Tuesday, 24 May 2011
If you're a regular visitor you may have noticed that, of late, I..er..haven't been.
My excuse is that my laptop caught a particularly nasty bug and had to go to the docs. I hope the people who write these viruses end up in the docks too.
So what have I been up to while all this has been going on? Well My colleagues and I have walked more ground for foxes, we've also been out in the early mornings spying for them. But we haven't fallen in with any. In fact, we haven't seen any. Actually, we've hardly seen any recent sign of a fox at all.
So without the distraction of foxes, we've concentrated our efforts more on stoat and crow traps. The 'problem' is there seem to be very few of them as well.
We're delighted of course, albeit in a slightly mistrusting, perplexed sort of way. (Can there really be so few? Or are they just giving us the slip?)
Our delight is slightly dulled with the fact that this allows us to catch up with all sorts of sorting. We've been freed up enough to catch up with cleaning and oiling every bit of tack in the tackroom. We've swept out the hayloft and stable block. We cleared out an old shed of a formidable pile of ancient crap. We sorted up the lochside road. We've cut some of the firewood needed for the bothies in the shooting season.
If you live in Britain you maybe heard about the storms that hit yesterday. Winds of 100mph were recorded less than 10 miles from this spot. One of the families in the glen had their estate car transformed into a right state courtesy of an extremely large beech tree. There was driving rain too.
And us? Well we thought we'd do a bit of fencing. I was chapping the new posts in with a mell. It wasn't easy being accurate with the thing when I was being buffeted all over the place. The man on the post-holder- Gus- has been mentioned in despatches.
I include a pic taken of the loch that day. We were fencing just out of frame on the right.
As I've mentioned before, I get a real kick from seeing everything thrive at this time of year. I could bang on endlessly about nests I've found or chicks I've come across.
I went as far as asking our regular bird researcher about ringing the birds I happen upon. I was incenced to hear you need to be licenced. And to get your licence you need to pass through 2 stages of 'apprenticeship'. *Deep sigh*
On a non-worky note, I got together with some of my oldest friends to spend a day flighting pigeon on a low-ground estate a few miles away. As one would expect for this time of year, the sport was hardly fast and furious. And a strong wind made these very underestimated birds even more taxing. But we had a blast (or two).
If you're reading this guys, lets do it again soon.