The snow which started falling on December 19th finally disappeared last week along with the thick compacted ice underneath and we breathed a huge sigh of relief. We were able to get back to normality after 5 weeks of extreme weather conditions and actually drive our car into Inverness.
In Aspenwood the new carpets were laid yesterday in the lounge, hallway and single bedroom and it all looks very fresh. Hopefully the new suite will be delivered next Monday although we did wake up this morning to a white out blizzard and a new layer of snow everywhere...what a nice surprise!
A new fence is due to be erected next week at the front of the cottage with a special platform along the top for the squirrels and birds to perform on. Luckily we ordered more peanuts, fat balls and bird seed in the week as delivery vans are now able to drive along the lane to our house once more. This food all arrived very promptly so all the birds have returned for nourishment in this new snowy period. The water in the bird bath has frozen over again due to a very chilly wind from the north making the temperatures feel like -5C. The RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch is this weekend so should have quite a few bird species to count over a one hour period in this weather.
Sunday, January 24, 2010
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Her sister Maisie was stealthily crouched round the bottom of the stairs ready for the attack. As we looked out of the bedroom window this was the scene of the freezing fog drifting along Loch Ness from the west from Fort Augustus. There was frost on the grass this morning after a beautiful sky full of stars with a temperature of -1C . Although the snow has mostly gone it now reveals the thick ice underneath. We have managed to get our car out this week for the first time in four weeks by going through our nearest neighbours driveway and driving up via Aspenwood and into Inverness. Certain parts of the forest track near Farigaig Pier are still like a skating rink. All through these past 5 weeks of extreme weather conditions - well below zero temperatures, blizzards, freezing fog, thick ice - the thaw has finally arrived. Some of the scenes have been truly magical but it will be so nice to get back to some form of normality i.e. not wearing wellington boots, thick socks and huge warm clothes every day.The birds have had to be fed every morning as they were truly hungry and really depended on the food put out...often waiting unusually close as the food was supplied at their various feeding stations.
We have all suffered in some way but also there has been a great feeling of togetherness from friends and neighbours as we have all had to pull together and help each other out. There has been a great sense of warm friendship in such a small community which has been truly smashing and what life is all about.
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
Guests who stayed at Aspenwood Cottage recently took this video of a pine marten at one of the peanut feeders on the fence outside the lounge window......so many thanks to Tom and Mary from USA for sending this video to us. These native pine martens live in Farigaig Forest surrounding the cottage so future guests may be fortunate enough to view these elusive creatures at such close range.....keep a look out !
Thursday, January 14, 2010
Aspenwood. The birds are not quite so desperate for food and the bird bath has now been cleaned and full of fresh water. Hadn't filled it up long when we saw a robin splashing about in the water in the bath....good to see at last.
Saturday, January 09, 2010
The temperatures this last week have been well below zero all day, yesterday was minus 15C. We have been walking up the track to Aspenwood every other day mainly to bring the Christmas guests washing down here to deal with. We came up with a cunning plan and put the washing in thick black sacks and dragged them down the track and home. It is amazing the different animal tracks you find in the snow. We are certainly getting fitter, although this was not on our New Year resolution list !