Life at the end of the road

September 4, 2012

Toads, crows and a bit of a shock

Filed under: daily doings, food, Land Rover, Trucks and plant — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 10:40 pm

Half past ten already!!!! where has the day gone??

Actually it’s only 21:00 but now it’s Tuesday night, I gave up on yesterday’s effort and chose bed instead and to be honest I’ll not be long in going to it tonight either. Though at least it will be in clean sheets for the house has been like a Chinese laundry of late with me washing anything and everything. The sudden glut of wind and rain filling both our water tanks and batteries at the same time, how I love this wild weather. OK, perhaps love is a bit too strong but at least I can take comfort in the wind and rain turning our turbines and making us lots of power Smile


A mad rush it was right from the start, hens had to be dealt with and my son got ready for school some two and a quarter hours before actually arriving there. Thank God he does not have to go through this every day like he did for the first two months of his first year at Portree High.

I was hoping to set off early with him and do a little rabbit hunting on the way south but it just didn’t happen and we ended up flying out of the front door and driving rather quickly down ‘Calum’s road’. Luckily the only vehicle I ever meet in the mornings is the snow plough and that’s not likely to be here for a few months yet Smile 

After watching my son ignore me as he vanished for the week I ‘hightailed’ it home to feed the pigs and do some indoor work on what was a pretty miserable day.



Feeling pretty pleased with myself for dispatching another hooded crow Smile After the Dude shot one yesterday this would ensure at least a couple of weeks ‘crow free time’.

He’s a pretty nasty creature the ‘old hoodie’, stealing eggs, killing chicks, pecking the eyes out of new born lambs and the stomachs from sick sheep but you gotta admire him. The old crow is an intelligent bird no doubt and I’d not have shot this one had the Dude not been using a silenced CO2 powered rifle yesterday. This one I took out with my Hatsan shotgun and the noise of that plus the dead bird left on the fence post will keep them away for weeks. The one my son shot yesterday was from a hide and silent so the rest of the flock know nothing about it, I swear they speak to each other. I read once that they do and even heard of local chap who knew what they were saying, seriously, not in words but in their warnings to each other. I can quite believe it for I tried again this morning by hiding in the old Arnish net shed and laying bait but the ‘corvus’ but he’d sussed it. I could hear them calling to each other as the odd one would fly nearby only to veer off sharply as a wiser bird warned him with a caw.

Anyway, back to yesterday, after second breakfast, booking me and my 1972 Thomson Glenelg into for 68 nights Sad smile 


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and unloading the Land Rover I set about investigating the ‘ominous clunk’.


The expensive noise turned out to be a ‘Britpart shitpart’ rear  shocker bush that had collapsed due to oil contamination from a failed ‘De Carbon’ shock absorber. The bushes only having been fitted in June Sad smile OK, the failed shocker and resulting oil caused it but I can’t believe how quickly the ‘Britpart shitpart’ rubber turned to sh*t Smile



Luckily I had a couple of old ‘Pro Comp 9000’s’ lying under the bench so cleaned up the boots, gave them a coat of Hammerite and stuck one on in place of the duff one.

After that I went along to to check out the newly installed extra solar panels.



Despite it being an overcast wet miserable day they were still producing some 120w around 4 or 5 amps at 24v, certainly enough to keep all the background loads going so I turned the hydro turbine off.

Loch Arnish was full of porpoises and gannets ‘working’ a shoal of herring but torrential rain and a gale of south wind prevented any meaningful snaps

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but if you click on those pictures you’ll see sula (Gaelic for gannet) diving for fish.  The perpendicular dive indicating the much slower herring, mackerel swim faster so the birds dive at a shallower angle. I know, I know, the picture’s carp but it was wet, windy and pure fluke that I caught it at all Smile

The rest of the day was spent tinkering about with wiring in the new shed and doing all the egg, pig and croft related stuff.

I really did try to do a spot of blogging last night after my chilli and baked potatoes but it just didn’t happen, I was pure wrecked so went to my bed straight after ‘running the toad gauntlet’.



I’ve not done this for about ten years but every year around the first full moon in September you can’t help but squash toads Sad smile I dunno what it is but they seem to start some kind of migration at this time of year.


I first noticed it some twenty odd years ago as I went out at night to switch off the generator


but automation has put paid to that,



and it’s years since I’ve seen this amount of toads underfoot, I must have seen at least six on my my to the hens and back.#

A change of colour

That was it really for Monday, I arose early today, did all the feeding, sorted the eggs and headed south for the ferry.


RJ MacLeod already busy working on the ‘new’ water treatment plant Smile


Do they know something we don’t Smile

It’s well after 23:00 now but I couldn’t resist slipping this in as the tendering process has started for the operation of the twenty odd routes held by CalMac at the moment (my employer)



For reasons unknown the Serco tug SD Kyle of Lochalsh came out of dry dock this year in a different colour scheme Sad smile Gone the black and buff of the former RNAS and enter the black white and red of Caledonian MacBrayne 


Serco MacBrayne

do you get my drift Smile

Of course it could all be just coincidence, corporate carp and a batch of cheap white gloss but it seems strange to me, especially when you consider that they’ve just won the contract Smile

That’s it really



the day improved and I need my bed. I’ll give you the chilli recipe tomorrow Smile

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