Friday, 31 May 2013

Highland Holiday !!

Just look at those gorgeous babies ....I was in heaven !
Yesterday I felt like I was on holiday .... the sun was shining, I was near the sea and had a wonderful day in great company !!
I must confess, I did get very lost !!  trying to get there, had to overcome a road block, that I had drove down by mistake ..... after careful negotiation, well that wasn't going to stop me.  I was already over an hour late, I was rescued by Mabel .... who was at the other side of the road barriers !! 
Needless to say they were swiftly dealt with.  I arrived for a little visit to Highland Alpacas near Aberdeen.

Some of the younger boys, looking very handsome.  I was blinded by beauty, just loved them all !

This is Wallace, isn't he handsome.  Mabel and Imants have two lovely dogs, but the other one was too busy running around and causing mayhem. 

The stud boys are busy being macho.  The sun shone and I had a lovely tour round meeting all the animals. We spent the afternoon having a relaxing time in the garden enjoying the view. I took Doza with me as I didn't want him to be left at home all day, he was very well behaved and spent the afternoon being a good boy.

The girls and the youngsters looking lovely, you can see the sea beyond what a brilliant time I really enjoyed my day off. 

The view overlooking the paddocks back to the house.

                            Happy .... Happy .... Piggies !!

Look at these handsome boys .... Mabel has four pet pigs, I think this photo is fantastic .... just sums up the great day ..... these boys make my piggies look tiny !!  The time whizzed by and it was a wonderful day.  I eventually left around 9pm, after a lovely meal ... back home, which I found without getting lost !!  It was after 11pm by the time I got finished, just as well that it is the lighter nights.

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Dogue Tired & Visitors !!

Doza, on his new bed .... having a snooze.  I think it is fair to say he is settling in just fine.

Zonda convalescing with Jessie in the conservatory, she continues to make good progress after her operation.  She loves to get on the sun lounger.

The big puppy ... its a hard life growing up and takes allot of energy just trying to keep those big wrinkles awake.
On Saturday afternoon while I was busy trying to make the house more 'Doza' proof, I got a phone call, which was a lovely surprise.  Mable & Imants from Highland Alpacas were hoping to come a pay us a visit, it was a lovely day and it turned out into a fantastic afternoon.

Mable & Imants meeting the big boys .... we spent the afternoon chatting and the time just flew by.

As I was waiting for them to arrive I was quite surprised when a very flashy BMW motorbike came trundling up my track.  I was expecting them to arrive on four wheels for some reason.  What a very smart motorbike indeed, its a pity there wasn't room for three .... or I might have just jumped on the back to for a bit of a blast.
I'm hoping to return the visit very soon and pop over to Highland Alpacas to return the pleasure before they all get a haircut when the shearer arrives next week.

Sunday, 26 May 2013

Partial to a Ginger Giant !!

Ok, most people who know me, also know that I am partial to 'Ginger Giants'. 
Actually to be precise Dogue de Bordeaux's also know as French Mastiff's. 
Meet the new BIG Boy !!  He was looking for a new home and I really couldn't resist offering him a home with me, in Scotland.

There were a few logistics to organise as I had to drive a round trip of 300 miles to Perth to collect him, so early morning I set off on my mission.
He is 18 months old and really still a puppy, but a very big puppy.  Thankfully, I have a huge cage, that he can be secured in when I can't keep an eye on him, but he is doing just fine.
I have a girl Dogue de Bordeaux as most know called Zonda who is really not very well, she has a condition called Chilothorax and needs to have fluid drained from her, in order for her to still be here.  So she is very special and needs lots of love and care.  She has recently been poorly and is recovering from her ordeal at the moment.
So the new boy is my security guard and he will be a great asset round the farm.  It would take a brave person to tackle him when he eventually grows up !!
But for the moment, we are getting to know each other and he is keeping me on my toes.

Love at first sight .... this is us meeting for the first time, I think we might just get along fine.

Out for our first walk round his new home ..... who said Big isn't Beautiful.
I hope he has a long and happy life with me, he was called Diesel, but I think I might change his name as I already have a little Diesel .....
Im thinking more like DOZA .... as he is built like a bulldozer !!

Monday, 13 May 2013

Big Scary Monster !!


Speak of the devil, I just mentioned yesterday I was waiting for the contractors to come and fertilise some of the fields where the alpacas graze.  Hey presto, yesterday was the day.  I thought that I would muck out the boys barn with the little tractor .... but the job ended up a bit of a saga, as you will see!

There was a Big and I mean Big scary monster in the fields .... the alpacas were not hanging around, but they did watch with great interest from a safe distance.  This is the fertiliser going on the girls field, it is safe to use with livestock and is soluble which means it will disappear into the ground quickly.  I have opted for a low nitrogen fertiliser which will feed the ground and release the very much needed minerals to support healthy grass growth.
This tractor makes all of mine look tiny, it only took about 20 mins to do all three fields, the tiny birthing paddock only took three sweeps .... and it was done.  I have a bit of spring tidying up to do with the harrows, but I'm waiting for a slightly drier spell as the hill is quite steep.  I have taped off this field ready for the summer, it just needs to be harrowed and left to grow.

The big scary tractor caused quite a stir with everyone ... even the piggies were running around at speed ...just managed to catch this photo of them.

Oh,  yes back to my little job of mucking out the boys barn ... look what happened !  My handle snapped in two.  I had just got three loads done and just typical .... I had only mentioned yesterday that I fancied trying a spot of welding, but didn't expect it would be this quick.
I faffed about for a couple of hours .... with no success !!  I couldn't see out of the mask !!  Rosemary, I did managed to weld just about everything that I didn't want to .... the vice .... the lever, but failed to get them to weld together !!!!
Then the cavalry turned up ..... the contractors, to do the fields .... and I was very happy to see them .... needless to say someone who can weld ... made the job look very easy !
I haven't had the course ... but I have learnt something regarding the idea and what to do .... but I'm not rushing to repair the hurdles just yet !!
I shall leave that one to the professionals.
The lever did get repaired, I did manage to get half of the boys barn mucked out, but I shall do the rest another day .... hopefully with no mishaps !

Sunday, 12 May 2013

A Brief taste of Summer !!

Wellground Stravinsky ... he's looking super in his full fleece.
Once again we have had a very mixed week weather wise.  All the alpacas have been turned out for the summer, however I must confess they have also been brought in on cold wet evenings.  There still is very little grass growing, but I can see some improvements on the fields.  I am waiting for the contractor to come and fertilise two of the alpaca fields, this will help them grow some decent grass throughout the summer, if we ever get one.
Barnacre Duke ... he also is a very handsome boy !

Last week we had a bit of a little birthday celebration, the wood is 7yrs old.  My how time goes by and how things change.  I have been living here for 9yrs in May.  Lots of up and downs, but at least I'm still here to enjoy the things in life ..... that I had aimed for and worked hard to achieve.  They say you have to speculate to accumulate .... I think this is very true. 
Life has a strange way of teaching you to be brave in times of struggle, you should never give up on yourself .... or your dreams or desires in life.  Keep working towards your goals and in the end things eventually work out .... sometimes we never know why, but part of the battle is accepting the things in life we can't change ..... or at least learning to live with the changes, that are forced upon us.
Which sometimes is the hardest battle of all.

I have been doing a spot of paint spraying, I bought these hurdles the other week when I went for the hayrings.  They needed a coat of paint to brighten them up and they now look as good as new.  There are a few that need the odd repair, I'm waiting for my Dad to do a little welding on some, that's something I haven't had a go at .... but I'm hoping that will soon change, I fancy having a go at a spot of welding.

The newly painted hurdle ... looks as good as new... I have painted 6, with probably another 6 to paint once fixed.

We do everything here .... even turning my hand to the odd spot of Bee rescue, I rescued this little fella out of the water trough last week.  The sun was shining so he soon dried off and went on his merry way....

Out for our evening walk, round the wood.  This little wood stretches as far to the big wood in the distance, its lovely to finally see the trees spurting into life. 
Yesterday I also had the piggies for a walk around the wood .... since Zonda has become unwell and Norka has grown the size of a Rhino .... she's not keen to go all together.  So I have got to do separate walks !

Monday, 6 May 2013

A Right Dolly Mixture !!

Yesterday afternoon I took the camera out into the field, as I haven't taken any recent photos of Zanzibah Zyisha ... she is growing up very nicely, her pet name is Dolly Mixture.  I'm sure you can see why.  With virtually every colour in her fleece, there was a real battle of the colour genetics going on here, when she was a twinkle in her dads eye !

Zyisha is the first baby sired by Zeto, he has dominated her colour with his lovely grey.  This is Zimushka (Zeto's full sister) with Zyisha they have spotted the cat ...

He was soon chased out of their field by Zimushka can just see him disappearing into the garden.

Ah .... my beautiful Zoretah .... she is very special, she has the most beautiful face and is a real sweetie ..... who loves a cuddle.

The girls grazing yesterday, still very little grass on the fields.  The girls have just finished off their carrots.  On this photo you can see Zoretah's light fawn patches on her hocks ... which are really quite different, she is a very dark brown, but she still has her light ankles and the patches on her legs.....
Zullulah has spotted something and is the only one with her head up.

Saturday, 4 May 2013

Chicken Update !!

A quick chicken update ... look who is standing !!  The little brown hen who was off her legs when she arrived.  She is making good progress, eating and much happier, still weak but she has started to potter around the shed.

A lovely reward, I've already had 20 eggs from my new arrivals...

After a couple of days, they have perked up and most are active around the shed, the weak one is having a little sit down in the background, but she is making steady progress.

A close inspection from one nosey chicken...

This is a view of the big boys grazing today, I've been out planting some bulbs in the garden.  Its nothing like May, the grass is making an attempt to grow, but you have to look closely !!

Thursday, 2 May 2013

Happy Holidays, New Arrivals & Swallows Sighted !

It has been a busy week here with lots of new visitors and more new arrivals !  Irma and Kim helping with lots of jobs, this was one collecting stones from the field which will be left to grow to make hay.  I didn't think we would collect a full bucket of stones but it was quite a surprise to see how many we picked up.

The horses enjoy some grooming .... we have had a mixture of sunny days and cold rainy ones, we need some showers to kick start the grass to grow.  I have managed to trim some of the boys toes and trim some 'top nots' on the boys so they can see where they are going now.  Its nice to have a little extra help with some of the jobs that need more than one pair of hands.

Kim was in the driving seat, I think she enjoyed being behind the wheel, thankfully this was one of the nicer days. Last night I heard that sound that I have been waiting for summer friends, I looked up to the sky and saw 6 swallows sky diving and screeching .... that's a welcome sight... summer is just a sniff away ..... I love to see my summer swallows, they just make me happy.

On Monday evening I took delivery of some more hens, these are rescue hens that were desperately looking for a new home or they would not be here by now.  I have plenty of hens and lots of lovely eggs, but with every good cause, I can usually find some space.  I have managed to find room for 16 extra new ones.  These little girls are making great progress, quite allot of them were suffering from stress, sniffles and general illthrift.  I have given the ones that needed a multi-vitamin injection, also multi vitamins in their water, some needed antibiotic injections for snuffles.  After just three days the improvement is clearly visible..... I had one who could not stand and was really depressed, I didn't think she'd make it, but she is still here.  A bit wobbly but I have seen her walking a few steps, hopefully with a bit of love and care we can get her stronger and she will make a full recovery. 

The new arrivals, safe ..... I have already received 10 eggs from them.  I'm not into this commercial throw away society, especially when it involves little lives .... I have rescued lots of chickens in the past and they give lots of pleasure, lovely eggs and its great to know .... that every little helps. 

Kim, wearing her new hat and scarf .... especially hand crafted from the Lady Zanzibah Knitware selection.
Irma and Kim couldn't quite fit an alpaca in the car to take home so Kim bagged one of the designer sets from the House of Zanzibah and Irma took a car load of fleeces !!
I'm sure it will keep them busy for quite some time.  We have had a lovely few days, but its back to normal.  The summer preparation will be soon underway.  I have the hill to harrow and tape off from the horses in a week or so, weather pending, this is also set aside for haylage.
Then, its just a matter of a couple of months and the babies will be arriving all being well in July !  Roll on the summer.  Don't blink or we might miss it !!