A Game of Toads …

Don’t run over that random stone in the road!
Chances are, that in some areas over the last few weeks, it has been Bufo bufo aka The Common Toad AND more likely than not, the random stone, wasn’t one Toad, but Two!
The much smaller Male Toad, on top of the larger Female Toad.
And this is known as travelling in Amplexus.
Basically, it is mating time and they are en-route to their breeding ground.
You will even get Triple Amplexus, two males.
And on the odd occasion, the Female may well have picked herself up & kissed a Frog.

The breeding ground, can vary, Garden Pond, Lake, Woodland Pond, Roadside Ditch etc
If you see the surface bubbling away, then you may be lucky to see dozens of Toads underneath, in Amplexus and Spawning away.
You may hear them too, but for that fantastic sound, then nighttime is the best.
We have a few Amphibians in the garden here at Tulloch and you can here them at night, but, the best sound comes from the Forest Pond, on a still night, it is incredible to hear Bufo bufo echoing across The Glen.

Over this last month, we have seen many on our travels, I never tire of this time, Nature and Spring are waking up.
I will give them a helping hand across the road if I think they are in great danger.
Oh and remember to keep your Dogs away from them!
Sharing a few Toady images for you
– Karen – x

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Lurking Under The Surface

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Watching For His Mate

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Triple Amplexus and a Passer By

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Just Hanging Around

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Nearly At The Pond

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In Amplexus

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Watch Where You Step!

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At The Roadside

 

A Squirrel In The Chicken Coop…

A quiet Sunday and McTufty decided it was time for lunch, which meant time to visit Tulloch.
Because it was quiet, McTufty took a good look around, including going into the Chicken Coop!
McTufty fancied a change for lunch, so wanting a lazy Sunday, opted for ground feeding & Sunflower Hearts instead of Peanuts.
But, McTufty wasn’t the only one!
The Chickens had made the same plans.
A new and unusual friendship was soon formed…

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Venturing In …

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And Taking A Look Around

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Who’d live in a house like this?

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Lunch on the ground

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McTufty Keeping A Low Profile, Hoping The Chickens Wouldn’t Notice

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You’re A Funny Looking Chicken!

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Lets Lunch Together & Have a Wee Blether

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Time To Say Farewell for Today…

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…And With A Swish of the Tail, McTufty Was Gone

I Beg Your Pardon, I Never Promised You A Rose Garden …

Monday – Barclay was at his Spa Day today and returned pm looking & smelling lovely, shame it doesn’t last long.

Some nice visitors and a surprise visit from Scotland For All. Good chat and I await to see if TWSG warrants a mention with them.

Tuesday am, Windy and cool again. The gallery signs ended up staying down as they constantly blew down!
Straw & Hay just refused to be swept up this morning.

Was in a miserable mood this morning, which was no good for me or the animals and because it affects them, that made me more miserable.

Pet Lamb managed to seize the opportunity and get into the house, so him and Barclay ran amok and our Dutch guests continued to have breakfast and seemed oblivious to it all. I had warned them it was a mad house!

We had (Please note I said HAD), a lovely climbing Rose on the Kitchen wall. Pet Lamb had been having the odd nibble, but nothing too damaging, but, along came McKenzie and he decided he was partial to it as well. Thing was, his nibbles lot bigger than Pet Lambs! Then, today an eating competition of said Rose began between them, which resulted in McKenzie getting the very last flower from it!
We are now just left with bare wall & few twigs!

Lovely visit from a friend this afternoon, who spoilt me with a bouquet of stunning Peonies and some delicious local Strawberries. Felt very blessed.

Wednesday, I do believe Pet Lamb has gone off Parsnip!! Was doing Grocery Shop, so ordered him some Kale. McKenzie on the other hand, was very keen for Parsnip.

Thursday am, stepped out with Morning Coffee to destruction! Gates half knocked over, wooden stag planter was knocked over and beheaded and a chewed up wicker bird feeder (Sorry Dawn)

Sky engineer came this afternoon. Barclay went crazy! Pet Lamb chased him out of the paddock & McKenzie left a fresh pile of manure near his van, then Bruce decided to go for a full spur attack! This all happened within about 10min and I’m sure he thought he was visiting the Beverly Hillbillies or something!

The longest day, but I was in bed by 8pm.
Our recent guests had suggested I look into Mindfulness, they thought it would be beneficial for me.
I mentioned this in a Facebook post and got great support & advice about it.

Friday morning, woken by the Farmer and the Poodle!

The Poodle has found the pony muck and began to eat it!
The tame sheep was butting the doors wanting to be in the house. I gave him some kale to pacify him, he just came back for more!
Car wouldn’t start.
Everything was in absolute chaos.
I text Alistair two say about car and that I was so done in, then went to beat the hell out of some butter & sugar, which would result in a sunken Lemon cake!
Then, I heard a “Good Morning” echo through the hoose.
Alistair had actually driven back up to Tulloch to see to the car and see that I was okay.
Now love shows itself in many forms and this was one of those forms.
Was cross with Alistair for making the journey, but yet was so happy to see him.
I was stood in what looked like a bomb site, whilst emptying Kitchen Bin, bag had split over the floor, baking ingredients everywhere, I spilt me coffee and had me arm stuck in fleece pocket instead of sleeve.
Alistair was laughing and just laughed & laughed.
It was a priceless moment and his wee surprise visit made my day.

As did the dozen or so bikers who would shortly follow to visit TWSG … AND … they thought the Lemon Cake was delicious!

Found a poor dead Blue tit fledgling on the lawn this morning.

I hadn’t told Alistair, but McKenzie likes to play with the hosepipe and there has been a couple of rips appear in it. Today whilst hosing the yard, the almighty of bangs. The hosepipe had exploded! I do not know who got the biggest fright, sheep, pony or me! But do know that I was the one who was soaked! Said hosepipe is now in several bits.
This is a mad house!

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Loch McBasil

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Seat in Tulloch Meadow

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Feeling blessed with my beautiful peonies

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Before…

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…After Sheep & Pony attack!

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McKenzie got the last flower!

Duracell Poodle…

Woke and was nae in the best of moods! Was not helped by the Poodle, who in the following hour was in a destructive mood and destroyed a box of batteries, which I may add, Alistair had left lying around. Had a busy day ahead and morning coffee wasn’t doing its thing either! Was wondering how long it takes for ‘Inner Peace’ (See yesterday’s post) to kick in.

Made a start with ironing, only to see a flash of brown race past. The Poodle had now got my bra!

For Barclays next trick, he got a garden cane. It wasn’t even 8am yet and was proving to be a very long day already

even though it had been a beautiful daybreak, it was now snowing again.

Ryan with trailer arrived and it was time to start clearing sheds (More on this soon).

Grocery shop arrived pm, Including the Cherry Juice, Which after googling bedtime drinks, it was highly recommended. 10pm, I climbed the wooden hill, cherry juice in hand looking forward to my new improved sleep.

12.30am I was up! Obviously hadn’t drank enough Cherry juice, though my bladder said otherwise!

Busy day, gallery hive of activity this morning and in the afternoon Frame order arrived. Now can not move in the sunroom because of boxes and that is my weekend sorted.

Haven’t seen McDuck all day.

Friday pm, stepped out before bedtime and had a right Frog Chorus going on, then sensed movement, Barclay was agitated, called Alistair and got the torch, there near the door was one member of said chorus.

Got me Cherry Juice and headed to Bedfordshire.

3.30am! Wide awake! Tried to roll back over to sleep, but mind had already gone into overdrive and bladder wasn’t going to be outdone either, so up I get. Barclay followed too, which is actually quite comforting and I didn’t have to tiptoe around as much, as no guests in tonight.

Nothing like deciding to do some early morning baking to make you return to bed, so 4.30am that’s what I did

So today (Saturday 7th April) was overcast, but milder, no hat required. Gallery open, steady trickle of folk throughout the day. Made a start cleaning/hosing yard, 2hours it must have took and the stretchy expandable hosepipe has mind of its own, 3 times it got out of control, yes, I got soaked!

McDuck left her nest for 1/2hr break, so I got the chance to see to coop. Her nest is even more downy, am so impressed with her and was thinking, I could sleep in all that down.

Got Alan telephoned today and it was so good to catch up and meant to be I reckon. Have been having a think on work over these last couple of weeks and have sort of felt Dad has been nudging me in a certain direction, proved even more so with call to Alan, just what was needed and head bit clearer.

Ach, made mess up with grocery order, get recipe out for tonight’s stir fry and I ordered the wrong bloomin nuts! So 30min of my time was stood shelling n skinning Monkey Nuts, as I’ve nothing else to do what so ever!!!

French guests tonight seem lovely .

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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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