Crafted from nature

Category: Croft (Page 3 of 5)

A quiet period.

It has been a while since we last updated the blog page, mainly because everything has been so bitsy – bits of this and bits of that. We had a wonderful festive period spent with great friends who cooked the best Christmas food ever!
Christmas day dog walk and rainbow over Talmine bay.

Christmas day dog walk

Christmas day dog walk

Christmas day Rainbow over Talmine Bay

Christmas day Rainbow over Talmine Bay

and we were introduced to some great new walks in areas we hadn’t yet encountered. 
We have no major projects really, our Guest room is gradually taking bookings on most days now, as people are booking their annual holidays.
We are currently on our 9th named storm, Imogen which has unusually hit the south of the uk harder than us up here in the far north. The snow is coming and going on the mountains almost daily.

Snowy walk out the back

Snowy walk out the back

We went for a lovely walk along Loch Hope this week and sadly the weather has taken its toll on the bridge again and the road is impassable to cars.

Loch Hope

Loch Hope

We have many family and friends promising visits too which is very exciting.
The biggest project we are hoping to achieve this year is the roofing of the Stone Byres. This has only been made possible with the help of Brother-in-law and Nephew. We are very lucky to have Spence, a Skilled Carpenter/Builder/Roofer and General very hard worker in the family, with a now grown up son following his example and they have kindly taken on the project.
We had decided that we would attempt to do it ourselves this year, (how wrong could we get it?) rather a big first roofing project though. Maybe we will practice on the field shelter we are hoping to put down the croft when we start our planting, much smaller simpler affair.
We have Tess the black labrador coming to stay for a few days tomorrow to keep Bruiser on his toes, they really are great friends she has the biggest smile, and she keeps us all jolly.
I have to put the NewYears Eve northern light photos up too don’t I?
New years eve 2015/16

New years eve 2015/16

New years eve 2015/16

New years eve 2015/16

Autumn already

Autumn colours and reflections from this weeks walks.

Beautiful evenings

Beautiful evenings

Autumn colours

Autumn colours

The evenings’ are drawing in, this of course has it’s pros and cons.

Pros being : beautiful sunsets, log fires, and dark skies with more chance to view the dancing skies of the “Northern Lights” or “Aurora Borealis”, we have also had some beautifully clear, dark, starry skies.

Living in such a remote area means we have no light pollution, which gives us a fantastic night sky. Some of our recent guests knew many of the constellations, we enjoyed a short lesson on some of the basics which in turn has triggered a knowledge quest of the night sky – thank you M & M for the inspiration.

Cons being : shorter daylight working hours and the start of winter (although these could also be viewed as a pros…!)

September gave us our best and most consistent weather of the year – an Indian summer – and a chance to get outside to start creating more buttons and coasters as well as getting some firewood cut in anticipation of the Highland winter.

We are still working on the Sea Buckthorn coasters, which are looking fantastic and seem to be completely stable. There is a possibility of us making some wooden Christmas garlands. Thank you for the idea Chip! had a very kind donation of some Holly thank you Barbara. Maybe some Holly key rings for christmas?

We are hoping to have a stall at The Melness event on 14th of November and the Tongue event on 21st of November. We will post more information as we get it! I am not sure of the details yet!

Sea Buckthorn Coaster

Sea Buckthorn Coaster

Sea Buckthorn Coaster

Sea Buckthorn Coaster

So far October has not been too shabby either! We had some guests last week who took an evening stroll to the beach for a fire and a glass of champagne, this is not normal October activity, some other guests were looking at camping last week on the beach at Sandwood Bay. October usually brings the first proper frost or storms of the winter, and whilst we have had one wet and windy evening we are enjoying the mild autumn.

 

The mushrooms and geese increase and the golden browns of Autumn are sweeping in. We have been surprising a larger amount of grouse than normal too, they do tend to wait until you almost step on them until they suddenly launch themselves into the air in a disgruntled commotion.

There have been many many seals these last few weeks too which is great, and bruiser has finally noticed them after we told him they are Sea Sheep!

Sea Sheep

Sea Sheep

dog seals

 

Stunning red skies too both ends of the days.

P1190216

P1190060

 

We are surprised that we are still getting guest room bookings for October, November and even for December. We have finally built the shelving in the guest bedrooms and sorted out the Scottish fine soaps toiletries. We are very happy with the new dispensers which are really well made and work perfectly too.

Scottish Fine Soaps

Scottish Fine Soaps

We spent a couple of days away at The Boat Hotel in the Boat of Garten in The Cairngorm Mountains. It was fantastic. We walked and walked and walked. It was still lovely to get home though.We saw the Steam train in Abernethy Forest which is a remnant of the Caledonian Forest in Strathspey.

Steam train

Steam train

We also visited Loch Garten which is always one of our favourites.

Loch Garten

Loch Garten

We are hoping to get our first fruit trees in for November planting on the croft too. Pre-ceeded by a little fencing around the planting area.

The Tongue Post office Apple tree is making a huge effort to survive too.

Apple tree

Apple tree

 

 

Swallows and Sing-a-long’s

The Swallow

Although over the years I have spent many a day and night rescuing wild birds and animals, this was my first Swallow experience.

Swallow

Swallow

We are glad to say that it flew away perfectly unscathed after what I am sure was a terrifying ordeal flying in through the window and landing on the dogs bed. A short recovery was all that was needed.

 

The sing-a-long’s

Carrying on with our holiday shenanigans, family and friends abound.

Our musically themed evening’s have included Name that tune on kazoo, which we fought to the bitter end and still ended equall! Either we all totally rock at the kazoo or we don’t??

Also a Dorset pirate evening with the landing of an adventuring crewmate of The Black Wreck.

There be Pirates on them there beaches

There be Pirates on them there beaches

A new discovery on this evening – peanuts and singing should be kept separate! We can support this statement with recorded evidence, probably best not though!

 

On the croft

Some of my favourite wildflower names on the croft this morning.

 

Mouse-ear Hawkweed

Mouse-ear-Hawkweed

Mouse-ear-Hawkweed

Devils bit scabious

Devils-bit-scabious

Devils-bit-scabious

Achillea ptarmica sneezewort

Mimulus monkey flower

Bog myrtle

 

Just as an afterthought, a small thing that has made a big difference to us.

Due to some ingenious de-plumbing we now have a fully functional bath, with hot water for the first time since we have lived here! This is great news, as before this, we had to grab a shower on our guest changeovers or have practically cold baths, which would have been even less fun come winter.

 

There is also a sign in page now that someone far cleverer than me has added a captcha to weed out the robot sign ins. Thank you.

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