Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Where has the beach gone ?

The warmer weather lately plus the rain has caused most of the snow to melt from the mountains surrounding Loch Ness and thus fill up the loch to the highest we have ever seen it. It has also been very windy over the Christmas holidays and there is alot of wooden and vegetation debris strewn around the sinking chairs and also at the 'nearly underwater' Farigaig Pier.We were surprised when our guests went down to the beach with their dog as usual and called up to say that the beach had disappeared !
Going down to see exactly what they meant I found the end of the path was underwater and the waves were lapping around the old rowing boat. The chairs were sitting sadly alone in Loch no rest here for any walkers for a while !

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Feed the birds

It has turned really cold lately with continuing flurries of sleet or snow.  Due to the shortening length of daylight hours the birds now rapidly gorge on any food put out for them and the feeders need filling up twice a day.The bird bath is usually iced up but there are other water bowls in the garden [normally ex roasting pans as it is easier to bash the ice out of these]. In this frantic time when their natural food of insects are scarce we do see more varieties of birdlife than we normally would. The Long Tailed Tits descend fleetingly in gangs for a quick fill up and make alot of sweet noises. The larger Great Spotted Woodpecker is watched warily by the smaller birds as it flies in. We have had welcome visits by the Goldfinch and Greenfinch and a pair of tiny Goldcrests,our smallest bird,has been seen on the feeders.The female has a yellow stripe compared to the bright orange of the male.Lots of blackbirds now and chaffinches galore.The Robin is the boldest of them all and will fly on to the bird table whilst I am laying out the dish of the day.

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Winter blows in.

The snow has melted around the house now but is still on the lower fields and mountains opposite. It has either been raining or sleeting which at least has defrosted the driveway.
Today it is extremely violent with wind coming from the west creating sudden gusts that make the windows rattle and all the trees out front bow over.There is much white water on Loch Ness with alot of spray blowing about on top of the huge rolling waves coming down the Great Glen.The power has just gone off and the generator now comes into its own. It is also connected to Aspenwood so guests need not worry about power cuts.
Whatever the weather the birds and red squirrels gather hungrily at the feeders and stock up on food during the ever decreasing daylight hours.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Snow has arrived

Had a good covering of snow at lower levels recently and the house is surrounded by the white stuff [cats are not happy]. Very icy underfoot this morning so put on my newly acquired 'Spikers' over my boots to fill up all the feeders for the birds and is amazing what they eat in the early hours while we are still slumbering. Gave up on defrosting the bird bath as the ice on top was so thick and just put more food on the surface.We have noticed the wildlife eating the snow on the plants or ground for the water content. Really cold all day today with the temperature not rising above freezing and the surrounding scenery looks just like a Winter wonderland. We have guests staying at the moment and we often wave to them as they walk their dog along the front path. We look forward to our guests coming for this Christmas and the New Year and also we have recently had a booking for next New Year.....secretly everyone loves the snow and we are all big kids at heart. 

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Falls of Foyers

Our guests last week took a walk to the famous Falls of Foyers in the nearby village of Foyers, about 3 miles from Aspenwood. In all the years they have been staying in the cottage and visiting these falls they had never seen it so full of life. The water and melting snow from the surrounding hills was really cascading down this 165 feet waterfall creating enormous amounts of spray before entering Loch Ness.
Many thanks to Elaine and Ian for taking this video and getting soaking wet in the process.

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Little and Large.

The weather has turned very chilly now we have reached December and more snow has fallen on the mountains surrounding Loch Ness although not on lower ground....yet!
Went to visit a friend on her farm near Foyers and had a good chat over a drink. As we looked out of the window we watched their horse, with its lovely blonde mane and tail, running around the field with his shetland pony companion....possibly to keep warm.