Friday, May 30, 2008

Boat Race

Witnessed an unusual spectacle on Loch Ness yesterday morning as about 40 various boating craft including The Fingal activity barge and many colourful sailboats passed in front of the house and went down the loch from Fort Augustus to Urquhart Castle.When we went into Inverness later in the morning we saw them tacking back and forth in and around Urquhart Bay. Looked as if everybody was enjoying themselves in this friendly event.Luckily for those with sails the wind was coming from the southwest along The Great Glen.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Glorious Bank Holiday weekend.

Over the Bank Holiday weekend we experienced some glorious warm weather with clear blue skies accompanied by a brisk easterly breeze.Strolled down to on the beach below Aspenwood during the afternoon to sit on the rocks and watch the waves roll in and the boats bob up and down. Later on in the evening as we sat outside with a glass of something refreshing we marvelled as the sky lit up with a very colourful sunset. Lovely end to the day.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Blooming Bluebells.

There are carpets of wild bluebells covering the forest floor and colouring the roadside verges.Encouraged me to fill the hanging baskets and tubs around the garden and pray that the deer leave them alone.Several deer have been very near the house and also down the front bank 'mowing' the grass for us.The sunshine seems to bring out more wildlife than usual and the weekend weather has been very bright and breezy.Enjoyed a rare sighting of the osprey hovering over the loch - a regular visitor to Loch Ness since we have lived here for the past 12 years and we look out for it from April to August.The ospreys at Boat of Garten have produced a chick and it is fascinating following their progress. Bird life at the feeders has quietened down and we wait for the first youngster to appear.The grey heron occasionally flies by and has been seen standing on the narrow jetty beyond Farigaig pier.Red squirrels leap along the tree logs on the front bank which are waiting to be chopped up ready for winter fires.
Enough talk of winter - let's enjoy the warm weather and all the pleasures that come with it.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Fun on Loch Ness for everybody.

The activity on Loch Ness has increased during the month of May with boating craft of all shapes and sizes taking to the water.The Fingal activity barge was moored in Dores bay and passengers were being ferried to the shore, possibly to The Dores Inn but we can't say for sure!
Over the weekend it was quite sunny and bright but with a cool north-easterly breeze and the yachts took full advantage of the wind behind their sails and crashed up and down on the choppy white waves. Others were just out enjoying the peace and quite of the loch and hoping for a catch or two.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Fort Augustus

Loch Ness was shrouded in early morning haar mist but as we drove over the mountains and down to Fort Augustus the mist slowly cleared and the sun emerged through the clouds. Several boating craft were in the lock gates including two yachts crewed by the sea scouts who were having a fine old time judging by the noise and laughter.

Drove a little further along and up to the River Oich Forest Walk Trail. Enjoyed a leisurely stroll through the forest of very tall trees listening to the birdsong and then took the trail down to the River Oich where the bluebells and gorse were growing in profusion along its banks.
On the return journey we spotted several stags and hinds on the open moorland on higher ground.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Spring Wildlife Update.

 We have recently seen a large brown hare running at full speed along the front path and often going down to the water but the other day it actually stopped on the path and seemed to enjoy the warmth of the sun on its back. Neighbours have seen it whizz past their windows too.
Red squirrels have been seen quite near Farigaig Pier and several have run across the road as we travel into Inverness and Foyers.
The birds are busy nesting and are not such frequent visitors to the feeders. Amazing birdsong is heard throughout the day and it is wonderful to sit out in the evening,watching the sun setting over the mountain opposite and listen to the birds singing their last song before bedtime.
A pair of male pheasants were noisily fighting over a female and this is the one that lost - both the girl and his tail feathers. The lucky pair are now breeding in the forest very nearby and are very verbal.
The smaller birds have been collecting the cats fur that I throw out after brushing them and creating fur lined nests.
Had a flock of very agile swallows doing acrobatics before disappearing to nest in a local barn.
The mother deer and year old offspring are frequent visitors and are still very close.
Deer can be heard calling to each other and it is amazing how the sound travels from the other side of Loch Ness. We wait to see if mother produces another offspring this year.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Walk to Easter Boleskine.

The weather has been really wonderful this week so went for a lovely long leisurely walk.
Strolled along the forest track in front of our house admiring the carpets of wild primroses, the tiny white wood anenomes nestling in the shade and yellow gorse bushes covering the verges everywhere.
Walked throught the forest, up to the single track road for a short while and then through the gate signed to Easter Boleskine. Slowly climbed the uphill path but it was worth it as we had a marvellous view of Loch Ness from the top facing down to Fort Augustus and snow topped mountains just visible in the distance.
Strolled through Farigaig Forest enjoying the peace and quiet .....and finally down to Farigaig Pier.

Friday, May 02, 2008

New born highland calf.

Went to visit a friend at her farm just on the outskirts of Foyers to see some of the new born calves. The one above with its mother was only 48 hours old. The rest of the herd were very protective and gathered round it as we approached although the size of their magnificent large horns was enough for me to keep my distance. They are grand beasts with a quiet graceful air of superiority although this one did let me stroke his huge velvet nose.