Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Guest does a runner !

Been a busy week so far. The conservatory has been completely emptied and is being decorated and new wood flooring laid. New furniture arriving tomorrow hopefully. We miss being able to use this room and the cats are most annoyed at being made to camp out in the hallway. The weather has been very showery and overcast lately with a very low cloud base and quite chilly at night.We hope the weather improves for this coming Sunday when one of our guests arriving at the cottage on Saturday is entering for the Baxters Loch Ness Marathon . We shall go up to the road to take a video and cheer him on as well as encourage all the other entrants. We always tell them they haven't got far to go and have lots of laughs with them.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Some chick !

The windy weather we have been experiencing this week has now begun to subside. Although it has been very breezy with alot of white water on the surface of Loch Ness it has been a warm westerly wind. No doubt the birds are pleased as they were really whirling around on the circular sunflower feeders as well as contending with the predatory sparrowhawk who was doing overtime for his family nearby. This young greenfinch chick was often seen enjoying a drink at the bird bath.The young greenfinch is surprisingly large with untidy ruffled feathers and the chaffinch at the drinks bar kept looking on in amazement.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Mountain rescue.

Whenever we hear the sound of a low helicopter approaching we wonder who the RAF,usually from Lossiemouth, have now been sent to rescue. As big as a helicopter is it can be virtually impossible to tell which direction the aircraft is coming from. This one passed overhead recently and stood out against the blue sky. Reading the papers today it could possibly have been to rescue a family of 4 who were attempting to descend Ben Eighe in Wester Ross. The Torridon mountain rescue team were alerted by one of the family and the helicopter was alerted to take them off the mountain. The weather has been bad the last few days with a low cloud base,very poor visibility and high winds. The RNLI lifeboat was out on Loch Ness today in a 40 mph wind. You have to wonder if some people on a day out just realise the other people involved in their rescue.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Pheasant family.

The family of 7 pheasant chicks we first saw in June as little bundles of fluffy feathers have now grown. They still go round together as a family and we can now see there are 4 females and 3 males. Mother pheasant is always vigilant even though they are as big as her now. They strolled up the driveway yesterday and rummaged in the vegetation under the bird feeders. Mother stayed at the top of the driveway keeping an eye out for any possible danger. After a long while she gave a high pitched call and they all ran towards her, although there was one stubborn male lagging behind. Our guests staying in Aspenwood said they looked forward to the pheasants daily circular tour of the cottage each morning. The males are still a bit scruffy but in the next few months they will hopefully smarten their appearance if they want to attract the local girls.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Fort Augustus walk.

Drove over to Fort Augustus in good clear weather for a walk alongside the Caledonian Canal and a look at the various boating craft going through the lock gates. This was the original plan but to our surprise Fort Augustus was heaving with tourists and there was just nowhere to park. We had heard that the Isle of Skye has been having its best season for ages and the Highlands have been doing good business this year. We drove through the village and turned off left where there are several forest walks off the beaten track. The colours were only just beginning to turn and we enjoyed a relaxing stroll along the River Oich.
On our walk we came across this clump of colourful fungus - 'Amanita Muscaria' - more commonly known as Fly Agaric {don't worry - got a new book!}. They may look very attractive but definitely not one for the breakfast table as they cause hallucinations and contain unknown poisons. They are also known as 'magic mushrooms' so we tiptoed away quietly in case they worked their magic on us.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Update on missing man.

As we sat watching the sun setting yesterday evening over Loch Ness we couldn't help but think about the 17 year old lad who had jumped into the River Foyers from a great height, possibly from the waterfall. He was with 2 friends and was a local lad from Errogie. Every morning we listen to the Highland and Island local news and, although they have carried out an extensive search every day since Sunday, there has so far been no showing of a body. This morning they are concentrating on searching the pool at the bottom of the Falls of Foyers in the hope that the body is snagged under rocks. Although we didn't personally know the lad we have spoken to many local people who did and all say he was a terrific person and talented musician. As we watch the sun setting our thoughts were with the family who no doubt long for a closure on this very sad situation.
POST SCRIPT.......the body of the young lad was found in the pool today.

Monday, September 07, 2009

Man missing at Falls of Foyers...

Saw and heard the yellow rescue helicopter hovering low over Loch Ness yesterday evening above the Foyers area for a long time and guessed something was wrong. This morning we received the following press report and photo from the RNLI Loch Ness Lifeboat Press Officer. Date: 06/09/2009
Author: Martin Douglas, Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer "RNLI Loch Ness volunteers launched just after 5pm, Sunday 6th October, after Police received reports of a missing man last seen entering the water near the Falls of Foyers.
The gully is at the bottom of the 165 ft falls and forms part of the Foyers river into Loch Ness.
The lifeboat crew were quickly on scene and took the Atlantic 75 RIB into the mouth of the river as part of the search.
Aberdeen MRCC (Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Centre) called for the assistance of an RAF SAR helicopter from Lossiemouth and Coast Guard shore teams from Inverness and Fort Augustus in addition to an ambulance crew and members of the Fire and Rescue service.
Extensive searches of the river, shore and loch area continued and items of clothing were found but the man's whereabouts remain a mystery.
The search teams were stood down shortly after darkness and will continue in the morning."

Will keep you posted when we hear any news.