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

 

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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McDuck in a Bucket …

16th March – Day began with the so called Beast from the East pt2, basically, blowing snow.
Alistair would put the Poultry away to bed, much shouting and swearing, Bruce had attacked him. Yep, welcome to my world!

17th March – A grand Stag was walking round the garden tonight, just got the camera out and then… yep, the Poodle barked!!

18th March – A day of chores and spring cleaning.
Also, I tried Green Tea today, I won’t be rushing to try it again.

Monday 19th March –  -6c start.
Guests were away by 7am and it hadn’t even got to 8am and already the Poodle had had a Parsnip and a tub of moisturiser & Alistair,s Beanie!
It turned out to be the most beautiful morning, sunshine, blue skies, crispy snow. I heard a familiar sound, looked up to see approx 20 Curlew flying right over the house, pure magic.
And … McDuck & McQuack may not be gay after all, seems I found a Duck Egg in the coop this morning. Either that, or they’re crossing with the hens! I will be absolutely cockahoop if we get Ducklings. I texted Alistair with the joyous news. He did not reply, as he did not think it was so joyous.
Talking of the hens, we’ve had 2 eggs this last week. Spring is surely coming.
Resident Deer, Mistle Thrush & Wagtail all active this morning. Siskins have disappeared again.

20th March – Another -6c start, but sunny. Greeted with the fly over of Lapwing
Two unexpected things happened today, from two unexpected sources. One was a hug, the second was a delivery of flowers. Both lovely to receive and very much appreciated.
And HAPPY BIRTHDAY Dawn xx

Two Ponds, large bath & other Birdbath & drinkers and McDuck uses the Tame Sheeps water bucket. I despair!

Over Two Weeks …

 

It has been blowing a hooly these last 24hrs.

So now over two weeks have passed since Father’s Funeral.
I thought the hardest part was now behind.
I had thought wrong, so wrong.
As someone told me a few ago, getting up and dressed and putting one foot in front of the other was a good day.
How right they were!

Sleep still evades me, I am absolutely exhausted.

I reckon as Funerals go, Father got a right good send off.
I paid my respects to him the night before, could have spent so much longer with him, just talking away.
I rode in the Hearse with the other Pall Bearers, as I was to help carry Father, after all, he has carried me all my life, as we were piped in by Alan, it literally took every ounce of strength I had for me to do so.
It was a long day, yet I did find comfort in that day.
Just so sorry I did not get to chat to everyone.
And so sad, that I doubt very much that I will see some of these folk again.
Such is life I suppose.

Snowmageddon, stuck in Yorkshire, there would be no travelling back top narth.
But, a positive was getting to watch the Fieldfares.

Thursday 1st March went into dads den with his whippet, closed the door to the world, reclined his chair and wept.
Still snowbound.

Finally made it back to Scotland.
Saw Curlews on the way up ear the borders, but they’ve yet to arrive here at Tulloch.
7th March, about 30 Starlings in the garden

The Tulloch animals were been real delinquents today, mid afternoon you’d have seen me stood in yard giving them a right dressing down!

Making a sandwich, the Poodle has his nose as close as he could get, told him to ‘b****r off’, Alexa suddenly bursts into life and says “I’m sorry I’m not sure I can help you with that”

Monday 12th March, 4am and am wondering if I will ever get a proper nights sleep again.

Wee herd of Fallow appear round the garden late afternoons now.
Amazingly, Barclay has yet to see them!

Have had some wonderful guests staying, am blessed for them.

Also, (This is such a long shot here), but to the family from Zambia who called in The Wee Scottish Gallery yesterday, how wonderful to meet you, thank you for calling, your visit will stay with me.

(Click to play) My Anthem for life at present is … A 1000 Times 
“If I had your number, I’d call you tomorrow”

SO MUCH MORE I could/should write.

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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

 

Another Snowy Day …

Ach, another poor nights sleep and nae up til 8am again.
Was a cold and icy start and so wish Alistair would leave the paths alone, solid ice, was skating everywhere, but not of Winter Olympics standard!
It then became milder & crept back up to zero degrees by midday and then the snow came and came some more.

Pretty much a whiteout and it was a day for indoors and in front of the stove (According to the Poodle)

There were 2 Starlings feeding this am, two turned into 12 at midday and there were fourteen by 2pm. Nae seen any Longtailed tits today, but more Siskins at the feeders.

Alistair arrived home early and snow eased at 3pm. A wee Snowball fight pursued.

4pm, snow falling again, big fluffy flakes, the glen was all silent and still, apart from the odd bird and it was just one of those magical moments.

Ah, nearly forgot! St Valentines Day.
A basket of roses from Alistair arrived yesterday and I owe him at a future date.
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