Life at the end of the road

April 5, 2012

The ‘Beetles of Raasay’ :-)

Filed under: daily doings — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 9:01 pm

I shouldn’t really be attempting any blogging right now, I’ve not even replied to most of the well intended comments left by you all, for which I apologise and I’m too tired to make much sense 🙂 Not that I’ve actually done a great deal today but all this  house and hen related stuff is really taking it out of me 😦

After the wintery couple of days that arrived here on Tuesday and Wednesday along with the first lamb or two, today was quite nice. OK, there was the odd shower and it was hardly painting weather but at least it was a few degrees warmer and the ‘Baltic’ north easterly had blown itself out. So much so that I made it up to the top deck for my chosen task of freeing off the ‘fairlead rollers’


020412 022

A task that I would have found nigh on impossible had it not been for ‘Lucky Jim’s’ converted Volkswagen car jack :-)  Lucky Jim being our long serving ex skipper and motorman who retired almost exactly two years ago



For long enough I had a little reminder of his service every time I shutdown the aft main engine,


but sadly the 1970’s drawer knob on the old tractor starter button that he’d ‘knocked up’ to keep things running smoothly had been replaced at docking last year 😦 However I was once more reminded of his ingenuity when I came to remove the roller pins to free them off and paint them. Jim had been faced with the same problem some years ago so had welded a clamp onto an old car jack that could then be used to draw them out.

 020412 030


 The ‘Beetle man’s’ book

It’s been twenty years in the making and will probably not be an international best seller but I’m sure it will be good reading for anyone with an interest in beetles or Raasay.



Richard Moore has been visiting Raasay since the mid seventies and did, for a year or two at least live here at Arnish.


Indeed, it was himself that brought this very tree here over forty years ago on the bus


and just look at it now 🙂


Looking somewhat bizarre amongst the birch, hawthorn and native trees this ‘Monkey Puzzle’ was not much taller than me when I moved here in 1989 and now it’s well over thirty feet tall. Not only that but it could be yours for around £170K (shameless plug) 🙂

To say that Richard is dedicated to his ‘specialist subject’ would be something of an understatement, for the last couple of decades he’s been pursuing the beetles of Raasay relentlessly. Twice a year, usually in May and August he can be seen out in all weathers sporting a butterfly net, wellingtons, rucksack and all manner of sophisticated trapping devices for his quarry.

I’ve no idea how many different types he’s found, well I have but I’ve forgotten, but it is around the ‘rather a lot’, certainly closer to a thousand than hundred.



  1. That tree’s growth sure puts things in perspective: must make you think of the years you’ve lived there, Paul, and the passing of time and changes to the steading. I must say, I’m fairly interested in bugs etc in general and spiders in particular: they are truly remarkable little critters, benign for the most part. I prefer birdlife, though.

    Comment by yractual — April 6, 2012 @ 8:54 am

  2. I’ll bet Richard is proud to know his specialist tool is still proving to be a great help to you. It is often these wee inofations that make the biggest difference.
    That Monkey Puzzle tree has certainly grown well and as said in reply already shows the passing of time during your stay on the croft, well worth the £170k asking price even without the building lol!
    The weather her took the same big change, not good for us folks with poor circulation at all! We had to put the central heating back on and once again I was wishing we had a log fire, so much more friendly in snowy weather! Thankfully it is getting warmer again and hopefully I will soon be able to peel off the the outer clothingagain!
    All the best

    Comment by Graham Thompson — April 6, 2012 @ 10:28 am

  3. Great to read that Richard has published his beetle findings. Where can I get it ?

    Comment by SOTW — April 6, 2012 @ 11:00 am

  4. The Beatles live on Raasay! Or at least Ringo? Oh, I must buy a house there too! I must share on the internet I’ve discovered the Beatles on Raasay!

    Comment by drgeo — April 6, 2012 @ 2:48 pm

  5. “Careful where you leave that roll…” splosh…

    Bet you can do without one of those moments!

    Selling up/moving is about as stressful as it gets mate…good luck!

    Comment by cogidubnus — April 7, 2012 @ 3:26 pm

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