Crafted from nature

Category: Croft (Page 2 of 5)

Just June

The June photo blog is a bit late, we are already halfway through July… Hey ho!

One of the best things that happened in June was the first visit from eldest daughter and grandchildren, and how they have grown up in the last couple of years, from children to young ladies.

Then:

Girlies

Girlies

and now:

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Young Ladies

We spent a lovely week together, and hopefully now that they have conquered the journey once it will be less daunting next time.

Missing family and friends is the hardest cross to bear when you up sticks and move hundreds of miles away to partake in a new life journey.

Saffy enjoying day 1 of her Turmeric concoction to try to help with her sore leg.

Turmeric face

Turmeric face

Field of view

Field of view

The view from Saffy’s newly bedded out shelter, whether she uses it is yet to be seen. She has no problem coming in when we go in there. Not so sure that she will use it to shelter from the extreme weather though, only time will tell.

We took a day out in the sunshine to visit Castle Sinclair Girnigoe, an incredible castle near Wick.

castle 2

castle

and then on to see the puffins at Duncansby head

puffins

and Puffling

puffling

and of course see the Duncansby sea stacks, a favourite haunt of ours.

duncansby stacks

Cherries and Apples appearing on the new trees on the croft

cherries 2

apples

One of our favourites, the beautiful Butterfly Orchid.

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Bog cotton

bog cotton

Fragrant orchid and burnet moth

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Not sure what this is so ID please?

id please 2

Bruiser having a majestic moment out on the Moine

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Our first ever sighting of Red throated divers, so a very special day for us, they were on Loch Loyal.

red throated diver

We had to go out because Bruiser had his jabs – it’s only 70 miles to the vet! So we dropped down to Tain and had a little walk that included going over a pedestrian suspension bridge.

suspension bridge at Tain

Rainbows at the bottom of the garden.

rainbows

Steves idea of a play on words…

Bruiser’s favourite tipple – a little drop of peat pool (a family favourite wine is Picpoul….. isn’t he funny?!)

peat pool

A Few other June photo’s showing off the Kyle!

The Kyle of Tongue Hostel looking splendid.

Youth Hostel looking spectacular

Sea Haar rolling in

sea haar

The sea haar later on, taken down on the beach.

Lovely furry little antlers

furry antlers

Being June we have also been chock-o-block with B&B guests – after the family left we only had 1 night off for the rest of the month – and we had to block that from the calendar so that it wasn’t booked out! Fantastic stuff!

We also received our 100th five star review, which we are incredibly proud of and can’t believe we have that many already!

Thanks to the Mackaays for the following – (can also be read here: airbnb.co.uk/reviews along with all of our Guest room reviews)

“This was the best of the 7 AirBnB’s we stayed during our five weeks’ trip! Steve and Lea are wonderful hosts and have created a fabulous place to stay in the most glorious scenery imaginable. Every detail in the house has been crafted and set up for a perfect stay. Photos of the house and of the scenery are absolutely true to life. Steve’s breakfasts are a wonder and his service is impeccable. Enjoy the music, all who venture here! The ‘crafting and crofting’ lifestyle Steve and Lea have created for themselves and for others to enjoy is a delight. They are hospitable and generous hosts of the first order.”

You could not ask for a lovelier 100th review.

 

 

 

The Blooming Blog of May

May has brought the long awaited awakening of the wildflowers. Every day we walk we find a new “first of the year” The ground is again a carpet of beauty and every step you take is a new discovery. So here are a few photos of our May blooms.

Gorse is so vibrant in flower, this photo is looking back across the Kyle at our croft and house

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Gorse

Butterwort

Butterwort

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Butterwort leaves

 

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Currant

This is the first Scottish primrose we have ever seen, and it is on our croft.

wildflowers

Scottish Primrose

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Spotted Heath Orchid

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Northern Marsh Orchid

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Spring Squill

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Bog Myrtle

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Lousewort

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Forget-me-not

Birdsfoot Trefoil

Birdsfoot Trefoil

Some more amazing red skies

Sunset 20/5/16

Sunset 20/5/16

Couldn’t resist him, putting this one up of him posing

Bruiser

Bruiser

Fences ready to go in with Saphire overseeing the Job

Fences ready to go in with Saphire overseeing the job

Tommy's favourite post in Melness. What a great first day! We understand this one was a challenge.

Tommy’s favourite post in Melness. What a great first day! We understand this one was a challenge.

Tommys finishing touches

Tommys finishing touches

The first tree. Yay!

The first tree. Yay!

Now the fences are completed Thank you so much Tommy. You are a star.

We have started on our Croft Plan. 250 trees bushes and fruit are now in the ground just in the nick of time.croft

Made a new postcard holder from a piece of spalted beech and some wire and hooks made by a friend. Thank you Deef.x  They are excellent.

Postcard Holder

Postcard Holder

Made some new Rowan Keyrings

Keyrings

Keyrings

 

We have almost no free days now until September, We are hoping to be able to keep up with the guest room Buttons and croft through the next 3 months. We will learn from experience! We are hoping to add Jams and fragrances to our little industry for next year! Lets just hope we haven’t bitten off more than we can chew. We did move up here for the quieter slower pace of life after all.

Savouring the last of winter

Savouring the last of winter

The front garden

The front garden 6th March

These last few weeks have mainly been about the snow. We love the Highland snowscapes and tend to spend as much time in the snow as we can afford

Enjoying the snow on the path to Varrich castle (Bharraich Caisteal)

Enjoying the snow on the path to Varrich castle (Bharraich Caisteal)

Steve and Myself both had Birthday trips, Steve’s (Cap’n Matt Black) we spent at The Cottage residential recording studio on the shores of Loch Fyne, with bestest bud and joint founder of The Black Wreck Music Project Defoe (Robinson Wreck). Recording some of the pirate songs they wrote together (in the Dorset Barrel) in a pro studio, we came away very happy with the results, we just need to mix and master them now. Any help with installing logic x onto our laptop would be appreciated! email us if you can help. thewoodlifeway@me.com

Whilst my Birthday we spent walking all day in the  sunny snow.

Loch Meadie

Loch Meadie

It was my absolute perfect day. Walking in the snowy mountain landscape along the side of Loch Meadie, With the Majestic Ben Loyal  Ben Hope and Ben Klibreck surrounding. We took our homemade bread and flapjacks for lunch, with our little Espresso pot of course, as we never travel without it.

Snowy walk

Snowy walk

 

Youngest daughter, her Partner and best friend and her partner drove the 700+ miles to visit us for the week in between our Birthdays which was brilliant. They had a great journey with a fantastic overnight stop in the Lake District on-route. They travelled through the snowy Cairngorms and arrived just after dark to vegetable curry and blazing wood fires. The highlight of their visit was our walk up Ben Hutig, mostly in the sunshine with the odd hail and snow periods thrown in to add drama.

Planking on-route to Ben Hutig

Planking on-route to Ben Hutig

Hat and Amy

Hat and Amy

Nearly there

Nearly there

Hutig snowcloud

Hutig snowcloud

We went from glorious views out over the Atlantic Ocean, of the Orkney Islands- to not being able to see the footprints we had just trodden. Glorious day indeed.

After the cloud

After the cloud

We also had a voucher to use from Airbnb which was about to expire and we used it to spend 2 nights in the Cairngorm national park. We stayed at Kingussie and walked up to the mountain railway and Ski lifts to watch the Ski-ers on another amazing day of sun and snow

Ski-ers on Cairngorm

 

only to awaken to a snowed in car and thoughts of another unplanned night on the road,

Overnight snow

Overnight snow

but as it happened the thickest snow had passed before leaving the Aviemore area so all was well.

 

On the home front we have been just as busy with

: Guest room – calendar already filling up with little space left for June or July and we even have bookings going into October!,

: Croft – awaiting the decision for a crofting grant to help with the fencing costs of the new planting area

: Buttons – getting some new lighter weight space saving display Trees made ready for this years new outlets, organising and cutting the new stock from this seasons prunings. (we still have a spruce branch to cut and collect from a neighbour, and already have orders for the Coasters which it will make).

: Renovation – preparing the Stone byres for their much anticipated new roofs. Trying to find dry storage for their contents whilst they are being done, and places for the new roofing material to live pre-use. As well as dismantling of the old tin roofs, trying to keep the stone walls in tact whilst completely removing all of the old timbers.

At the same time we are finding our time has to be managed to fit in the cutting and chopping of the firewood to try to keep the house warm to guest standard. Linen washing and drying in the winter.

Trying to get our new page up and running for our Wilderness music project.

Working on the packaging and marketing of the new Croft grown produce we are are adding this year.

The Snowdrops are adding their very welcome bloom, the the crocuses popping through, and currents coming into flower too. The frogs and Toads are making their presence known, The Lapwings have returned and the Skylarks have started to sing.

The birds are all busying themselves with nest material. The Marsh Marigold leaves are starting to appear too. The Gorse is starting to Bloom. We are awaiting the arrival of the first Melness Lambs, hoping they will be spared the snow and freezing temperatures this year. Last pictures for this entry are the amazing Mothering Sunday aurora. What a night!

Mothering Sunday aurora

Mothering Sunday aurora

 Mothering Sunday aurora 2

Mothering Sunday aurora 2

There was no way our little camera could shoot the whole sky which was filled with the beautiful show.

 

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