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’ http://oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/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
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.
It really is like another enchanted world in these woods at the north end, the ferns giving it an almost prehistoric look.
It wasn’t just the ferns that gave the place that enchanted air
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
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??
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 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.
Here’s one attacking a young gannet, taken by John W Anderson http://www.ayrshireriverstrust.org/cisp/invasive-weeds/american-mink/ . 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
The Outsiders rocked (though I wish they’d picked a more original name, there must be a dozen ‘Outsiders’)
and ‘the usual suspects’ cooked
More ‘interesting pictures’ on http://www.flickr.com/photos/raasayweb/with/9647172442/ 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