Life at the end of the road

September 1, 2013

In with a bang :-(

Filed under: daily doings — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 9:24 pm

That’s autumn here, a little slow over the threshold this morning but firing on all four cylinders right now with a good gale of west wind beating at the door. My enforced ‘digital detox’ and yes there is such a word/phrase, it entered the Oxford English dictionary yesterday.



Anyway as it had come to an end I was stuck in the house a good hour longer than I had been of late so didn’t get out to check the mink trap until well after 7:00. Even so, I skipped taking the quad and once more chose meandering course through the birch wood with shotgun, dog and camera. The mushroom bag I left behind to discourage me from collecting more than a pocket full. Yes, I know that I could dry them and keep them for years, indeed my house was usually full of them at this time of year but my son is not a fan and one thing about dried mushrooms is they certainly make things taste of mushrooms Smile 



I was barely at the end of the road before I found my first, a birch boletus, which dries extremely well but after heavy rain like last night, is a little soggy and slimy fresh.



Soon we were off the beaten track and into a hidden gorge not far away, a little boggy underfoot here just now but I guess at one time it would have been well drained judging by the walls and ruins round about.


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It really is like another enchanted world in these woods at the north end, the ferns giving it an almost prehistoric look.

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It wasn’t just the ferns that gave the place that enchanted air Smile

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Chanterelle on the left and an edible rusela , only trouble is there are a few that look very similar that aren’t, so these days I pass them by.



This is a nice wee mushroom with a kick, called the peppery boletus, it is just that, and very easy to distinguish from the many other mushrooms with pores rather than gills. This has a dark brown almost furry cap and very distinctive saffron coloured pores underneath, with just a few in my pockets i continued to the shore and an empty trap.



On the way back, just before the Torran gate I startled a couple of hoodies and brought one down with the Hatsan, only wish they were edible.



Once through the gate we struck east and up a rocky outcrop where, a few years ago Jamie Lea farrowed in a February blizzard!!!



I can see why she would, there’s a lovely view Smile

International Rescue

By the time I got home to feed it was well after 9:00, and I was just about to when wifey came out in her pyjamas to tell me that some friends at Brochel were stuck in the mud and wanting to catch the 10:00am ferry. No problem for the Land Rover and I but it took longer to work out how to attach the towing eye than actually hitch up and drag the VW out of the mud. Hopefully they will have made the ferry as they’d a long drive ahead of them.

Next it was over to Torran to refill and bleed the diesel through to the generator, the previous clients there having been rather heavy on the old electricity usage. Perhaps it’s just me, and I’ve been ‘in the sticks’ too long, but why would you go to a remote island house and take a hair drier or toastie  maker as some folk do??

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The fuel tank is quite a way from the generator so it took a wee while to get going, however, my mate ‘cranked up’ the hydro and that got the batteries charged up enough to do the chores. After that it was a well deserved lunch and then an inordinately long time lagging the silencer on Harry, by which time the weather really had turned into autumn.

Once the silencer and some cable tray was fitted into the new generator shed i gave the floor its third and final coat of red paint prior to feeding the pigs and then going to retrieve my mink trap for the week.


It was only when I came to try and remove the bait, a nice piece of ling given to us by Jessie Nicolson, ( or should I say the fillet remains ) that I noticed that it had been eaten from underneath through the trap Smile Methinks this mink is taking the Mickey, one thing for sure though, it has decimated the seagull population. Visits last year and this to their breeding colony on Grian a Sgeir  revealed no eggs and precious few chicks.

Mink attacking juvenile Gannet

Here’s one attacking a young gannet, taken by John W Anderson . A native of North America they were bred in captivity for their fur, the exploding wild population of the escapees due to their having no natural predators.

A good night was had by all

Alas we never made it, but Friday night saw an excellent band playing at the village hall and some serious barbecuing Smile



The Outsiders rocked (though I wish they’d picked a more original name, there must be a dozen ‘Outsiders’)


and ‘the usual suspects’ cooked Smile

More ‘interesting pictures’ on Smile wish we’d been there!

Anyway, that’s it, I’m off to bed, taking the Dude to school in the morning then heading off for the Clyde and Hallaig who is due her ‘endurance trials’ on Tuesday Smile



  1. love the pix of your mushroom fairy land and that’s a gorgeous shot of the black and white spotted hound with the black and white spotted rocks, with — heather, is that? — pretty purple flowers in the background. wow. you do live in paradise.

    Comment by jeannettesmyth — September 2, 2013 @ 6:00 am

    • Yep Jeannette, that’s heather alright 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — September 4, 2013 @ 7:28 pm

  2. I reckon the sort of people that bring hair dryers and toastie makers are closely related to the sorts of people who bring wooden nesting tables, oil filled electric radiators and a microwave to a campsite. Bloody muggles.

    Comment by Kevin — September 2, 2013 @ 8:19 am

    • Not to mention a satellite dish Kevin 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — September 4, 2013 @ 7:29 pm

  3. Hi Paul – Mink Trap – we have one in Kyleakin. Tel 01599 534522 AFTER Tuesday or tonight.
    Alasdair Munro
    Kyleakin Environmental Group

    Comment by Alasdair Munro — September 2, 2013 @ 10:13 am

    • Thanks Alistair, will give you a bell.

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — September 4, 2013 @ 7:29 pm

  4. Certainly down here , at Saturn’s resting place (Rosneath) autumn announced itself on Sunday 01-Sep.

    Comment by Nigel Macleod — September 2, 2013 @ 12:55 pm

    • Back to summer again Nigel 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — September 4, 2013 @ 7:30 pm

  5. Thank you for charging to the rescue yesterday in your gleaming white Land Rover. Boy, were we pleased to see you! We screeched into the ferry queue with about 45 seconds to spare. Good luck with the minks. I caught a glimpse of a black animal at Hallaig, but I thought it might be a pine marten. Is that possible?

    Comment by Emily Ward — September 2, 2013 @ 6:51 pm

    • Hi Emily, glad you made the ferry OK, mink or small otter more likely, a pine marten does look very similar but I’ve never heard of them on Raasay.

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — September 4, 2013 @ 7:32 pm

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