I don’t speak Goose so I’m unable to check their passports

Mrs Downs Diary
Mrs Downs Diary

Even though we are away in Scotland for a week, the farm and farming is never far away. For a start we are actually staying on a farm.

So the barn next door holds a suckler herd recently brought inside. The field behind the cottage is full of ewes waiting for their princes, the tups to come.

Tupping does not take place till late November here, so that the ewes lamb when the weather is more favourable. Hens, as usual, are waking us up nice and early.

You just can’t get away. In fact I do not think any of the farming friends we are up here with do not even want to try to get away.

They all, including John, feel quite at home here.

To make things even more interesting a huge flock of pink footed geese have come to feed on the barley stubbles in front of the cottage after migrating here from Greenland. I think.

Do not speak Goose so have not had chance to check their passports. They have completely unsettled the farm cat which seems to consider all tenants of the cottage as a valuable source of titbits.

No sooner had we arrived than the cat was sitting on the doorstep with a list of its menu requirements. So far it has received short shrift.

We are here for John and his friends to stalk red deer hinds as part of the annual cull on a local estate.

The cull is required as part of the deer management scheme. This ensures that numbers do not increase to such a level that deer starve over the winter as otherwise the area would be overgrazed.

Stalking is carried out under the management of the estate head stalker, and he also uses this opportunity to take out deer which will not be healthy enough to last the winter.

So far a severe winter is the last thing anyone anticipates. The weather is warm, dry, sunny and we check each morning that we have not actually been transported to Southern Europe as this weather just cannot be real in Scotland. Sunset and sunrise are magnificent.

As I wrote initially, farming has a way of following you even when you are away. In this case our friend Dave has been calving at a distance.

His sons have been ringing him frequently over a newly calved Limousine heifer that has been quite excitable since the calf was born.

As the heifer has not appreciated any hands on maternal care, the lads have not been able to check whether the calf has drunk or not.

Today good news. Evidence of a lovely yellow pile of calf poo has indicated that all is well and that the calf has drunk.

So the toast tonight, as well as celebrating successful stalks all round, has been for a successful calving.

The only major hiccups on our farm reported by friends who are house sitting, has been blown light bulbs.

Let’s hope that is the only thing we have to sort out when we return home.