Going Through Changes …

Christmas and the eve of New Years Eve has given me some time for reflection, the changes life has brought in 2018 and the changes which lie ahead for 2019.
And Christmas is a quiet affair this time, just doesn’t feel like Christmas to be honest. The absence of my dear Father is probably greater than ever.
Boxing Day Morning, took a phone call from one of our closest friends, who sadly broke the news to me of another old friend who passed away on Christmas Eve, he was just 46 years old, could have knocked me over with a feather and my thoughts are with his family.
2018, I will not be sorry to see you go, though yet I hang onto you, for you are the last time I spoke to Dad.

And there have been other big changes too!
When I hit half a century in August, it was also the start of another new era…
I now have a new camera (Hope you are sitting down), am now shooting with an Olympus! (For those interested – OM-D E-M1 Mark II)

No, I did not think that I would be saying that either, but there you go.
To cut a long story short, I haven’t totally said goodbye to Nikon, have still got one body & lenses, but the D5 & the D800 have gone to new homes.
I was in two minds about all this, but am absolutely loving using The Olympus (McOly), once I got my head around the menu system (Still doing that ha ha), it is a breath of fresh air and a joy to use and you may not realise, but you’ve been looking at Olympus images for the last couple of months now.
I scoffed when my Camera Dealer was prepared to bet me that I would leave Nikon within 6 months, he wasn’t far wrong and am looking forward to shooting more with it.
I will then see what happens when Olympus upgrade & Nikon release the Z8!

Nature has changed this year at Tulloch too, Curlews were drastically down in numbers this time and there are less Deer this season, as yet not the usual amount of visitors round Tulloch Garden, hopefully we will see some once proper winter arrives, just so mild the now.
We are usually so lucky to have thousands of Geese flying over, now they’ve been flying south of Kindrogan summit, with only the odd skein passing over us.
Fieldfares arrived early, then them too absent again.
One solitary Brambling feeding here for 10 days now and one Siskin, who, is a few weeks early.
Pleased to report that some healthy looking Greenfinch have reappeared, though some Chaffinch now seem to be carrying a similar illness to Trichomonosis and here is some  Info from BTO
Christmas Day afternoon, about dusk, feeding & bedding up the Tulloch Menagerie , when a Woodcock flew low over the house & paddock, fantastic!

I will leave it here for now, with a song choice to match and I wish for better changes for us all in 2019, walk your life & make it count.
I’ll be seeing you next year – Karen – x

Kelly & Ozzy Osbourne – Changes

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The Dunnock & The Holly

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Sunrise

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Floods

 

Half a year gone ….

And you are gone.

Over half way through June.
The year is going by far too quickly.

We have two lots of House Martins nesting, on a night in bed you can hear them chattering, tis lovely.
Swallows diving in and out of the stable, but nae as many as last season.

It has been hot, can you believe way too hot, then Thursday Storm Hector paid us a wee visit and yesterday was torrential downpour, the yard was about flooded!

And we now have a Pony living at Tulloch! Two mugs broken and a Garden Parasol demolished this last week! And as I’m sat typing this, Alistair reckons he’s messed up the Sky dish too!
He is a proper Thelwell character!
Am hoping that all the animals will get on together (Eventually)

I can’t say I’ve had time to enjoy this Spring. Work is nonstop and that is why I have now blocked off Airbnb and am taking no more bookings. Still too soon to say if I am finishing it forever, but certainly come August I am done for now.
Exhausted and really struggling to cope, never mind not getting any Photography done and I need to be and WANT to be.
And The Wee Scottish Gallery is coming into its own, yet lots more to do there too.
Just work, work, work, hence behind on this journal too, it HAS to change.
On a positive note, oh boy, the sleep, the Gravity Blanket is awesome!

And talking of Photography, am (Can you believe), looking at trying something other than Nikon!
I think I have decided to trade in one of the McNikons!!
More on that if/when etc

Mum came up for flying visit this weekend, waved her off again this morning, far too short.
But, your ashes are now with me Father and I do so hope that you can hear me talking to you.

I want to wish you Happy Fathers Day Dad and to tell you that I miss you every day, as does Mum.

There is a huge void in our life’s, which try as we might, it will never be filled.

Life is changing again but more on that on a future post.
Just want to talk to you again
Karen x

Frogs in the Snow …

Up 5.30ish and morning coffee was greeted with fresh snowfall and… I cocked my head to listen again, yes there it was, a Frog calling from the garden pond. Had seen spawn on the pond in the forest yesterday. Last couple of sleepless months must be catching up with me, as took myself back off to bed for an hour.
Back up and was soon faced with the tame sheep stuck in the poultry coop.

Early yesterday evening, McDuck left the coop for a stretch and feed, so that was the opportunity to get it cleaned out etc (I will not have disturbed) and awww, you should see her wee downy nest, am very optimistic and reckon she will be a good mother (Can’t believe thought she was a he and gay), anyhoo, tried discussing things with Alistair, that we need to be organised, nursery, feed etc and he said dinnae be counting the Ducks before they’ve hatched, as he doesn’t think there will be any! As said, I am optimistic!

Aromatherapy oils and bracelet arrived today. I began with wearing ‘inner peace’.

Inner Peace was short lived when I saw the Chucks had decided to wander out up the glen again!! Will be putting wire on the gates ASAP!!!

Spanish in the hoose tonight, apparently St Andrew’s was very cold today.
New stock for gallery due any minute, then tea, am famished!

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Songbird Survival Trust …

The snow has lost its fluffiness and is now hard & crunchy. Up to 4c this morning, was positively mafting. I would say a third of it had thawed by the end of this afternoon.

Father was a member of the Songbird Survival Trust, I telephoned them the other day to ask if it was possible for his membership to be transferred to me, this they very kindly sorted out and my membership card & pack arrived today, take a look at their site … https://www.songbird-survival.org.uk

Bruce the Cockerel was nae letting me in the coop to feed them this morning, so just managed to throw a handful in and told him that he would have to man up and step outside if he wanted more feed! 48hrs since they’ve left that coop!
Sure enough, 5min later out he stepped, reckon it was for a minute at the most.

Probably listened to every version of the lake isle of innisfree today, still no decision on favourite version.

Got guest room ready for tonights guests, which was a miracle, as I am having to keep check to see which day it is on a morning, am totally out of sync & am running a day behind! Poor nights sleep again, so felt totally crap when getting up, a sob broke out, but only for a minute, chest aches still and couldn’t manage anymore, but maybe I don’t want to? Maybe that would mean accepting things?? Told Dad I just want him back.
Folk ask how I’m doing, I reply with.. okay, but am not. But reckon folk could be going through their own stuff I am not aware of, also, whilst I’m living this nightmare and am alone with thoughts, I realise that it is one we all have to live through at some point in our lives, just different versions, different coping mechanisms etc. Those who have lived through it, will know it’s the worst, those who haven’t, will be like me a few weeks ago, not even be able to comprehend what a wrench it is, nor will you ever be ready for it when it does come.

 

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Chaffinch at the Gate

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Long-tailed tit

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Blackbird

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Starling

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Siskin, Chaffinch & Goldfinch

 

Snow Day …

Last night downloaded a sleep app, which was to record snoring. Mine apparently!!  Think Alistair is exaggerating slightly and seems I’m only managing a couple of hrs per night too, do not believe I am snoring and I think he is hearing Barclay (Or himself)!
Though, I must have eventually fallen asleep, as was so late up and WHOAH, opened the curtains to the most magical morning, not just a blanket of snow, was a great big deep fluffy shag-pile carpet of the wonderful stuff.

Was so keen to get outside, I very nearly forgot to make me morning coffee!!
It was the PERFECT morning and it was time to get the McNikon out.

Late morning, it was time to say goodbye to Stan & Caroline who have been staying with us for the last 3 days. Yet again, we have been blessed, it was a pleasure to host for them and I hope we see them again some day.

On the phone to old friend, when I looked out and saw two people & a dog in the garden. I was a wee bit snarly, apparently they wanted coffee and then I got a wee bit flustered too, but got myself pulled together, apologised etc and the chat in the Gallery with them was good, it actually did me some good.
(NEED to get the Gallery doors open again soon)!

The Chickens were very reluctant to step out of their coop today, only Bruce & Fanny ventured out for a few minutes this afternoon, they were soon back inside mind.
The Ducks actually behaved today.
More Siskins appeared at the Feeders today, reminds me, our guests got a cracking photo of our resident Buzzard.
Majority of the day was spent outdoors.
Hoping sleep will come tonight and that there is more snow on the morro.
Today has been a better day.

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Great Spotted Woodpecker …

Over the last few weeks, I have been watching the comings & goings of Woodpeckers to the feeders.
Definitely 2 different lots nesting, perhaps even 3!

Anyhoo, this mornings coffee rewarded me with such a treat.
Hearing a sound, I follow it and see we have a juvenile in the garden.
He hopped onto the birdbath, called out for feeding (He best make on, as the parents only feed them for approx a week after fledging) and then he decided to take a wee bath, before popping up a tree.
A true delight to watch!

Down in Yorkshire, in my parents garden, they too have had W,oodpeckers visiting the garden, but they raided the nearby nesting boxes and mum & dad witnessed the new hatched young been pulled out by Woody.
They are known for doing this and will raid boxes for eggs too, all to feed.
You can get metal rings for your nest box entrance holes and its a good idea to do so, will help stop Woody taking other chicks!

Will be keeping a look out to see if more juveniles appear
– Karen – x

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Watching & Waiting

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Breakfast Time

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Having a Drink

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Red Top

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Having a wee bath & joined by a Siskin

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Away up a Tree

 

A Lump in my Throat…

With this new February Snow, am keeping an eye open for new Birds etc and am pleased to report that the Yellow Hammer has made an appearance for the first time at Tulloch this morning and that we have two Tree Creepers in the garden.

I have also been watching our Wee Buck on a daily basis.
Other Fallow have now appeared in the field to find food, so was interested to see how our Wee Buck would react to his fellow Deer.
This morning has seen a fresh Stag appear, very grand he is.
After hanging around grazing all morning, the fresh Stag has led the way to find shelter for this afternoon, watching them all jump the fence one by one, there was one hind, a younger Stag and our Wee Buck left, as I type, it looks like the hind and younger Stag are trying to encourage our Wee Buck to jump the fence also and I can’t but help feel a wee lump in me throat, is today the day he leaves us to join the herd???
– Karen – x

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Our Wee Buck

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Another Stag we saw, notice his Antlers!