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January, 2017 | Rudha Mor

27/01/2017

Boom Weather

Well for the second day of amazing weather, 13C by 10am, thank you. Into the greenhouse which needs much love as it’s just been waiting for some warmth. Potting things up that should of die months ago and increasing the size of others.  Got my seeds into some order and still trying to figure out how and where everything is going to go, I will find somewhere. Moved a load of plants into the polly tunnel to make more room. Then had the mad idea to start getting seeds on the go so I’ve taken a random selection of seeds from food to flowers and lavender to test the water. Explained the plant journal to Jane.

Then Jane and I headed off to cut up the mass of fallen trees I found in the undergrowth. Making wood piles as there was so much brush and working out how to fit a path in between the trees if needed at a later date.

Over lunch looked over the mass of infomation sent out by SNH and saw £8.50 meter for deer fences which would mean it could be possible to stop the deer getting onto Rudha Mor all together. Will have to seek more advice about how possible this would be as my not be popular (or would it).

Anyway back to cutting up wood and dragging it out of the depths of Rudha Mor.

Had a little fire at the end of the day.

 

WEATHER

Amazing!

PEOPLE ON WALK

1+3 locals

first person spotted 9:50 am

PESTS

First Tic ofr the year!

Midges around but not bitting

25/01/2017

New steps Forward

After amazing day over in Inverness yesterday and we’re back bouncing high off the feed back from the 360 video we made of the walk around Rudha Mor. We also got the green light into taking the next step to apply for funding. So after a quick walk around the property, and a little picking up sticks and moving tree cages I jumped onto the phone.

And now the fun starts, being given the run around a little by people trying to get  me to speak to the person most likely to give me the knowledge I was requesting and finally got to talk to Cattie Anderson from the SNH South Highland. After a long conversation she suggested we apply for the Improving Public Access rather than what we were looking at. “As it’s bigger funding and they pay for it up front.” she also said it would marry well with lotto funding as we ‘re a local concern.

“Who’s next on the list?” Lottery Scotland!  They were very interested and know where the walk is. They to have answered all my questions and sound interested  particularly if we have help from SNH South Highland, and team up with the local school and local groups. SO back to the planning board as I need to convey everything in well structured  applications. We could be into a amazing situation fingers crossed.

Back to the garden and trying to make a deer proof cage for trees in 30 mph winds is not the easiest of things to do.  Spent a little to time with Tom the Gilley who was back today looking for tracks and deer (no luck today). Also started repairing trees from damage done by deers, this seems to work from the RHS website so I’ll give it ago. There are plenty of trees in need.

WEATHER

Overcast and Windy (DRY)

PEOPLE ON WALK

3 locals

first person spotted 9:40 am

20/01/17

Fixing day

Living in the highlands sometimes has it downfalls when it comes to ordering parts. Even though we’re part of mainland UK we are in the highlands and people like to think that this is a different world when it comes to deliveries. I ordered a few new parts for the quad as it needs a good overhaul and this would be like a sticky plaster for now. But even though the items are in stock its been 12 days and they still haven’t been dispatched? But this being the highlands, if you ask the right people they might a have solution or two that will get you by for now. So might try out some of these other ideas in the meantime.

With a little patience and the right tools anything is possible and for now you can start the quad without a solenoid and a few other miner parts. Amazing! Highland life truly has the answers to most things. Even though this took me most of the day, I was finally able to get the pile of logs in so that I can begin drying the fire wood. Replacing axe handles and sharpening chainsaws today hasn’t been the most productive but I have fixed a lot of things. I also managed to move the stainless steel table into the polly tunnel which has been slowly building heat just need the new beds in place ASAP.

I spent time looking over the sit on mower and have found the main problem with this- there are 3 cables on the under side that all have open wires touching each other, the solenoid in this also seems to be dead which must be the moisture in the air. Looks like I need to order some parts for this to try starting it, I tried bypassing it with a jumper cable but no joy, I’ll have to replace the cables first.

WEATHER

Over cast and still with sunny spells

PEOPLE ON WALK

3 + 3 locals

first person spotted 10 am

19/01/17

Hidden powers

With spring in the air Jane is eager to help with the chipping which we are currently putting on Jimmy’s walk. We we pulled out the chipper and topped it up with fuel and got it ready to spin. Jane put on her steel toe caps and started to make light work of the massive pile of chipping. And yes spring is really in the air, the crocus are now popping out of the ground and daffodils are too. Plants everywhere are beginning to bud up and get ready for summer. Crazy weather 10 C today and not looking like its going away.

I’m still clearing out beds and getting ready to remove the fallen scots pine by the house garden. I have also discovered a load of fallen trees in the ponticum that will make good fire wood. Jane talks me trough what the house pond garden looked like and we discuss the removal of some of the dead wood and plants, and how to grow the beds into a more floral arrangement.

 Balmacara

Afternoon heading to Balmacara woods to explore with Rosie and Cat but found out they have Phytophthora  a disease of rhododendron so we are diverted by the walk straight down to the beach were we wash our boots in the salty water. Need to think about putting a cleaning station at the start of the walk. Amazed at what is in flower already in the surrounding areas. Got back to find a massive pile of chips thanks to Jane.

I helped her take them down to Jimmy’s walk and continued to spread them down the path.

WEATHER

Sunny spells

Wind is on and off

Warm

PEOPLE ON WALK

2 + 3 locals

first person spotted 9:30 am

17/01/17

Clearing

Today was one whole day spent clearing a bed out in the house pond garden. I need to get better at taking before and after photos but with so much to do and so little light to do it in you just get stuck in. Here almost a before pic.

 

You can’t really see what I’m working on but you get the idea, its over grown and needed attention. the idea here was to clear back to soil and maybe add some low flowering foliage underneath the azalea.

But I got way carried away and took it further and finally begin see a way forward for the whole area.

 

I found more path hidden under 3 inches of growth and found a nice little path around the edge of the pone that i had completely forgotten about. I remember seeing it maybe two years ago. I found two plants too close together that needed to be spread out so I began doing that.

This area is going to take some time to sort but we’ll get there, Granny is sounding excited about coming on a walk to see the progress and I keep seeing corners of magic happening. It is going to take a long time to get this area looking really good but it will be rewarding and it is an area that is easy for granny to get to and enjoy.

Wo hoo! Rudha Mor venison for dinner -one down & six to go! Spoken to the gillie  and they are happy to remove are problematic deer.
Heres a coulee of plants I’ve moved around, a bit blurry but some progress.

These are in the rockery bed by the house lawn.

 

16/01/17

Fencing

After an early start and a continuation of the reorganising of the garage and barn I finally get around to the deer fence that surrounds the vegetable garden. So A quick nudge out of bed to Jane for an extra pair of hands and I begin stripping down the fence and knocking in the new poles managing to get some in deeper than before.

We dragged out the old fence and folded it in half as this time we’re going to start with it about 12 inches off the ground so I can keep the grass neater all year round. After a lot of faffing around we got it up all before lunch and then just had the gates to do. I made a nice little swing gate that will do the job for now. But the girls wanted to go for a walk around the property; we did some exploring on the new paths made by walkers and their dogs with a couple of paths becoming established and quite dangerous. More things to keep and eye on.

We also saw a photographer that had quizzed us earlier about the light house island. Then later I saw them out by the cockle bank at low tide and his parter was over on the island so I took a walk over to warn them about the turning tide. They seemed more bothered about getting the shot than their own safety.

Spent the rest of the day working on redirecting the water flow down towards the otter pond, this need more looking at but Its getting there bit by bit.

WEATHER

Over cast and still

PEOPLE ON WALK

12 + 3 locals

first person spotted 8:50 am

 

 

14/01/17

Timber

Doing my morning checks after the big wind and this one got it.

Very close to the otter pond path I quickly cut it down so It didn’t fall on to the path. Boy this wood was heavy, I cut it down to three foot lengths and had to hand ball it to the  path edge and thats definatly one way to start the day. I only had a couple of hours before I would be going to do the lights for the play but I worked quickly and managed to get the main tree cut up and put all the brush into a pile and now just have to figure out how to move it all to the wood store as the quad is still waiting for parts. What a day but had a audience for when it fell which was nice and got a round of applause.

 

WEATHER

Mid dry and the suns out

saw the first midges of the season

PEOPLE ON WALK

11 ( in 3 hours)

first person spotted 9:20 am

 

 

12/01/17

Cold Start

Well the weather has finally changed and there is snow on the hills and snow in the air. The winds have been playing havoc but we still seem to get a steady stream of people. Today I just have the morning to limb up the broken branches of some freshly broken trees, so off I start around the walk. To get into one tree I have to clear some of the gorse so I get a little carried away and clear about 20 square meters of gorse. But the path looks better for it and gives me the idea that this area would be good for the cherry trees we’ve order (trees are 5ft x 20).

I carry on down Ian’s Walk towards the corner where he’ed open it up and I start to pull back the rock to make a different edge to the walk and you can begin to see a future for this becoming a heather area. The snow begins to fall and walkers keep walking by with friends commenting about how amazing it is for the walk to be open to the public and how they aways come to Plockton and love walking Rudha Mor. This kinda of thing always helps me pick the bigger rocks and work a little harder.

I move down the path and find a fallen tree to the side of the walk and manage to right it again by lifting it up and propping it up with a tree trunk I’d yet to collect  for fire wood. Need to come back with the chainsaw and make this more stable but it works for now and is safe with a little luck the tree will take again to the ground around and be safe.

WEATHER

Cold

snow begins to settle

PEOPLE ON WALK

8

first person spotted 9:00 am

08/01/17

Sunday Start

Two eggs on toast before start today, today is all about redirection and beginning path resoration. the path from the arboretum to the lower meadow has be in need of a rest so today we block off the path with redirection signs, to try and give it a little break. I’v also pocked aeration hole in the whole area.

 

At the path between jimmy steps and the arboretum If begin wood chipping the muddy areas to try and stop people walking around the edges.

fingers crossed for the walk. As we really need to tackle the higher volume of foot traffic as the path have not had a rest at all this year its been busy and wet.

 

Started investigating the quad again as it seams to have given up until we get more sun shine. building a list of parts and problems to try to keep on top of.

WEATHER

mild at little rain on and off

no midges

PEOPLE ON WALK

6

first person spotted 10:20 am

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