Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Garden Tasks

Almost all the beds in our terraced vegetable garden have now been dug over and fertilised with seaweed, the only remaining ones being those which still have some of the winter crops such as broccoli, leeks and spinach. Meanwhile, the greenhouse is filling up with seedlings, all of which seemed to have survived the recent cold weather even though the greenhouse is unheated.

As well as the seaweed, our proximity to the sea is good for washed-up fish boxes, which are an ideal size for growing crops like mixed salad leaves and radishes.

Four sections of the beds are down to strawberries, which seem to have survived well through the winter, and the raspberries and gooseberries are shooting - though the raspberries are still in need of a final prune to take the tops off the canes.

The garden is watered using unchlorinated water which is brought down in blue pipes from the neighbouring burn. There are two standpipes and the green water butt which holds reserves for the occasional dry spell.

It's an ideal site for a vegetable garden being southeast-facing and sloping to aid drainage. Building up the beds behind the terraces, and ten years of feeding the thin croft soil with compost and seaweed, has made a huge difference to the garden's productivity - this productivity including the number of worms, much appreciated by the local robins.

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Fishing Activity

With the wind staying firmly in the north the Vervine has continued to fish off Ormsaigbeg. At one point while she was hove to we watched Ceol na Mara, OB5, approach her and wondered whether they were exchanging prawns for scallops - but someone has suggested it was a less amicable meeting, that Vervine had snagged one of Ceol na Mara's creel strings.

At times during the last forty-eight hours snow showers have reduced visibility to under a mile and, with the wind working its way towards gale force in offshore waters, Vervine....

....was soon joined in the calmer waters of the Sound of Mull by at least three other dredgers - this is Cynosure, CN4.

With such a concentration of fishing boats it was almost inevitable that the law would turn up, which it did in the shape of Scottish Fisheries Protection's Jura, though she didn't do more than steam past all the trawlers in a stately fashion.

Wisely, the two local creel boats have stayed firmly in Kilchoan Bay, to which, in anticipation of improving weather, they had recently moved from their winter anchorage in Camas Fearna. This is Harvester, CN200.

Monday, 24 April 2017

Return of Winter

We woke to a stiff northwester and to see the Tobermory-based clam boat Vervine BA842 coming close under the Ormsaigbeg shore where she would be able to fish in the calmer waters in the lee of Ardnamurchan.

By mid-morning the showers had turned wintery, varying from hail through to powdery snow, along with....

 ....sunny intervals, although in this one Nan's strimming was interrupted by snow. She says she has never started the strimming 'season' in such cold weather: it's rare that one sees Nan wearing gloves.

By the afternoon snow was accumulating on the distant hills such as Beinn Tallaidh on Mull, and the Isle of Lewis coming up the Sound was butting into a choppy sea.

None of which bothers Mrs Thrush sitting on a nest which is tucked under the polypropylene roof of the lean-to at the back of the house. She has four nestlings, of which two are visible here, all with their eyes now open.

Sunday, 23 April 2017

A Super Day!

Some days start out well and just keep getting better - and yesterday was an example. We started with an encounter with an otter in the bay below the house, then spent three hours on what is one of our favourite walks....

....along the coastline to the south of Torr na Moine and Bourblaige. The sun wasn't out as much as it could have been but the sky cleared in the afternoon and by eleven in the evening the northern sky was pale with the northern lights. They weren't strong enough for a photograph but there's an event happening now which may carry through to this evening.

Annual Events

This year's West Ardnamurchan Show and Sports is on Friday 21 July. The Competition List can be downloaded here.

The Pram Race is on Friday 28th July with a theme of Pop Stars.

The West Ardnamurchan Regatta is on Thursday 3rd and Friday 4th August.