Tuesday, 21 September 2021

Seasons on Skye

Having been born-and-bred in the softy south of England, I became very used to the year having four distinct seasons, each lasting around three months, with the summer being warm and dry, winter being colder and wetter, spring being bright and showery, and autumn being breezy and golden.

It's not like that here.

We pretty much only have one season on Skye, which is a continual confusion of all of the above. Winter starts around mid-August, and goes on for an awful long time. When my southern-trained body-clock is telling me that it should be spring, I find myself peering at tightly closed leaf buds on the trees and shrubs in the hope of spotting the first sign of a green shoot. When the calendar says it is July - true, the daylight hours are very long indeed, but the sun may still be a rare sight, and the wind can blast the drizzle into your face should you venture outside. 

Somehow though, our flora and fauna seem to cope with the season-less year. My recent wild-flower photo-posts illustrate the ability of the plant-life here to flourish when and where it gets the chance. I manage to successfully nurture vegetables in the allotment. From April for a few months, there seem to be plenty of fledgling birds about the place, and we occasionally glimpse a mouse, vole, weasel or stoat, so they survive here, too. But sadly - never a hedgehog.

And.... the sky can be blue sometimes..!! At any time of year, too. In can happen suddenly. The wind drops, the rain stops, and the steel-grey clouds magically vanish to reveal the freshly-washed glistening blue heavens, which instantly paint the sea an even more unlikely blue. At these times, we cherish every moment and sigh at the beauty of the vista before us.

I can live without seasons.

Spring

Summer

Autumn

Winter

... and sometimes !


Wednesday, 1 September 2021

More Garden News

Progress on the new shed/greenhouse/studio has been brisk. The guys doing the build have now done as much as they can before the French windows arrive. The windows should be here quite soon, and once installed, the electrician can do his bit, and the inside can then be insulated and lined. The unfinished wall is where the lean-to greenhouse will be going. The plan is to leave the cladding until after the greenhouse has been fitted, to get a nice neat end result. Unfortunately, the greenhouse is not likely to be here before mid-November.

As for the allotment - the veg that I have harvested so far have been absolutely first class, but there are so many carrots we will be going orange and growing frizzy green hair if we eat them all... 

Cupar thinks it is his new kennel...
I tidied-away all the off-cuts just after taking the photos

A wider view.
We will have to make a path across the lawn,
and possibly edge the path with bedding plants in summer
(which we will grow ourselves in the greenhouse..)!

Freshly picked...

...and half an hour later...


Tuesday, 24 August 2021

Garden News

Following a period of dull, drizzly weather, we started this week with glorious sunshine, and things 
have suddenly moved on in the Roskhill garden.

Maybe the biggest news is that the build of the 'garden room' that is destined to become our art studio/pottery/greenhouse is now well underway - pictures below.

I have also been spurred-on to give some attention to the allotment and have begun to harvest some of the produce that has grown this year. Pretty much everything has done superbly well again, with the brussels sprout plants as big as any I have ever seen. The sprouts won't be ready to pick for a while yet though.

The concrete base had been laid a few weeks ago.
By mid-morning of day one of the build, the first wall was in place.

By the end of day one, we had four walls

It's a very substantial building!

At the end of day 2.
I am standing in what will be the lean-to greenhouse. 
Unfortunately, it will be a few more weeks before that gets delivered.

On the allotment - I have harvested one of four rows of potatoes 
- I grew three different varieties this year.
Beyond - the cleared bed is where the onions grew, with bushy carrots at the end.
Runner beans and broad beans to the right,
kale and brussels sprouts almost out of sight below the fuchsia windbreak hedge.

The harvested onions dry in the sun on a step ladder!

No caption needed!

Friday, 20 August 2021

SUE'S SECOND SPONSORED STROLL

 Yep, I did it again and for that amazing Charity
so close to my heart -  Cancer Research!

Readers of this blog may recall that back in July 2018 
I tackled a 26 mile marathon around Roskhill - where we live on Skye.
This time I increased this to 30 miles for the day 
and really enjoyed both the training AND the occasion itself.....:)
Below are a few photos taken along the route of the 11.5 hour trek!!


It was a rather gloomy morning hence the above 'moody' photograph
of Dunvegan Churchyard.  Lovely floral arrangement though .....:)


........ and a very unusual plant base in the one above 
situated at the end of the village opposite the
Free Church of Scotland.   Very eyecatching though.


Above is the township of Roag in the distance - 
but can you also spot the small flock of geese in the foreground?


A favourite walk from Roskhill has always been the 
Harlosh Loop - from which the above shot was taken.
It was still cloudy at the time but began to brighten up a bit later.....


... but in the meantime I happened upon this bank of amazing 
wild flowers including my favourite 'meadowsweet' which 
has a wonderfully aromatic scent....  :)
The beautiful purple flower is Hedge Woundwort.


      Above is a view across to Macleods Tables from Harlosh.   
The blue skies were starting to make an appearance by then....


My friend Sue joined me for part of the Roag section!
We had a real laugh! 
It was Sue who joined me back in 2018 doing the Harlosh Loop together.


From Roag my walk took in the moorland across to the Glendale 
Road and then an amble down to the end of Uiginish 
where I sat for a breather and took the photo below....


.... which shows the view across to Dunvegan Castle and the woodland
surrounding it.  By then the weather had really cheered up.


By 2.30 p.m. it was definitely lunchtime though!!
Collapsing on the bench just along the road from the
Dunvegan Camp Site -  it was very pleasant taking in 
the above view across Loch Dunvegan whilst 
chomping away on peanut butter sandwiches and fruit!!


A complete change of scenery followed as having walked through
Dunvegan village, I then took the footpath through the 
woods and up out onto moorland the other side.  
By then the weather was even brighter and it was hot too!!


Love this view of the monkey puzzle tree looking across 
to one of Macleods Tables  - 
plus the one below of the snaking track across the moorland 
from the tree by the gateway onto the A850.


By then I was well and truly on the 'home straight' but not 
without taking a photograph of the river running across the moor
with Macleods Tables in the background....:)


Thirty minutes after taking the above photo 
I was back home clutching a very welcome LARGE mug of tea!
It had been a very long day but the magnificent scenery and sheer joy 
of walking through it - plus the terrific Cause for which this trek had been done 
made it all absolutely worthwhile !