A Wander Around Lyradale

I took our visitor, Karen, to see Lyradale and its inhabitants – the Minions (my rescue Shetland ponies), plus Lyra and Delia.

Obviously, I put Karen to work.

It would be a waste not to.

And she seemed happy enough – enthusiastic, even!

Lyra worked her magic.

After a good session of brushing, being hugged and now covered in the winter fur that is fast falling out, I showed Karen around Lyradale – the 50 acre croft I bought last December.

Lyradale is a wonderful croft.  Set in a glaciated valley, it offers abundant shelter and grass.  I have only seen Lyradale in the winter so it is also lovely for me to watch spring appear and see what plants are growing.

I feel very lucky that I can give this to my Minions to live in.  They are very settled and happy here and for me, that is all that matters.  Watching them grow and thrive is the perfect reward and I hope it makes up for the terrible start some of them had.

I have plans for the derelict croft house too…..

(just need to win the lottery next)…..

The Electric Fence

Taktur is fence-walking up and down.

He wants to be with his ladies, who are two fields away (to be fair, though, Hetja spent the afternoon shouting back, which is just plain wrong and a little bit slutty).

So, this afternoon, Daisy, Karen (our guest) and myself constructed our extensive electric fence.

The fence goes from one end of the field to the corner.  A long way, even crossing the burn that runs through all the fields.  It is on the top so if Taktur pushes the fence, he will be zapped.  If he starts pawing it, we will run another line along the middle.

Whatever it takes.  I do not want Taktur to get over and to hassle the girls.  This is a crucial time and any stress can start a bad birthing.  This has happened to us before and the results were terrible (Vitamin’s dead foal – she was chased by cows in the morning).

Anywho, this afternoon, we had equine help.

Perhaps, it is an orange thing.

Meanwhile, the old hands ignored us.  They knew what we were doing and we weren’t interesting to them.  They have seen this many times before.

Now we just have to wait for OH to come home from town and connect the fence.  For the moment, Taktur believes as it exists, it is therefore on.  We haven’t told him it isn’t attached yet to the mains.  Need to know basis only.

Afterwards, Karen and I sat in the field to be hugged by the little ones.

Karen was testing the foals’ fur coat for spinning/knitting potential.

Newt’s is fine.  Albie’s is not good enough.  I always knew that.

So, tomorrow there will be muchos zapping to those that test the fences.  I am bored of this fence-walking.  Taktur will learn.

I Got Kicked!

Every day, I go down the bottom field to visit my pregnant Icelandic mare ladies.

Firstly, to keep Brá in her routine of being used to having a headcollar put on every day….

(she would like to be feral if she could – I am generously putting this down to her hormones)

… Secondly, to see how the ladies are feeling (and I clean their eyes with cottonwool pads soaked in cold tea as they tend to be gooby as their winter facial fur falls out) ….

… and thirdly, for the daily bewb-check.

The top ones are Brá‘s and seem a bit more advanced than Hetja’s (bottom pic), which is strange as Hetja is due a week earlier than Brá.

The Icelandic girls are nearing their time and now it is becoming a reality.

They are not due quite yet but today, I put my hand on Hetja’s flank and felt a little foal kick!  My first time ever.

My heart melted.  It was a magical moment and one I have never experienced.

Obviously, the midwives are on hand, ready and waiting.

And, obviously, as the time gets nearer, Daisy and I will be on hand too.  We are just not quite at that point yet and no one needs us.

Ooooh, exciting times ahead.

Little Fatty Boys and Girls

The grass is growing now (huzzah) and the Lyradale lot are very happy.

Someone visits them every day to top up the water buckets, count legs and kiss noseys.   Although the gate is open back to their old adjoining field where the loch is plus many watery ditches, the ponies haven’t returned – hence the dragging of the water as their field’s supply has dried up.

I moved the little ones up to the big ones’ field, when the pregnant ladies vacated, so they could have a shot at the spring grass having been “starved” all winter.

The weather comes and goes still and so I haven’t done any more brushing. That’s my excuse!  It is not fair to have them all in their summer uniform yet.

Yes, the ponies look scruffy, but the wind will blow their hair out when it is ready to go.  Having said that, I might take a brush to them this week as they do look revolting!

I still miss my little boys and I still want them home but there realistically needs to be more grass.

So,not yet.

When the boys return, Lyra and Delia will go to their summer field and we can give Lyradale a rest.

Everyone is flourishing.

Lyradale really has been the perfect winter habitat for Minions and mothers and, God-willing, the healthy bebbies who will arrive soon.



The bewbs are a-changing!


When Shetland is hit by fog, Shetland is hit by fog.  Serious fog.  None of yer “it may clear soon” fog, but a real pea-souper.

I went down to the south end – Sumburgh – to collect a friend from the airport who is coming to stay for a week.  In my defence, on the westside, where I live, there was no fog – that arrived later.

As I was early, I decided to pop up to Sumburgh lighthouse to see if I could see a puffin or two.

So, you know, and I won’t keep you in suspense…..

…. I briefly saw a puffin land and then scuttle into his nest. I didn’t have time to take a photo.

But, hey ho, the sea pinks were pretty.

I also saw a bird fly – back view!

It was very spooky up at Sumburgh.  The wind whistled and it sounded like the scary part of a computer game – you know, the bit where you creep about outside and something is hiding waiting to pounce on you!

There were birds.


But no puffins.


After my friend’s flight circled for 30 minutes overhead, it returned from whence it came – Edinburgh – so I drove back up to Sumburgh Head to see if the puffins had put in an appearance.  They tend to appear in the late afternoon.

Visibility was even worse.

And yup, I saw absolutely nuffin.

No puffin.

The wind circled around making low whistling noises.

It was even more spooky. I didn’t like it at all.

I went home.

(Tonight is Eurovision.  Tomorrow, OH goes to Sumburgh airport to collect friend.  Tomorrow, I may be nursing my annual Eurovision hangover!)