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Published: November 5th 2016
After a very busy period I finally got time again to make a next blog post! And what one it is, because I have seen a lot again and have been to many places.
So, let’s start where I ended in my last blog, I have been to Beinn Eigh and it was very wet, but great! It basically rained down for the whole week that we have been there, causing a swamped polytunnel and very wet feet. Yep… because Nadine was so smart to take wellies with her who were not watertight and of course part of our job was outside in the rain!
What we mostly did was replacing young scots pine that were ready to be planted outside, what a teamwork we did there! 20.000 plants in 3 days, I’d say that is quite a feat. Not to forget, next to working we also did some sightseeing.
On our way to the reserve we visited a lovely coastal town which even had the opportunity for whale tours! How cool would that be to see actual killer whales, minke whales, and even humpback whales who were sighted there?
And again, a
selection of the pictures that I made there are to be found in the attachments.
After all the working we did there, we returned to Meagaidh and I immediately took the train to Hana! A good friend of mine that I met through our mutual love for Adele. I had a lovely weekend there, we picked some late blackberries and made a delicious apple crumble with that! That evening we were invited for a birthday party at her neighbours and good friend of Hana. And meanwhile I got a dose of the finest selection of Scottish music and culture! I guess that might be a win-win XD
Enfin, the next weeks were as variable as ever. I am starting to collect quite a number of moths already. Although variable, most of them are from the same family. Which also tells a lot about the environment there. Who thought some of them can be so cute and fluffy?! Yes ladies and gentlemen, Nadine is into moths!
Obviously Nadine is also still very much into horses and that is NO surprise. The ponies are getting on well! Soay has accepted the tailstrap and
walks around now with the saddle like she never did anything else, we are proud of our little girl
I can now also tell about my first stalking experience! Yep, I never even imagined that I would get to see first-hand how wild venison would get on your table. It is a lot of tugging and pushing and some measurable amounts of gore I can tell you. I won’t go into the details but most of it was quite thrilling! The deer were on a difficult spot, so some tactics had to be taught of to get them to move elsewhere. It worked and eventually we ended up with 5 males (stags) and 3 females (hinds). I could move one of the hinds towards a lower part of the valley to be picked up, while the others went to pick up the other bodies. A bit of a macabre company if you ask me 0_o But daily life on Creag Meagaidh!
During the weeks, part of our volunteer group was able to go to one of the Scottish Isle’s, Rùm. Little did I know I could go a week later as well! It is
heaven for ponyfans, as this is where our highland ponies come from! Yup, and I met Kilda and Soay’s mums, and 2 little foals who were the most adorable little fluffballs ever. Their field was right opposite of the old castle that was built on the Island. Shame the building is deteriorating due to lack of funds.
So except from thoroughly cuddling with the babies, we also got a mission done: Try to find the group of wild roaming ponies on the Island while avoiding getting skewered by aggressive stags and not stepping in the most muddy places. We did it! Eventually… Ponies didn’t want to cross a river, so we had to get them and cross the river with them. So that notion of not getting wet feet has failed, oh well you can not have everything 😉
And guess what…. I also saw some less attractive wildlife. Yep, I managed to catch some ticks! Actually very easy ladies and gentlemen, you just walk around in the grass with your trousers loose over your boots et voìla, some creepers on your legs! Actually when I think about it, it might have been smarter to stuff
everything in my socks and put some long boots over it but that is for next time. Always moments to learn aren’t they? 😉
Except for ponies and deer we also saw plenty of other wildlife, those islands are amazing places! Gannets, grey seals, otters, bats, geese, quite the paradise for spotters. Again, plenty of pictures to be seen in the attachment!
Finally, after I came back from this trip, I had to get ready for my next one as I would take the plane to London to visit Cambridge! Together with a good friend of mine, Chris, who I met in Keele we visited the museum and botanical garden there. And as it happens, it was graduation time as well for the students so the town centre was full of fancy gowns and suits! You really can’t have a more British sight than students in gowns walking around the centuries old streets, and a magnificent sight it was. Generally it was just a nice change to be back in London and hear the English accent again instead of Scottish XD.
So, we have returned to the present and ended up
close to Halloween! And believe me, those British know how to celebrate it! Currently I am at my friends Rose again as she is organizing a Halloween party, SPOOKYYY. Wonder how that will end up! Soon the Mountains will be topped with snow again, it is already getting misty in the mornings, that does make for very interesting scenery. But until then, I will closely keep track of everything what happens here and keep you updated!
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