A fortnight of fierce sunshine, cold dry north-easterlies, and watering the garden every evening. Then an abrupt change in the weather: a week of sunshine and showers … and we start mowing the grass.
That’s the grass lawns and paths here in the walled garden, of course. For the croft : well, we have sheep!
At long last there’s enough sunshine, warmth and moisture for grass to grow vigorously. In just a day or two, Eriskay has been transformed into a miniature Emerald Isle! Now the sheep don’t need to be left to roam freely around Eriskay, seeking out whatever forage they can find : now there’s enough in just one of our fields to feed them comfortably.
We created Field 3 – Bothy Field three or so years ago. Jonathan himself admits that he’d seriously underestimated the escapology skills of those pesky wild shearlings. They’re a law unto themselves!
Over the past three weeks and more, J has spent most mornings – and some afternoons and evenings, too – working on improving the fencing of Field 3 – Bothy Field – to correct it’s many shortcomings, and to upgrade it to fully lamb-proof. Last weekend, I spent an evening helping him insert the final additional posts and fix the wires to them – and then clear up the tools and return them to the store. It was a glorious evening, made all the better spent working together in such wonderful scenery!
That morning, J had persuaded about half the flock to take up residence in the upgraded field … and they had even been so sweet as to stay there all day – even though they could easily escape. But now, with the fencing completed, it was time for the rest of the flock to come in from the cold. J said he’d try the same trick the following morning ; but as it was such a lovely evening, why didn’t we take a round-about walk back to the store (and the van)? We set off down the hair-pin bends of the Old Road towards Haun … and who should we meet coming the other way?
It was Flo – with her twins, leading a column of all the still free-ranging sheep, up the Old Road towards Bothy Field. All we had to do was turn back to open again the gate we’d only just closed : J went ahead, calling them into the field. I waved my arms to deflect the sheep off the Old Road and through the gate. Clever Flo!
Job done – and what a perfect end to the day!