Autumnal Air.

People ask when is the best time to be on Rona, my answer is always a bit vague because it is always the best time to be on Rona. But, the best time for me is undoubtedly waiting for the Red Deer Rut to start and that is the Autumn and that is now. We stalk the deer here because we have a deer management programme, for the well being of the herd and the Islands ecology, that is what we do. However, the true stalker appreciates the fact that the job they do takes them out into the natural environment and allows them to enjoy the season at its best. Forget the actual end result, this week it has been the scent in the air of heather, pollen, cool, possibly a sort of richness after the growth of the year, the summers end. Also the odd smell of the stag or the hinds hanging in the air when you pass through the forests or out on the hill. Electric.

Spying, Enjoying The View.

Spying, Enjoying The View.

Coming up to when the stags chase the ladies (the Rut) I always want/need to be out in the forest or the hill just to watch, to see how things are going and this week has not been a disappointment.

Myself and Nick went out, walked a lot and saw some deer but the main event was the weather, the views and the the company.

Wedding Present

Wedding Present

Nick had given me a call earlier on asking me to come to the pontoon, where I was delighted to be handed a belated and gratefully received wedding gift of wine and Champagne, never wasted on Rona.

Booked.

Booked.

The night before we had enjoyed a wonderful meal on Yacht Escapade courtesy of Anne.

Anne, Head Chef and Crew

Anne, Head Chef and Crew

We reciprocated Tuesday night and enjoyed a lovely evening with possibly the last of this years Yacht visitors to Rona Lodge.

Early Start

Early Start

I woke early and because the forecast was looking fresh I headed out to lift the creels and see if there was a late catch to stock up the freezer. I was not disappointed and had a couple of hours cooking crabs when I got back. I had hoped to bump into the Minke Whale, Sea Eagles and Dolphins we had seen the day before when we were out looking for deer. But no sign which is often the case.

Sleat Odysee

Sleat Odysee

Two of Isle of Skye Yachts were in and getting ready to go as I came back in, the forecast was for freshening winds but as it happened the weather was quite benign.

Dry Day

Dry Day

As it was the late summer on Rona and dry at last, I got a chance to shift one of the excess mattresses  to the Skyescape cottages, have bed will travel. What a difference to be working and not to have waterproofs slowing you down.

Late In The Day

Late In The Day

Nothing for it at the end of the day but to enjoy a late glass of wine out front and enjoy a midgie free evening, bliss. That was mid week and the sun was shining for the third day running, a record this year. It was warm at last and hardly any yachts about, nice and peaceful.

Getting Ready For The Landing Craft

Getting Ready For The Landing Craft

Thursday I was keen to get ready for the landing craft because if I left it until Friday I would encounter some sort of problem and I was not wrong. In the meantime the digger was sold and moving on, the fuel was coming so I got rid of the remains of the last delivery of kerosene  into the tank at Rona Lodge. The ATV might go off too so it had to go to the shore just in case.

Dry Harbour After The Sunrise

Dry Harbour After The Sunrise

This morning I got up early it was such a bright start so I  went for a run over to Dry Harbour looking for deer. The night before I had been over up to my usual spying place and had seen quite a few young deer, hiding in the bracken. So I was keen to have another look.

Spot The Deer

Spot The Deer

There are 5 deer in the picture, plain as day but maybe better to blow it up. After my spy up North I headed South and all of a sudden the exhaust on the (old) bike blew. So that was to-day’s job. Just in case I needed parts I thought I’d fix it if I could and set too.

Fixed

Fixed

I was happy to see a bit of meat on the pipe when I eventually got it off, otherwise with my welding I would blow holes in anything thinner. The welding was not pretty but at least it has saved the cost of a new one, at £200 + Vat, not cheap.

So here we are on Friday night chilling out but waiting now for the changeover and landing craft tomorrow.

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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.
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