Monday, 26 March 2012

An Early Start for an Early Start

Any readers from this part of the world will be aware of the exceptional weather we've been having. Yesterday saw the highest temperature for a March day ever recorded and I haven't checked to see if that record was beaten today.

Going by the amount of perspiration it took for me to get to the top of the hill, I'd say there was a fair chance of it.

But what it means for us is that we've had to suspend our heather burning activities. Things were already getting 'kittely' last week so it's just not for chancing now.

So we've been getting round our traps and catching up some maintenance jobs. Tomorrow we're going to get on the hilltops for daybreak and see if we can get an early start to our fox season.

The alarm is set for 4.30am- so what the hell am I doing still sitting here writing this??

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Hanging On The Telephone

Since my last blog we've been doing a lot of heather burning. And each day has been a little drier than the day before. Thankfully winds have been light or else we could have been making the 6 o' clock news.

Today I had a bit of change. We've hired a mini-digger and I've been building up grit piles.

The last time I did this I think I described it as spending a day in a phone box. On reflection, this isn't entirely accurate. Not unless the phone boxes you use are prone to lurching over to damn-near tipping point at the drop of a hat.

Someone once described war as 90% boredom, 10% terror. At least I think it was war.... who knows, maybe he'd had a mini-digger oot the hill.

Before I go, I'd just like to thank all you regular visitor for your continued support. I'm a bit compulsive about checking my website 'stats' and it's seeing people coming back for more that keeps me doing this.

So it's all thanks to you that I've just landed a regular slot with a monthly shooting magazine!!!!!! I write this with a big smile on my face- and bigger butterflies in my stomach.


Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Heaps of Jobs

The hind season is but a distant memory now. Since that last squeeze of the trigger, we've all been playing catch-up. There are a heap of jobs that have been on hold for a long time.

We now have hundreds of 'gritting stations' all over the estate. These piles create high points that the grouse gravitate to and contained in the pile is a tray of medicated grit. The grouse take the grit (it helps break down the vegetation in their gizzard) and it kills parasites in their gut.

I can tell you I can soon get a bellyfull of grouse grit. Getting round the piles to replenish the grit is bad enough but creating new piles is back-breaking work. Each pile takes 20-30 minutes of digging.

But when it's been dry enough, we've been burning heather. It's also high time to get caught up with some of the stoats, rats and weasels. We're probably 7 weeks away from the grouse starting to nest and that's when they are most vulnerable.

And, of course, there are a heap of maintenance jobs too. Hmmm, I'd rather not think about it too much.