Author Archives: Frances

Yucky Eyes

Poor little Newt is finding this winter difficult.

His eyes are very “gooby”, ie running and I can’t seem to sort it out.

This is Newt’s second, and different, treatment and I am determined to make him better.  We think it is a combination of the hay seeds from the silage blowing into his eyes when he is eating along with an irritating forelock.

Tomorrow I am going to bring Newt (and probably Albie) in and have a good clean around his eyes with a cold tea concoction.

The herd all come up for the silage in the morning and this little paddock is proving a huge success.  There are no arguments and everyone is sharing beautifully.  Can you spot Albie?

He is usually attached to Newt.  They are the best of friends.

Can you also spot someone determined not be left out? That would be Her Maj.

When Albie saw me talking to Newt and putting drops in his eyes, he wanted to “help” but couldn’t find a way out of the maze of legs.

He ended up using the shove and barge method.

A few weeks ago, Albie’s eyes were not good and he was treated with drops .  They seem to have mostly cleared up now.

Iacs would like to tell you that he is doing very fine – thank you for asking!

Just because!

Wagging His Tail Behind Him

Guess who came home?

There was a lot of angry butting to start with but they did quickly calm down.

And they told him they were very pleased to see him.

I am so relieved my handsome boy is home – outside the gate there was a small black/white ewe shouting for him to come back but he resisted the urge and has reunited with his friends.

I made a little film.  Turn the sound up!

Enjoy. xx

The HD version (better quality)

Thordale from Frances Taylor on Vimeo.


A Few Snaps

When we had that beautiful afternoon the other day, I went out with my small camera to take a few snaps of the Minions as well as the Old Ladies in their environs.

Fivla, the little grey (almost white) pony you may remember from the Shetland ponies in sweaters campaign for Visit Scotland a few years back.  She is a lovely little ride and drive mare who can turn her hoof to anything.  We have had her since she was a foal and she has always been one of the family – a treasure.

She is 22 years old now but still going strong.

Today, we trimmed everyone’s hooves at Leradale and Bjørn, our farrier, and owner of Bergli Shetland Pony Stud, so he should know a thing or two, declared that Fivla was spot on weight-wise so that’s good.  She has been on a slimming diet since what feels like when time began (I may know that feeling too!)

Bjørn also thought that the Minions were fat and we agreed with him.

Fivla has always been a fairy-tale pony.

We luffs her very much.

With the same photogenic talent, is Silver who always looks good in pictures.  He is one of those lucky ones.

Tiddles, on the other hand, may not have this apitude but he has lovely eyes, even if they are blue, which is considered a heinous crime here.

I wish the gorgeous light would come back.  It has been dreich for days now.

Done a Bunk

A few days back, ‘Ster did a bunk or made “a hurried or furtive departure or escape (Oxford Dictionary)” into the scattald – our open grazing surrounding our croft .

I had the gate open to drive the car out, and ‘Ster and Lambie made a run for it.  Lambie came back later with ‘Ster but, when we called him, he turned his back on us and ran away with the hill flock.

We are obviously out daily searching the hill – which is huge – many miles huge.

But ‘Ster has not come home and I am very upset.  I have informed the crofter who has the hill sheep so he is aware there is an extra sheep out there.  My croft also has hill rights for sheep so one miscreant is sort of acceptable to those that might mind.

The rams are out in the hill, running with the ewes, and ‘Ster has a bit of a thing about rams.

He loves them so perhaps when the rams are brought home next week, ‘Ster will be found.

I really hope so. I lie awake at night worrying about him.

On a good note, ‘Ster is fat and could do with losing some weight on the hill but even so, I wish he would come home.

‘Ster vibes please x

His Own Fault

There was a beautiful light this afternoon as we came to the end of the day at half past two (fer cryin’ out loud!)

A fierce wind, though, and everyone was huddled in the most exposed part of their field because, well, I guess they wanted to.  Notice how the little ones are using the bigger ones for shelter.  Shetland ponies are not stupid.  The jury, however, is still out on Iacs (the silly frilly at the front).

Armed with my bucket and possibly a few carrots about my person, I drove over to Leradale.  Everyone was nicely far away in the hilly part of their field, which is good – it means they are wandering around, looking for food and not just staying in one place.  There is plenty of grass if they go and look for it.

I called Delia over. I love this photo – Delia was on her way but had to tell Storm off.  He was probably being annoying.  He’s good at that.

The “monster” coming over the hill.

Delia is a determined old lady.

Storm practiced his Winning Smile.

Delia loves her daily bucket.

There was some loitering with intent!

And Delia got Storm.  In a furious rage for over-stepping the mark, she covered in him the turmeric/soya oil goo that she likes to lick out of her bucket at the end of her meal.

Storm knew it was wrong but he has to try.  Every day, he has to try.

Tonight’s sunset was good at 15:21.  I can’t wait for it to start getting lighter.