Never mind spring, it has been practically (ssh!) summer-like this past weekend.
My weather beaten look is returning nicely.
I love this time of year. All of a sudden, the grass starts to get green again, the lapwings start calling and the snipe do their awesome flying whirr sound.
Hens and ducks are laying, things are starting to grow, and the task list takes on a life of its own. I can’t keep up, and it has only just begun.
My first task in the last week was to modify the hen run so that I can still close the ducks up. This is in a vain attempt to force them to lay where I can find the eggs. Each morning however, at least one has escaped. It is driving me round the bend. I have wrapped their pen in chicken wire twice now, and still they get out. I need to do an early morning vigil to locate the spot they are squeezing through. Ducks are terrible for hiding their eggs. Ducks 1, Rhoda 0.
The second order of business was to plant out the mangetout and peas which had been brought on early in the keder house. They are happily ensconsed in my netted legume patch now. Excuse the finger in shot!
This year, I am putting a Croft Site on the machair. A croft site is a bit of land where camper vans and caravans can pitch. The number of campervans on the island is dictated by the number of spaces available. It is a great system, administrated by the Ranger, which prevents vans pitching up anywhere they like and damaging fragile machair land – albeit unintentionally.
I needed to fence a section off. I have fixed fences before now, but putting a one up from scratch was a new exercise, involving some steep learning curves, and lots of chains. I have finally discovered how to use the fencing chains I have seen in the house since I was a kid. And in placing the strainers, for the first time in my adult life I needed pythagorous.
It is not the best fence, but it is a good first attempt, I reckon.
Find out more about camping on Tiree here http://www.isleoftiree.com/out-about/camping-and-campervans/
Coll View is croft site 8.
Since I had re-discovered pythagorous 15 years after leaving school, I carried on, and used it to mark out the polytunnel plot. Planning finally came through on Friday (don’t ask). I did the fencing Friday evening and Saturday morning, and then launched into digging the polytunnel foundation holes. I finished at 9pm on Saturday night, and began again at 8am on Sunday. I felt and looked like a mole, with all the hole digging. At 10am on Sunday, a crack team of awesome friends, Mairi and Phil, Jo and Mark and kids, along with Jo’s mum, Jean, appeared to help get the frame up. By 3 pm, the tunnel was taking shape. In the midst of it all lunch was rustled up and my kitchen was left sparkling. I think I owe a few folk some veg… 🙂
Over the next few days I will be making doors and frames, and adding base rails. Hopefully before I go away for a few days this coming Saturday, the tunnel will be covered. The tunnel is from http://firsttunnels.co.uk/, who provide great instructions, right down to videos of every step.
I don’t mind telling you that after this weekend, I ache.
The dogs, on the other hand, spent the weekend flakers in the sun. I also found the first frog of the year under the polytunnel bits. I need to get a pet toad to keep in the tunnel when it is done. Toads are great for keeping slugs under control.
And finally! With the sun came salad leaves by the handful.
We have giant spinach and rocket going, and as there is more than either Jane or I need, it is available at £1 a bag should any Tiree folk fancy it.
Fresh off the Croft has begun in earnest!