Life at the end of the road

July 19, 2011

Pretty good, considering :-)

Filed under: daily doings, hydro — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 10:09 pm

Well it’s 21:30 and I’m still not in my bed, so that has to be some kind of achievement, I’m pretty whacked right enough but at least I’m awake 🙂 Not only that but my ‘wakedness’  is not due to the unlikely scenario of me actually ‘taking it easy’, far from it. For despite the shaky start to the day I, or should I say we, have got much done. Nothing that I’d actually planned to do but plenty all the same.

Little got done before 10:30, except feeding the pigs,

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though it was so miserable that not even the ‘wee dug’ came to help. I spent a little while watching the miserableness (yes I know there’s no such word) before going indoors not to do the VAT return 🙂 Wifey gave me a haircut instead, something that I never sit still long enough to have finished properly.

Eventually though the rain eased enough to be able to take the boys out. To be honest they’d go out whatever the weather but I didn’t want to be responsible for a bout of pneumonia. The only attire that keeps this kind of rain from soaking you to the marrow are fishermen’s oilskins and not the cheap things you get from the high street.

The first task I’d chosen was to fell a large birch tree that was growing awkwardly near to the track down to my present hydro turbine. I don’t cut down trees ‘willy nilly’, the birch here is a valuable resource and has kept me in firewood for over twenty years. Managed carefully it will continue to so for generations. Taking out the older ones gives the younger ones space and light to flourish and the few sheep that are now on the Arnish hill ensure rapid regeneration, too rapid in fact. The Torran hill is becoming a veritable jungle since the sheep were removed, the path to Fladda being almost impassable in places.

The ancient tree I felled had the last laugh though, for I got the Honda stuck pulling out of the wood and had to suffer the indignation of being rescued by the Quadzilla.

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Not only that but the over enthusiastic ‘Lightning MacLennan’ pulled off my front bumper 😦

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Hardly surprising really when you see the size of the tree 🙂

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Ahh well, at least that found us a nice indoor job to do as the rain came back on 🙂

This took us nicely up to lunch and 14:00 when we had to head south with one of my helpers who had to be at his summer job in http://www.isleofraasayhotel.co.uk/ . Killing two birds with one stone we took the Land Rover and trailer to load up more stones for wifey’s paths in the veg patch.

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Now you know why we drink so much wine 🙂

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The day was improving by the minute and a spell of log splitting took us nicely up to 18:00 and some baked potatoes. The boys had worked so hard that I treated them to a quad ride up to ‘Pipers rock’ above Torran after dinner. Once there we abandoned our steeds and set off on foot to bury some pipe then do a little exploring up on those hills on the horizon.

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This pipe isn’t UV stabilized so should be buried, in all honesty, within a couple of years it will disappear into the heather but I thought I’d give it a head start, at least in the more exposed parts. After not very much digging we set off across the hill exploring, it may at first seem quite barren up here but at this time of year there is much to see.

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Many of the exposed rocks are covered in juniper and this one had berries on it,

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I dunno who built this tiny cairn generations ago but at its foot was a bunch of tiny flowers, which I think are saxifrage. If they’re not please tell me for I’d love to know.

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I know, it’s not a great picture, must have had the shakes 🙂

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In the murk of the top picture, looking north east is the entrance to Loch Torridon and in the bottom one just visible to the south, the Crowlin islands and the Applecross peninsula.

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Raasay’s highest point needing no introduction I’m sure 🙂

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This narrow lochan above the ‘Pipers rock’ being Am Feur-loch, which may or may not mean the grassy loch,

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though it would make sense because it is grassy and it is a loch 🙂

After our ‘shortcut’ back to the quads we headed home and did a little drainage work on the way.

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That was about it really, it’s just after 23:00 and time for bed 🙂

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12 Comments »

  1. Now thats what I call a haircut Paul lol!! Back in the ratrace now after our 10 days hols in the magical Isle !! 😦

    Comment by David Peakman — July 19, 2011 @ 10:23 pm

  2. aye your a hansome chap wi the new haircut paul but i think the old girl still looks better 🙂

    Comment by jimmy mcmillan — July 20, 2011 @ 1:20 pm

    • Morning Jimmy, David,

      yup, that’s the summer setting on the head at last 🙂 Think I got a sun tan yesterday 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — July 21, 2011 @ 5:08 am

  3. sorry Paul, but I liked it better with a bit more hair … never mind, it will grow soon enough and your wife has done a really great job

    Comment by carina — July 20, 2011 @ 5:21 pm

    • Morning Carina, it will grow, all too quickly 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — July 21, 2011 @ 5:21 am

  4. The pretty flowering plant seems to match something we have in our garden in North Yorkshire, which is stonecrop (cedum family), rather than saxifrage.
    Still very much enjoying your news and pictures from our favourite island.
    Best wishes,
    P & R.

    Comment by Paul & Rosemary Hawksworth — July 20, 2011 @ 7:47 pm

  5. The unknown species is of the sedum genus, most probably sedum anglicum, http://www.brc.ac.uk/plantatlas/index.php?q=plant/sedum-anglicum which prefers acidic soils though the flower ramce looks more like that of sedum album http://www.brc.ac.uk/plantatlas/index.php?q=plant/sedum-album but that prefers alkaline soils. See google pics http://www.google.com.hk/search?q=sedum+anglicum&hl=zh-TW&client=firefox-a&hs=fU9&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&prmd=ivns&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=GNgnTvrnEoOimQXi84zbCQ&ved=0CB0QsAQ&biw=1250&bih=754

    Comment by Dawei — July 21, 2011 @ 7:41 am

    • Thanks for that Dawei, you’re probably right.

      Cheers, Paul

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — July 21, 2011 @ 10:00 pm

  6. Explain what “UV stabilised” means? Is it something to do with the plastic perishing in the sunlight?

    Comment by Neil King — July 21, 2011 @ 11:21 am

    • Well I can’t really explain other than by ‘googling’ it Neil and pretending I’m some kind of expert so I’ll not bother 🙂 However you’re dead right, it is indeed some kind of treatment to stop plastics and other materials deteriorating in sunlight.

      Cheers, Paul

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — July 21, 2011 @ 10:04 pm


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