Showing posts from 2008

Red Squirrels Return to Pottery House

Since we moved to Pottery House we have been trying to encourage red squirrels into the garden and have tried out feeders at various locations, up until June no joy.

Then we started to have egular visits from a red squirrel, (see previous post) sadly though the visits stopped after a couple of weeks.

HOwever in recent weeks he has returned, and now his friend comes along too.

Unfortunately we've neglected to refill his feeder over recent days and this morning his patients wained. He decided it was time to have a go at retrieving nuts from the bird feeder on the garage. So he ran up to garage wall and tried to pinch the nuts through the side of the feeder.

His friend then turned up, decided hanging off the garage was undignified, but watched to give moral support if nothing else.

The friend then decided the best thing to do was to show the householders that it was time to refill the squirrel feeder so came and had a look in the front door to see if anyone was home.

Chickens Return to Pottery House

Up until last autumn we've had chickens at Pottery House for fresh eggs each morning for breakfast. Sadly though last year a pine marten got into the hutch and killed all our hens.

Over the last year we've been fortifying the hens run and hutch, and as of the start of October we have 10 young hens.

They are just now getting to egg producing age although the eggs are a little on the small side at the moment.

They have a large run of their own however they can be quite destructive digging up flower beds and eating plants and vegetable so during the Spring and Summer they have to stay in their own area. During the Autumn and Winter we let them roam the garden free, they love the grass, any seed dropped by the birds from our feeders, but they also love to eat bugs and nasties lurking in the corners of the garden.

Here they are roaming the lawn before bed time. (Yes, there is only 9 hens in the photo, have you ever tried to get 10 hens to stand in one place while you take a photo :-) …

The Pottery House Jack-o-lantern


First Snow Of The Winter.

We got up this morning to everywhere white, only a light covering on the ground but still a pleasant surprise to see.

That's the earliest we've had snow laying in the garden in the 5 winters we have lived at Pottery House. Hopefully it's a sign of a snowy winter.

Autumn Colours

The trees are starting to change colour in the Highlands, the silver birch is always the first to go, and now the others are starting to follow suit.

We love acers and we have a couple of copper coloured varieties in the garden, they are the most amazing red colour this autumn.

Finalist In 2008 Awards

We at Pottery House are delighted to be short listed in the "Customer Care" category in the 2008 Highlands & Islands Awards.

Click the following banner for a full list of finalists.

Forest Fungi

This afternoon I went for a walk in the woods around Pottery House, searching for fungi to photograph.

These are just some of the fungi I found. If you know the names please let me know.

You can find the full set of photos on the Pottery House gallery page at Fungi Gallery

I Bee Watching You

Although a little lethargic, the bees (and many other insects) are loving the ice plants in the garden at the moment. I guess it's the last big feast of the summer.

Blackberries In Season

Went out blackberry picking on Friday. Quite a good year for them, managed to pick enough to make 4 jars of jam and 1 gallon of wine.

Last time I made Blackberry wine it came out too strong, but after mixing with a rather insipid rhubarb wine I had 12 bottles of very nice country wine.

Fairy Glen

Haven't been to Fairy Glen near Rosemarkie on the Black Isle for quite some time. Not this year in fact, so went for a walk there last week.

Was delighted to see that the pond is maturing.

Would love to know what happened to the old bridge at the end of the Glen???

A couple of photos for you to enjoy............

Summer In The Garden III


Summer In The Garden II


Summer In The Garden


Jam Making Time Of Year

We've been out to the local fruit farms today, picking fruit for our home jams for breakfast.

Today we've picked strawberries and raspberries, but we found something we'd never seen before, red gooseberries. So we picked a batch of them as well.

We've also recently started up wine making again, currently on the brew is strawberry, peach, rhubarb, red gooseberry (started today), green gooseberry and marrow (yes, marrow, never tried it before).

The marrows and rhubarb is out of the garden, raspberries, gooseberries and strawberries were picked from local fruit farms and the peaches were in a tin.

Red Squirrel 2

Our little red friend continues to visit us most days. He appears to be collecting the seed that falls from the bird feeder under the beech tree and is burying it in the lawn ready for the winter.

This fantastic photo was taken by one of our guests, Doug Cameron, of him doing just that.

Red Squirrel

Ever since we've lived at Pottery House we have tried various feeders and locations to try and encourage the red squirrels into the garden, without success.

But then lately a young squirrel has decided he likes the seeds that fall from one of our bird feeders, and for the past week or so has been making daily visits to the garden.

Red Legged Partridges

I mentioned in my blog a couple of weeks ago that we'd had a couple of red legged partridges isiting the garden. It's been very difficult to get some good photos of them because they are very shy. However I managed some reasonable ones this morning.


Chanonry Point is always a popular spot to visit from Pottery House, and most people get to see the bottle nosed dolphins.

However there have been reports in the local paper that porpoises have been spotted in the Moray Firth this year, for the first time for many years.

We must have a trip out to the Black Isle one afternoon.

Black Tulips

The last of the spring flowers are out in the garden at Pottery House. The most stunning of which is the Black tulips.

Spring FLowers II

These primula denticulata we grew from seed during our first full spring at Pottery House. They are looking amazing this year. We've started some more off from seeds this year.

Spring FLowers

It's been a beautiful few days here in the Highlands, today was especially sunny and warm.

The spring flowers are looking fabulous.

These double daffodills have been in the garden since we moved here. We love them, will have to look out for more bulbs in the autumn.

Greenhouse Full

Our greenhouse is full to bursting at the moment, we've even had to put in some temporary shelves on top of the staging to take all the seed trays.

Dipper On Loch Ness

As I walked into the village this morning I saw an unusual looking birb sat on a rock in the waters of Loch Ness.

Been trawling through the bird book and found it was a dipper.

We've seen these birds in other places in the Highlands, but never here before.

Pottery House - Sat Nav Points of Interest Files

We believe we're the first B&B in the UK to offer this service.

We now have POI files, (Points of interest files) that you can download into your Sat Nav before your stay with us.

Not only does this give you the correct location of Pottery House (as our post code is a little misleading on SatNavs) but also loads of places to visit during your stay and places to eat out.

Our POI files also includes proximity alerts (similar to the warnings for speed cameras) so that as you drive around the area your Sat Nav will tell you about thinks to look out for and points of interest.

First Daffodill of Spring

Despite a light covering of snow here this morning, and some strong and chilly winds over the last couple of days, the first daffodill of spring is this morning starting to open.

And here it is:

As well as the full sized daffodills, the minature daffs are also starting to open.

Start of the gardening season.

As a keen gardener I love this time of year when seeds are sown for the summer flowers and are starting to germinate.

The earliest seeds were sown in the greenhouse at Pottery House about 10 days ago and already they are starting to show.

These are yellow marigolds.

Signs Of Spring

The signs of Spring are starting to show at Loch Ness and in the Highlands.

The snow drops are at their best in the garden at Pottery House, and the crocus and mini daffodils are starting to bud.

RSPB: Big Garden Birdwatch 2008

We took part in the Big Garden Birdwatch again last weekend.

Here are our results.

Common birds

Blackbird 2
Blue tit 6
Chaffinch 3
Coal tit 3
Dunnock 1
Feral pigeon 2
Goldfinch 1
Great tit 8
Greenfinch 1
Long-tailed tit 13
Robin 3
Wren 1

Scarcer birds

Great spotted woodpecker 2
Pheasant 3
Siskin 3

Siskins ? In the Winter ? In Scotland ?

Been rather surprised to see siskins in the garden over the past couple of days. Thought they migrated for the winter, at least to the English Riviera if not abroad.

There's also been an abundance of Long Tailed Tits in the garden, they seem to especially appreciate the fat ball stand that was given to us as a Christmas present.

Will post a long tailed tit photo as soon as I can take a good one.

A Strange Mist

An eerie mist has hung over Loch Ness all day today. Sometime in small wisps, other times completely obscuring the view.

Snow In Dores

Had our first snow of the winter today. Was snowing quite heavily around 10am this morning, but unfortunately it has turned mild this evening so the snow has all melted. Looks good on the mountains though.