Posie's Blog. Tales of island life on a hebridean hill farm

Posie's Blog. Tales of island life on a hebridean hill farm

Saturday, 21 July 2007

Rabbit, rabbit, rabbit...


You know the summer has well and truly arrived when there is a sandy residue lurking in the bath that just won’t wash away. The children have been swimming in the sea, while the sausages were sizzling on the temporary BBQ, at the water’s edge.
You can’t beat it, although our friends did slightly in that their ‘steaks’ were cooked on a huge fire made from driftwood the boys had gathered!

I took the children fishing off the pier the other night, not a fish in sight, but the youngest managed to gather fifteen crabs in her little bucket as she combed the seaweed and gently lifted the stones in the nearby rock pools. The eldest two gave up and we had a stone skimming competition instead.

The happy farmer was away shooting rabbits with his old pal Hoot. Hoot is an amazing character, and has helped the happy farmer out over the years, from dipping and clipping sheep, to fencing, or building fanks. Hoot has an incredible knowledge of wildlife and nature, having grown up in the Hebrides. He spent his childhood watching wildlife, and could tell you where all of the different types of birds were nesting. Last night as he cast a beady eye out across the fields he explained how the female rabbit, the doe, digs a small hollow to place her young in, and then camouflages them with grass and soil, as she leaves them to go and search for food. The hare on the other hand will dig similar hollows, but leaves only one of its young in each hollow, and separates these small dens out across a field for safety. When the hare returns to feed the young, it will zig zag all over the place, so as to confuse any predators stalking her young.
The happy farmer returned with seven rabbits. He is going to make a huge pot of rabbit stew from this clean, organic meat, although not before he had wrapped some of the saddle into a bag for one of the locals calling by the pottery.

I didn’t manage to get my run with my friend from Germany; I had an appointment I couldn’t get out of. I was really quite disappointed, but next time, when she is back we will definitely get running up that hill! We sat around the table last night, sampling the whisky our other guests had just had bottled from their cask at Bruichladdich, a gathering of family and friends, old and new.

Until next time…..

9 comments:

Crystal Jigsaw said...

Orrr, those poor little fluffy bunnies. They do make a good stew don't they.

Our dogs hunt them out from under the sheds. And they don't stand a chance with the cat!

Crystal xx

HappySnaper said...

We seem to be over run by wee rabbits that play chicken on our track, if that makes sense !!, - our collie chases them but never gets close, as for our Jack Russell well he just barks and scares them away (stupid dog) - sounds like you live in a great location...

Blossomcottage said...

I so remember the sandy bottom to the bath, no matter how one tried it would never go away, the fishing sounds fun not sure about the rabbits though. Head of House swallows them whole thats bad enough!!
Blossom

Milkmaid said...

We haven't had rabbit stew for an age, our shooters take all their bag with them, be a crime to buy some from Waitrose?

Suffolkmum said...

What a beautiful photo, really magical. I haven't had a seaside holiday yet this year (not that I'm complaining about a week in rural France) so I am missing that sandy-bottomed bath, the crabs etc - how lovely to have it all on your doorstep.

Pondside said...

How lovely to read a summer blog that really sounds like summer! Are you the only one experiencing normal July weather?
I loved the reminder of the sand in the bath bottom. It took me back to some very happy summers!

@themill said...

We've got sand in the shower - skim boarding and surfing going on at the moment, although they've had a two day break to read the new Harry Potter!

patsy said...

Just come across your delightful blogs PR! Your thoughtful description of the sparkling community and interesting characters about you remind me so much of one of my favourite series of books, also set in the Western Isles... The Hills is Lonely/ Beautiful Just by Lillian Beckwith. A bit dated now but how I envied her life and yours sounds just as idyllic! I look forward to more.
Best Wishes
Patsy

@themill said...

I will not tell the Farmer about this - he has given up on trying to make hay and has made disgusting soggy silage. My garden is just overgrown with weeds.