After the busyness that was last week we have been focusing more on ourselves and our croft this week. Yesterday we took a walk up the hill behind the croft. We’ve long planned to follow Primrose Burn, the fas rushing little waterfall at the edge of our croft where our water comes from. I’ve looked on maps and it appears to split into two and then stop which we refused to believe so decided to head up the hill and find out for ourselves.
Armed with kendal mintcake bought to us last month from friends who live in Kendal and save for just such an adventure we headed off. Walking anywhere on Rum is hard work – the ground is boggy, very uneven and hard to tell what you’re putting your foot on next. The topography is extreme so you are almost always either climbing uphill or downhill too. That means that even a miles walking feels like you’ve done at least three!
We discovered that the burn does indeed fork off in two directions and both seem to disappear. One is clearly a spring, the other is probably also a spring but may run faster when the water levels are not as low as they are currently. What we did learn though is that most of the water is from neither of those orginal places but from the steep banks of the burn at a certain point where the banks are running with water down the rocks from the ground thereabouts. Rum is like a giant sponge – very mossy and there are places where even when we are on fire alert and it has not rained for weeks and weeks that water still runs from the peaty ground. I think Primrose Burn is one of those natural places where water always runs. And hurrah for that!
We climbed high enough to see right across to Eigg on the south side of the island and Skye and Soay on the north but not quite high enough to see Canna and Muck to the west. The mainland to the east is always visible anyway. A sea eagle glided over head for a while and we startled a herd of red deer hinds and saw lots of small birds darting about which we failed to identify. It was a gorgeous last day of September day as the photos I uploaded yesterday show.
Today was less rewarding – I spent most of the day fixing up the net roof of our fruit cage. We have not yet moved our fruit bushes into it as we were waiting for their dormant time before transplanting them – fingers crossed for dry weather tomorrow as that is our planned job for then. Once we’ve done that we’ll see how much space we have left and order some more soft fruit to fill the cage for next year. The turkeys have made huge holes in the cage roof by roosting on it and I am not at all sure we have prevented them from still roosting on it, indeed in trying to chase one of them out of the fruit cage earlier it landed on a different area of netting and ripped that. I may have sworn at it quite a lot! The turkeys are like toddlers who mash up your lipsticks, use your nice paint brushes for painting custard on the curtains and blunt your good scisssors by using them to dig in the mud, they just trash everything! They have ruined my herb spiral by eating all the herbs and walking all over it, trampled all over my raised beds and wrecked the roof of the fruit cage. I have chased them out of the polytunnel countless times and I worry constantly about them getting into places they shouldn’t be. Much though all our ethics and beliefs in livestock keeping are for free ranging animals demonstrating natural behaviours these turkeys are pushing me to my limits and I think we will have to resort to a large pen to keep them in check. We’re currently researching cheapest options to build something that gives them a nice large area to do their thing in without ruining anyone else’s things…
In other news I am actually looking forward to the rainy days forecast for the end of the week as I have lots of reading and researching I am keen to do to plan ahead for next years crops.
So turkeys on the naughty step, rain a-coming but happily anticipated and much needed Goddard time being taken.