ‘confinement’ BB the Silkie is currently hatching her eggs! Hopefully, I shall have some cute pictures for you tomorrow! Also, it’s with a huge sigh of relief to report that Hamie is now much better. She’s not back to her tree-climbing self yet but she’s eating well and breathing easier. Fingers crossed.

hamie

Some soggy scenery

February 20, 2014

THE VIEW this morning – well, what can I say?

The View

After 2 inches of rain overnight, we awoke to some very soggy scenery this morning.

flooding

Aquatic vegetables and the field beyond…

flooding

flooding

You can just see the ducks out in the field in the distance. They were loving it!

flooding

Honestly, you wouldn’t believe it but it is now 5p.m.ish and I’m looking through the window at the veggie plots. There is not even the smallest puddle and the sky is blue with fluffy, innocent- looking clouds!

And now for something a little less saturated! I finished my challenge, ‘On reflection’ inspired by the Society for All Artists’ magazine (SAA). It’s called ‘Keys and Curly Tails’

Keys and Curly Tails

I used Conte and coloured pencils. The Conte pencils were particularly good for blending on the piggy bottoms. I really enjoyed doing it and it certainly was a challenge. I like the contrast of the softly reflected light on the burnished brass bottoms, with the sharp reflections on the keys. I returned to my more usual subject matter though with this portrait of our very handsom Big Fella! I’ve used coloured pencils on pastel paper.

Big Fella

Still using the same medium, I’m currently working on a particularly striking feline who lives, you’ve guessed it, out there on the Farmy in Illinois!

On the Look-Out


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