So here we are, it is December on Mull – already. This year has gone so quickly, and we are beginning to look towards the shortest day, and the turn of the year.
Today has been beautifully sunny and warm! A drive into Tobermory this morning rewarded me with a quiet moment at the side of the Mishnish lochs, watching a heron, and looking for the three swans I had seen the last time I drove past.
The farming year is starting again – the tups are out with the ewes and won’t be separated until after New Year. The cows are still out in the fields, but the bull has come indoors now to straw under his feet, shelter over his head and delicious ration in his belly! We get our straw from a friend’s farm over in Angus, and it arrived on Friday.
Having the empty lorry here gave us a chance to get rid of this years wool bags too. Space in the cattle shed becomes tight when all 140 ewe hoggs are indoors learning how to ‘feed’ so it was good to get the wool bags out of the way. It sounds funny but sheep dont naturally eat hay or the cereal mix/nuts that we give them, so the ewe hoggs (this years ewe lambs) come into the building to learn to feed. This means, later on in their life, if they are ever ill, we can bring them in and know that they will eat properly! Also, very occasionally, in a very cold winter, if the ground is covered in snow, you know they will eat the cereals or hay we put out for them.
Sunsets in December on Mull can be every bit as beautiful as the sunsets in the summer. We watch them move around our landscape as the days get shorter – mid summer the sun sets over Coll, mid winter the sun sets over the Treshnish Isles. This hooded crow was calling to its mates across the lochan outside Duill Cottage. As I type I can hear an owl tw-witting outside the office window in the dark.