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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Clocks Forward…

Ha, check me out not getting up until the new 7am!! Could have stayed in bed too, but didn’t want to tempt fate, so sprung out with a spring in my step. Felt good, mood was good. Two months today since I rushed down to yorkshire to be at Fathers bedside too.

Battle of the Woodpeckers going on during morning coffee, 3 different ones drumming, Including one near Tulloch gates like last year, so here’s hoping for young ones again

Alistair was in charge of the menagerie today, he caught egg bound McDuck, but McDuck did not projectile as previous days, not until I approached with the Vaseline & Honey & a clingfilm covered hand (Please use your imagination at this point) and I should have removed my engagement ring before this procedure! I wonder how other folk spend their Sunday mornings? Were we the only ones on the planet doing this at the moment in time?? The Ducks where nowhere to be seen for rest of the morning and even Bruce & the hens kept their distance and by now it was only 9.45am!

Full day, but Studio pretty much cleared. New shelving for Gallery arrived, managed to get 2 pieces put together!

And Jim & Audrey visited this afternoon, good to catch up as always and new extension for gallery discussed *exciting*.

An abundance of Wagtails today, which is known as… A Volery of Wagtails.

5pm, after asking Alistair this morning to move some wood he had dumped in the car park, he set to with the chainsaw! I decided to head on indoors.

Tulloch menagerie made on with the extra daylight, fastening up is going to fun from now on.

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Knock on Wood …

23rd March – Woke to hear rainfall, which continued all morning.

McDuck was Egg Bound again, but was NOT going to be caught! Eventually got her and got my second covering of projectile duck poo. Also learnt today was Friday, not Thursday!!

24th March – up at 4am. Eventually got coffee, watched day break, heard Peacocks call. Found a poor Siskin stuck in a bird feeder. McDuck egg bound again, but she sorted herself out today and I just swilled the yard! Hope her managing herself is a sign of improvement??

Began to sort the Gallery out today, obviously long overdue. Several visitors today too, so the plan for tomorrow is to crack on with it!

So, an hour less in bed tonight! Not that will make any difference to me at the moment!
Mon the light nights

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And looking out of the guest room window on Friday …

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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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!

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

 

The Quick Thaw …

Pulled back the curtains this morning, to see a fresh covering of Snow.
The day was off to a good start.
Though was short lived when I realised I had run out of Coffee!!!
Had to make do with Alistair’s Kenco.

Whilst having morning coffee, I noticed about a dozen Siskins in the garden, so they must be about to return, though these soon flitted off.
I don’t think Barclay’s constant barking helped! He was stood at the gate in full voice for a few minutes, but as I write, I still have absolutely no idea what or why.
After I had got Barclay calmed down, I let the Poultry out, fresh snow seems to send the Ducks in to a skittish frame of mind and that was it, they were soon away flying down the glen.
Then Barclays Groomer came to collect him for Spa Day, waved them off only to discover I hadn’t closed the door and there was the tame Sheep in the sunroom chewing me writing desk! Had to lure him out with a Parsnip!

Come lunchtime, the temperature had reached a balmy 4c and the Snow began to thaw quickly and I saw our first Snowdrops & Aconites.
Also, McQuack had returned. I walked down the road in search of the other Duck, but no sign of McDuck anywhere.
Got the yard brushed and then finished prepping for tonights guests.
It was then I saw a flash of something fly by the kitchen window, McDuck had finally returned. So where he had been for the last 4hrs, lord knows.
Told him anymore of that and he’ll be getting his wings clipped!
Ruddy Ducks!!!

Looked across the river to see that a Herd of 8 Fallow (Including 2 young) had appeared, haven’t seen these ones before, so will keep an eye on them. They seemed happy enough for a few hours.

By 3pm, you wouldn’t believe we had had Snow, that was one quick thaw, though pleased to see more is forecast.

Tonights guests have arrived and are here for three days Skiing.
Barclay back from his Spa Day looking and smelling all posh, but of course doubt that will last.
Another Jamie Oliver 5 Ingredients recipe for dinner tonight, okay, but looks nothing like in the book!
Still weary and hoping can get a better nights sleep tonight, thought I had improved some last night, but Alistair has just informed me that I called out for Dad again 😦

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Blanket of Snow

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Sheep chews Desk

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First Snowdrops

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And Aconites

 

 

Transition…

As a few of you will know, my Father passed away on Monday 29th January 2018.
And I have just returned to Scotland after a couple of weeks in Yorkshire.
On the morning of my return home, someone was wishing me well with my travels and on about me having to pick up the pieces on my return home.
Thats the thing, How do you pick up the pieces?
I do not know how to, as one of the main pieces, is now missing and the life I knew before has ceased, but … I do know how to start again.
Lets face it, I have had one or two new starts in life and that is something I can do and adapt to.
Someone had left a kind comment on Facebook and used the word Transition and I personally think that is apt, that is what this is.
Have already began to change a few small things, like routine etc

For some months now, I have been mulling over the idea of doing an online journal, life in the Glens, Guests, Work, etc etc
But wasn’t exactly sure how I was going to go about it and when discussing with a couple of close friends, had even thought about an anonymous journal.
But yesterday it finally came to me and as it often has been throughout my life, that inspiration came from my Father yet again.
For decades, my Father has kept diaries. Part of his early morning routine, was writing up the previous days events and whilst I have only seen a few entries, they were mainly about the Countryside and Nature, but often included events, personal thoughts etc
Yesterday, I decided to pick up the gauntlet and carry on his tradition.
And I already had begun The Nature Diaries (Of sorts).
No idea yet what or how I will post, as to be honest, at the moment I just seem to be pottering around aimlessly and feel nothing but emptiness and numbness.
Some days you may get an essay, others may just say North Wind doth blow.
Today has been almost Spring like, after a -5c and icy start, the sun had burst and we’ve had a day of bright blue skies, exactly the kind of day it was on the morning of Friday 26th January, as it was one of the last full conversations I had with my Father, which resulted in him asking the Doctors & Nurses to move his bed so he could see for himself out of the window, also for them to open said window, so he could feel the breeze.
This they duly did and his bed stayed in that position until his passing.

This is for you Father
– Karen – xIMG_3124IMG_3125

 

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