What we do at Treshnish in the winter
People often ask what we do at Treshnish in the winter, and it is difficult to answer. Outwardly on the face of it island life can appear to slow down in the winter, there is less traffic on the road, but behind the scenes life feels just as busy. Trying to cram all the chores in to a shorter number of daylight hours!
On the farm – feeding
On the farm Somerset is in the winter feeding routine now. We have last year’s ewe lambs, the hoggs, in the farm building. He pours sheep nuts into the troughs and as they are tucking in to them, he refills the hay ricks. A munching calm comes over the building as they all concentrate on eating! Once the indoor animals are fed, Somerset loads bags of nuts onto the quad and heads out to Haunn.
At the moment the Cheviots are in the field beyond Haunn, what a view!
The tups (rams) are in the field above the farm building and the Herdwicks roam between the field below the house, and the field beside the house. In the morning they gravitate up to the gate beside the Shepherd’s Hut so they can wait for the sound of the quad bike starting up!
On the hill the ewes have supplementary feed blocks which he takes out to key (accessible by quad bike) places.
There is always maintenance to do in the cottages. Painting and repairing little things in each cottage. We are upgrading some of the windows in Middle and East this winter. The old windows will go to a new home down on the Ross of Mull, to be built into a shed. It is always good to find solutions other than sending things than landfill.
We have landscaping to do around the Shepherd’s Hut, some fencing and creating a more private space for the outdoor bath.
Once the working day is over, the fire is lit.
If the sky is clear I will always check to see whether there is any Aurora activity. There has been more activity this winter so far than in the last few years. We don’t always catch it here – it might be cloudy or the activity might not be strong enough to be seen here. When I say ‘seen’ I mean caught on camera. It is extremely rare to see thet colours picked up by camera with the naked eye.
I enjoy the photography challenge of capturing what I can, even it is ‘only’ a diffuse Aurora like this one, below. I couldn’t see the colour in the night sky, only the stars and a wonderful Milky Way.
Have a look at our farm blog for more posts on what we do at Treshnish in the winter.
Time for walks
It has been one of the wettest winters we have had since moving here in 1994. So we try and make the most of the better days, by getting out for a walk when the sun shines. Yesterday was beautiful and so we headed onto Ben Duill from Haunn, and took a flask of tea with us. We saw Snipe, lots of Red deer and as we were drinking our tea, admiring the view of Ben More in the snow, we had a trio of Golden eagles circling above our heads. Magic!