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

The Grand National…

Thursday 12th April – 3.30am and up like a shot! Perhaps should have had a Gummie?

Framing this morning and got done by midday.

Beautiful day (When out of the breeze).

Saw a Peacock Butterfly sunning itself in the meadow.

Daffodil leaves poking through.

Work continuing well with Gallery extension

Friday 13th April – 6am, nae even finished me first coffee and Barclay was digging the biggest hole in the garden!

7.30am and I waved goodbye to our charming guest Angela, wishing her well with her next chapter in life. And … that is now me having a week off from Airbnb! This will be the first in over a year. Love it, but I am just exhausted at present.

It turned out to be a grim cold day, an abundance of Finches in the garden.
Jim & David made great progress on the Gallery extension and got tables, chairs etc ordered for it today.

Saturday 14th April – 3.01am and that was me up!
Saw the breaking news of us bombing Syria.
Today was nae a day I was looking forward to, yet, has always been a great one in previous years, The Grand National.
For as long as I can remember, Dad would put my bets on for me and we always had great chat in the morning about it.
Today would have been no different and then we would have been discussing the latest news on Syria, we enjoyed talking politics too.
Mother telephoned am, did I want a bet on the National, I said no, everything had changed, it did not feel right.
Though as the day wore on, I began to have second thoughts, Father would indeed want me to, so I made my selection and got my bets on with William Hill.
Alistair home early and a spur of the moment decision was made to continue work on Loch McBasil, am exhausted as I type, but thoroughly enjoyed it.
4.55pm, dropped tools and headed on indoors to watch the National.
Champions theme was playing, (That was what Mum & I walked into Church to at Father’s Thanksgiving Service).
Jockeys steadying their rides and they were off, by time they had finished their first time round, I was already out of my seat, heart in mouth and talking to Dad, Pleasant Company was in the lead and was looking comfy.
What a finish, a photo finish and congratulations to Tiger Roll & Davy Russell on your win and to Gordon Elliott and his yard, not forgetting owner Michael O’Leary.
But, not only I had I got 2nd place, I also had 3rd with Bless the Wings.
Just a shame that William Hill app & site is down and no one can collect their winnings!
Back out to Loch McBasil to tidy up, then will finally collapse on the ole sofa as soon as Ive published this.

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Father & I with his horse Claudia Miss

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First Place

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What a difference some sunshine makes

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Gallery Visitors!

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Loch McBasil

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Progress slowly been made

Sixteen Squid!! …

What a dreich morning! Continued with clearing workshop out, still nae finished by time Jim had arrived at 8.30am, shortly followed by work colleague Dawid.

9am…. Work on The Wee Scottish Gallery extension has begun!! Yes, pleased to share with you that we are extending and there will be a Gallery within the Gallery.

So, it was a hive of activity the day.

Tonight, a DHL van pulled up, driver carrying small parcel, but would nae hand it over until I had paid £16 customs fee. WHAT!! For once, I hadn’t actually ordered anything, it had been for Alistair. Sods law he wasn’t here, so I had to pay up and look big.

When Alistair eventually arrived home, he pointed out it was a present for me. Sleeping tablets (Well, Gummies).

Actually, if you do shares, now would be a good time to invest in the insomnia market, As reckon it’ll be doing fairly well due to us.

Animals have behaved reasonably today.

Garden full of Siskins again today.

Overcast …

Woke during night, but actually managed to stay in bed til 7am! And then it was Barclay who made sure I got up.

Nice morning again, but more cloud appeared. Got bread made for guests and even set on giving espresso machine a good clean.

11am Deer appeared in field for brunch.

McDuck came out of the coop, so took the opportune moment to head on in, only to find Agnes in a nest box! Thought McDuck was eating, but saw her away doon the glen with McQuack! Hope she isn’t getting tired of motherhood already?

Perthshire Open Studios application came through, so got registered for it.

I do not think we have the brightest animals in the box! Would give fresh grit and treat sticks to the poultry and cleaned out their sandpit and got fresh sand in and all they did was stand at outside of fence looking through, wondering how to get to it all! Gate wide open and these treats are near said gate! However, tame sheep figured it out and grit went everywhere!

You know you are tired, when trying to eat your Rice Krispies and you’re using a fork instead of a spoon! Whilst eating said Krispies, took a read of latest ‘Your Chickens’ magazine, especially article on Cockerels & aggression. Think I’ll put it in the coop for Bruce to browse over.

German guests arrived.

Tuesday 10th April – Hadn’t gotten up during the night, but tossed n turned a fair bit. Cooler morn and overcast. Up at 6 and pretty much on with jobs, then into Gallery to mount prints.

And looking out to Loch McBasil, there I saw for the first time McQuack swimming on it.

By time midday came, my M.E was playing up and I was exhausted, so time for some time out and snoozed.

McQuack totally disappeared this afternoon, but I saw him returning back up from the river around 5pm. I wonder if he’s messing around on the river with wild ducks whilst McDuck is on the nest?

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Why Did The Chickens Cross The Road …

Joyous news… McDuck was not egg bound and egg no4 is now in the nestbox, so the ole honey trick must have helped? Though, did hear some duck squeals early doors.

Nae so joyous, 2.15am and boing, wide awake!

27th – Duck egg no 5 is in the nesting box. Rain most of day.

28th – And Barclays latest trick is barking and chasing the Collared Doves out of the garden. I don’t ask why!

got a hen egg this morning.

Finally got print order finished and that’ll be 200+ to mount & more to frame when they arrive!

Then it was time to start tackling the Gallery! Big clean down, rearranging, new stock in etc. I WILL be ready for this Easter Weekend!!

Peter called by, good to see him as always and good to talk.

Totally forgot to have my scone on Sunday, so fed it to the Chucks today.

Tame Sheep accidentally ran into back of me today, sore ankle as I type

29th March – early doors was -8c. Got into gallery to continue restyle, so did Barclay, who pinched a felt Haggis and ran amok with it. Wee felt Haggis is no more!

30th March – Good Friday and nae up til 5am. Dad, you’ve been gone 2 months now, how!

How very apt that McDuck begins to sit her 8 eggs today. I am beyond excited

Easter on mine own, so writing it off and working.

Birds of the week have been Wagtails & Woodpeckers, more than last year. The Thrushes have ceased with their territorial calls.

Snow has returned on lower ground.

Took Barclay and I off for a walk in the forest. Wildlife conspicuous by its absence.

Returned home to see the pets running amok! Chickens were out in car park, by time I wrestle Barclay past tame sheep into hoose, chickens were heading up the glen! I had to stop traffic to drive the reluctant little sods back in! Still had walking boots on and am thinking Bruce doesn’t like Red, as he launched full scale attack on them and me!

Late afternoon, snowing again, was having 5 on sofa, all nice and quiet and suddenly Alexa says ‘Sorry I didn’t get that’.

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View of the hills

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View of Tulloch

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View of Boots

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View of Muddy Paws!!

 

Duck me! Its Spring! …

21st March – First day of Spring. 1.15am? You have got to me kidding me!!! Eventually returned to bed, then up again 6.30, opened the curtains and there was a Hare sat at the front door. An early mild start, turned into cool drizzle by 9am, but that didn’t stop the Oystercatchers appearing in the field. Wonderful, young Deer up to the garden tonight. Nae so wonderful and unbelievable… the Ducks chased them off!!!

22nd March – and another 3am start! Becoming very tiring now (In every sense). A mild start to the day, pretty much all snow has gone from lower ground and things look messy. They are busy felling in Kindrogan Forest, early starts and quite noisy, but see it is opening up the hillside more below the cemetery, of course I do wonder about the wildlife. Have not walked that part in a while, so will be interesting to see. We had the most incredible birdsong going on this morning.

This morning I noticed McDuck was egg bound this morning, arrgh, would have phoned Dad for advice straight away, but instead decided to prepare warm salty for bath to help it along. Eventually caught McDuck & almost straight away, along came egg & about a pint of duck poo. I was literally covered head to toe!! Oh the joys!
McDuck would then take herself for bath in the warm water, as would I.
Which means am thinking both Ducks are female.

Took a drive to the village, hugs, tears & great service in the shop.

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