Category Archives: MyShetland

Wearing Wormer

After my lovely drive around the westside of Shetland yesterday, I did my afternoon rounds in the fields checking everyone was ok.

After the ponies, I went and sat with the sheep to see if Lambie could manage to talk to me.  He did….. a little, but grudgingly.

I love this photo so much.

Good old Ted was with us but kept a respectful distance.

Monster found his spot.

And today, I saw my first orchid.  Summer is coming.  This is, I think and I could very possibly be wrong, a Heath Spotted Orchid.

And then I realised that I hadn’t wormed the horses and ponies, which was a job I’ve been meaning to do, so I went back around and wormed everyone including myself, my shirt, my trousers, the grass and possibly some equines.   Kolka spat it out three times.

Vitamin was being a cowbag and refused to be caught so I ended up herding her into the small paddock and catching her in the corner.  Some days, she is completely batty.  I think it’s because I put a rug on Fivla when it suddenly started to rain and she thought she would be next.

And this is my List (I used the Shopping one as it was the only way to get Siri to “write” it down).  I laughed when I saw what Siri thought I was saying, while having a valiant stab at trying to make sense of it.

Fila = Fivla
Tiles = Tiddles
Nude = Newt
Aldi = Albie

Who’s going to tell Newt he is now Nude?



Showing My Shetland

It was a beautiful sunny day and I had a visitor, a birdwatching one. So, after a cup of coffee and good natter, I offered to show off my Shetland – my neck of the woods.  I may have had a bit of an ulterior motive as I want to identify and learn about Shetland birds.

First stop – Dale beach where there is fabulous view of Foula. Only there wasn’t because there was a haar (sea fog) waiting to come in.

Then we drove over to Sandness, about 4 miles away, and looked at potential bird-watching sites and yes, I was told what this wee bird was, but I am not sure I can remember….. possibly a chiffchaff (note-to-self, it’s possibly wise to write these things down at the immediate time of telling because I have the brain of a hen).

I also saw a beautiful Red Admiral which, for me, rather eclipsed the wee bird on a wire in the distance.

But onwards, ever onwards to Melby beach.

We saw Dunlin and Turnstone (I think).

Next, Sandness beach where Mr and Mrs Red-breasted Merganser were bobbing around.

And a White Wagtail.

With a Fulmar nesting in the cliffs.

The tirricks (Arctic Terns) are back too, which is always good to see. I consider them the spitfire pilots of the bird world.

I really enjoyed showing Shetand to my visitor but even more, I enjoyed learning about the birdlife in Shetland.  I know I take my environment for granted but it is always good to learn more about it.

Lead Training

Pepper is three years old – I know, where did the time go?

And, in most things, she is a very good girl, although she went a-visiting the neighbours first thing and I had to bring her home in the car (oh, the shame).

When I go to Lerwick, there are dogs on leads in the street and I sometimes wish I could take Pepper to town as she loves people, visiting (we know this) and probably shopping.

But…… Pepper has never been on a lead.  It is, of course, all my fault.  Here, she never needs to be on a lead and I haven’t bothered to teach her.  There have been more important things in her upbringing like not chasing sheep, chickens, ducks, eating ducklings, being nice to the cat, etc.  She would tell you the list is endless.

So yesterday evening, I popped a lead on Pepper and she looked utterly bemused.  This lead concept was totally new to her but persevere we did and I took her for a little walk on the lead, with a pocketful of dog biccies for inspiration on the good behaviour front.

I had one request, that there was no pulling.   I hate dogs that pull on the lead.  So rude. But being new to this, it was up to me to teach Pepper what I wanted and she did listen and learn.

She also knows the word sit.

And she liked the reward for listening.

It wasn’t a very long walk – just up the track and back.

I lead on both sides and it was pretty clear that neither of us had much of a clue.

But I think we achieved a modicum of success and if I persevere, I could be one of those people who have a wee dog on a lead behaving beautifully in town.  I am hopeful.

To Clothie

I will start with this photo, just because it is lovely – Pepper and Monster having a chat, ie Pepper wants to sit on my lap but Monster has already got there first and is not budging.

Anyway, we all went for a walk over to Clothie – my five acre croft across the scattald (open hill).  When I say “all”, Ted didn’t come too because he was busy with OH doing something useful, I think.  I gave up asking Ted.

Anyway, I had an intrepid explorer.

While Monster and Pepper were busy hunting, I was photographing the emerging spring flowers.

Cat’s Ear – how apt!

Tormentil, I think.

Cuckooflower or Lady’s Smock (one of my favourites)

I have no idea what this weed is. I looked it up and the internet said “Duckweed” but then it said none grows in Shetland so I am none the wiser.  It looks like Mind-your-own-business ( Soleirolia soleirolii) but that’s not a water plant.  Anyone? Help, please.

And then there is the very creepy bubbling pond weed.  That was a little weird, even by my standards and there was lots of it all in the stagnant ditches.  It looked like a science experiment in a horror movie.

Red Campion which is never red and always very pink.

Spring Squill

And then we walked home.

If I have given out wrong flower species information, please correct me. I hate false information on the internet.

Strip Grazing

The track is being eaten down faster than the grass is growing.  I am in a conundrum.  I want there to be enough grass for the ponies to eat, but not enough for them to get laminitis.

Some parts of the track have become quite eroded – first mud, and now dust.  Albie is coughing and I don’t like that either.

So today, I pulled back the fence to give the ponies a large corner of grass to eat and I told myself that this is like strip grazing a field. I also told Tiddles that he is absolutel NOT to give himself laminitis and everyone must all still keep moving around the track.

After the initial feast of grass, they did move off and round the track, so I felt a bit more encouraged and hope that my new plan will work.  I intend to add little bits for them to eat as and when I feel they need it.

Sometimes I feel that I can’t do right for doing wrong and I know that, if I had the strength to poo-pick, the track would probably hold up better but poo-picking is a surefire way to be the end of me.  It is too big a task so it won’t be done.

On a good note, though, that one strand of electric wire at precisely the correct height, even for Newt’s little Machiavellian mind, is proving enough to keep everyone where I want them.

It is strongly zapping away, so that might be why.  I can tell everyone knows what the wire is all about and they all have a very healthy respect for it.  Quite right too!