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Wild flowers by my garden gate (June)

I have spent the whole month keeping a photographic blog of all the wild flowers I’ve noticed growing on the green lane by my gate.

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Peat cutting at winters end

Winters can be very long here on the isle of Lewis, they are not always frosty and snow covered but can be very wet and wild. Our first couple of winters here on the island sure have been.  We soon learned that the high winds would carry off anything that wasn’t tied down, from planters to our old yellow fibreglass kayak, which usually takes  two of us to lift, that sailed two fields over and was surrounded by curious sheep when we spotted it the next morning.  Each spring is eagerly watched for, first the willows will start to bud, then the primroses begin to bloom, but the sure sign that spring has come at last; comes with the cuckoo, its calls throughout the glen herald the calmer weather. People start to appear, folks you might not have seen since New Year are out and about in their gardens or checking on their sheep, awaiting the first lambs.  The days start to get a little longer; it’s no longer dark by 4pm and its then that my mind turns to the coming task of digging the peats.

We were given a peat bank the first year we moved out here. A neighbour took us out onto the moor and pointed out a low heather covered hummock, half cut away to reveal the black crusty peat beneath. It looked just like all the other peat banks, there were dozens of them up on the high moors, but this one was special, this one was ours, this one could keep our house warm all winter, heat our water and provide cooking fuel in the ancient kitchen range which was the heart of our home. Now all we had to do was come up here, cut and dry the peat then haul it home and stack it ready for winter use! Everyone warned me how hard it would be, how my back would hut, how the midges would bite, how it wasn’t worth the effort. They shuck their heads when I went up evening after evening after evening with my spade and cut and stacked the peat, what they didn’t know was how much I looked forward to it. You see I come from a busy town in England where finding a quiet corner with just minimal noise and people can be difficult, so a whole moor to my self was wonderful, beautiful, sheer heaven! Although it was not silent, far from it, at first all I could hear was my own huffing and puffing as I staggered about in the mud, but after a while other sounds crept into my consciousness. The high ‘peeping’ song of the golden plover nesting on the moors caught my attention first, I spent ages trying decipher which direction the plaintive sounds were coming from; then I noticed that when a raven flew over head making honking sounds as it went you could hear its wing beats, yes that’s how quiet it was. The funniest sounds where the squeaks of the sheep pulling up and eating the reeds which grew in tussocks, they’d bury their heads in the reeds, chomp on the bases and pull, their teeth squeaking on the tough shiny green stalks as they tried to up root them. But my favourite sound, the one that kept me on the moor and stopped my in my tracked was the skylarks. I cant begin to describe their song to you, it truly is only something you can experience for your selves, all I know is that for some digging the peats really is about the hard work, but for me the digging is just a reason to get me up onto the moors so that I can stand and listen.

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Midges on Sunday

It’s finally stopped raining, the grass is almost knee high, but it’s Sunday, so no grass cutting today. Living here in the Western Isles, Sunday is a day for resting, reflecting and definitely not noisy striming ones grass. And in any case the midges are biting and the wild flowers growing in drifts throughout the plot of land look wonderful

Jjust a few photos of what’s growing here at the moment all being watched over by Olli the cat. If the wind would only pick up a little here I’d go for a walk in this wonderful sunshine, but you can’t have everything!

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Learning how to remember how to walk

This is the post excerpt.

  • Where do I start? I used to walk everywhere, it was just the way I got around. I’d walk the 7 miles to school each day, mainly because I couldn’t afford the train fare and no one at home was about to give it to me so if I wanted to get to school I either hitched a ride or had to walk, I wasn’t good at hitching so I walked a lot. We lived in a small village just outside the Lake District national park, and the closest secondary school was in the main town a train stop away. I didn’t have a bicycle, so I walked most days. I look back on that time now and can’t begin to imagine walking 14 miles each day and then all the walking from classroom to classroom and doing gym and field hockey too. No wonder I’m so tired all the time these days! 

Apologies

Apologies

Apologies

No time to write

Contemplating flowers

Looking for a wordless Wednesday

Moving to fast to draw breath

I’m wordless

But without the photo to prove it!

Up at four

Home by six

Eat

Sleep

Tepest

Six days a week

I know

I lnow

I’m lucky

I have my job

So many don’t

But they want the impossible

Today not tomorrow

15 weeks eorth

In two hours

Just two hours

I can’t

I try

To satisfy

But they are eager to catch up

Make it all as it used to be

For me

Nothing’s changed

I’m still

Exhausted

Needing sleep

Proper meals

And sleep

Sleep

And a time to write!!!

Again

I apologies

#FOTD July 6th

My flower of the day is the wild flower the cowslip.

The Cowslip is a cousin of the Primrose and is also an early spring flower. Formerly a common plant of traditional hay meadows, ancient woodlands and hedgerows, the loss of these habitats has caused a serious decline in its populations and now fields coloured bright yellow with its nodding heads are a rare sight.

https://www.wildlifetrusts.org › cow…