Flying Deer

On Wednesday probably the best day of the week I had another wee walk up to the Qinetic Base. With no prospect of a ferry boat before Xmas and a stash of mail plus Xmas presents in Portree, bought on the internet there was no option. Also with the hind butchered and ready to go I was keen to get some venison off the Island. First of all we had loads of mail going off plus the late Xmas cards. So Tuesday was split with sorting venison and doing paperwork of one sort or another. I also knew that the half way point going North was really boggy and would need some clearing to get through a dryer route. Of course the saw started to give trouble but I got it going and  cleared a road.

Forestry Path

Forestry Path

I had two polystyrene boxes in the North Face Bag and one made up like a suitcase. I had the waterproofs on but it stayed dry, in fact it was quite a pleasant day. Seamus in the ops’ room at Kyle had told me in the morning that the helicopter that was taking up the mail,  had gone back early on the back of the day’s forecast. As it turned out the wind dropped away all day. It looked do-able out on the East side as I walked up but it was still blowy, from the East. I thought I might see some fishing boats out there but not one, only the fish farm well boats that are very busy just now transporting salmon for the Xmas/New Year market.

The ground was still very wet so I put on my proper walking boots, a pair of Meindl’s. Excellent boots but very heavy, good grip. For me the Viking Dry Boot is best as it is light and it dries very quickly if you do get a deep hole and water gets in (which happens every time you are on the hill here). As it happened I had a seat behind a rock (it was still quite windy higher up) and called the Base on the phone to let them know I’d be 20 minutes then took off again only to land on my backside without warning, there were as much grip with my other boots. But the ground is very wet, sodden and I was quite unstable with the weight. Goodness knows how the army guys manage with much more weight and a rifle!! They had been here on night excercise many years ago in the dark!!

I came up to the lighthouse and caught sight of a very good stag around 6 years old heading off over the hill, it was good to see him. No hinds though.

Xmas Venison

Xmas Venison

Two bags of mail were waiting for me and I sorted them out to reduce weight, then had a welcome cup of tea with the guys and just before it got too dark I headed home. No deer around which was a surprise. I thought they would be out feeding. I got back and we were pleased to see Amazon had done most of the job, but it is always fun to get Xmas presents after Xmas out here. First thing I saw when I sat down on arriving home was a fishing boat at the mouth of the harbour, that’s the first one we have seen for some time. I’m sure the market must be good for prawns this Xmas as no one around here seems to be out, no surprise.

Next Day

Next Day

Next day it turned colder but at least there was sun. During the night it really blew and kept us awake but no visible damage, and it had turned a lot colder, hail was falling with every rain shower. But the sun would appear and it was sooooo bright.

Disappearing Sunshine

Disappearing Sunshine

It was nice to see some sunshine and around mid morning the fish farm landing craft went sailing past, it looked pretty calm but within an hour or so it was nuts again, just short gaps for boats to get about, much too risky. I fed the sheep and of course Julie arrived, I swear she can hear a bucket being rattled miles away.

Shadowing Us

Shadowing Us

It was nice to get out between the showers and do somethings outside for a change, the JCB tyre has a big slice on the face of the tread, so a call to Hugh with the details and hopefully he can pick up a replacement.

Very Handy Pictures

Very Handy Pictures

It is so easy nowadays to take a picture and email it instead of writing it down, lifting the phone etc etc!!

Last thing was to phone the Vet in Portree to let her know her Xmas venison order was on its way via the Base, helicopter, Kyle Base and road to Portree. Her response was, ‘I thought it was only Santa who had flying deer’.

So there you go, it is not only Santas deer that are flying around just now.

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About Bill Cowie

I've been living on the island since April 2002, alone for the first 5 years, my partner L joined me in 2007. We manage the Island for a Danish family who bought the Island in the early 90's. Their hopes for the Island are to make it self sufficient supporting its inhabitants and that is where we come in. We look after the stock, 3 holiday cottages, machinery, boat and of course the visitors. It is pretty challenging but it is a beautiful place to live and work, we love it and strangely enough we love it even more in the depths of winter when all is quiet apart from the gales and rain. We do a bit of fishing, stock work, stalking deer and loads of other stuff. We have good support from lots of people whom we have met over the years and have become involved in the Island. Too many to mention here but keep an eye on the blog, they'll be there for sure in the future.
This entry was posted in Daily Doings, The Views and of course the weather, Wildlife. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Flying Deer

  1. NickW says:

    Bill,
    Hope you and L have a marvellous Christmas and thank you so much for your great blog with outstanding images and for all the hours of interest, humour and pleasure you give to your readers. Very best wishes to you both.

    We much look forward to visiting magical Rona again – hopefully in May 2014.

    Yours aye, NickW

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