Saturday, 28 April 2012

Blowing the trumpet for Perthshire

I don't have very much to say today but instead will let the photographs of rural Perthshire speak for themselves.
Loch of the Lowes, Dunkeld
Melting hail on birch and willow
Bridge and burn
Mist on the hill
Snow on the hills
Spring snow........ As a hot-blooded Highlander, I feel that my homeland is a place of stunning beauty but Perthshire is a jewel. All these hills, moors and lochs are owned by fewer people than I have fingers on one hand. They are desolate and unpopulated due to being kept for 'sport' for a select few. I invite you all to come and sit beside that little burn which feeds the River Braan, empty your mind of troubles, breathe in the fresh air, forget lairds and simply enjoy what Nature provided for all of us.

Friday, 20 April 2012

Earthquakes, Casey Jones and twins

Spring sprang, the lambing happened, the calving has begun. The sunshine came and went and even the snow came back. All in that order.

Easter seems ages ago but it was glorious.

We all went for a picnic on Easter Sunday, became a bit lost but discovered the Comrie Earthquake House

And just along from the Earthquake House, a miniature railway having a rare open day.

Over the bridge made from a crane jib

For a little while, farm work was forgotten, wellies left at home. We were all being Casey Jones, steamin' and a rollin'. We thundered through the woods on the Cannonball express.

We waved wildly to passing trains and their cheerful passengers...

It was a magical day out.

We returned home to a tangle of twins.

The lambing has not gone so well this year but we do have a few good healthy lambs. The weather had turned at the worst possible time and many of our neighbours have lamented heavy losses this year.

The calving has just begun and already there are one or two good calves. The cattle are indoors as it is easier to keep an eye on those due to calf or to move those who have calved into a quiet area. They need fed and checked several times a day and The Farmer is never a million miles away from the cattle courts just now.

There are a gazillion tiny chicks too - they just appear out of straw bales or overwintered machinery led by proud and noisy mothers. The entire farm seems very noisy just now, everywhere echoes to the sound of lowing, bleating, quacking or cackling. And the odd muttered swear when things go pear shaped for the humans.

We have had tick bites, a spider bite (me) and the usual Spring work injuries. The Farmer had the worst one when he overstretched to reach something and did not notice the handle of the wheelbarrow just lower than waist height which rapidly made contact with bits slightly lower than waist height.
Our young son was miffed as his Dad lay on the floor gasping. Son wanted to see the lambs and his Dad would not talk.
I took him to see the lambs while his Dad tried to feel vaguely human again and his speech or normal gait returned.

So injuries healed, nuclear strength insect repellant applied, things are ticking over, 'scuse pun.

Barley and oat sowing if it ever stops raining.

Bagsy I get to be Casey Jones in the tractor. Steamin' and a rollin'.

Sunday, 1 April 2012

How not to take photos of a collie.


Notoriously difficult to photograph.

She has a knack of wrecking a photo.

Here is her tail.

And here she is doing that 'lie flat as a pancake behind a potato sack' thing that collies do.

Or the 'merge into the shadow of the cow shed so we only see her tail' photo.

And 'dive out of shot before GentleOtter can click the thingy' pic.

Pie on the other hand is photogenic. He will sit looking like the saddest dog in the world because he is in the back seat while Grace is in the front seat having the worst dog photo taken.

Today, I managed to get a photograph of Grace's face. It has taken months and many, many bad photos.
So here she is....