Wednesday, December 21, 2016

The Porter’s year in a nutshell…

Wishing you much hope, grace and peace in 2017

Steve has continued to manage the Enlli farm, both from the land and the air, earning the title of “Flying Farmer” for a documentary soon to be shown on TV.  He enjoyed a couple of weeks exploring the airspace of southern Spain...a bit more reliable than that of Bardsey!

Jo continues to monitor a variety of features on Ynys Enlli, such as bryophytes, rare plants, choughs and Grey Seals.  She has made hundreds of cups of tea and coffee for day visitors and has enjoyed the challenge of a variety of craft commissions ranging from miniature coracles, felt pictures to large rugs (

Rachel finally decided to leave the Drawing degree in Falmouth, having really struggled to enjoy it...and other opportunities have opened up for her. She had some of her paintings selected for the Society of Wildlife Artists exhibition in the Mall gallery in London, and has enjoyed volunteering at Felin Uchaf, an Educational Centre for exploring ways of living and working in Creative Partnership with each other and our Environment, situated near Aberdaron. 

Ben is in his second year of Conservation Biology at Falmouth and enjoys both the course and all the other opportunities that have come his way – such as being a presenter for the University’s “Naturewatch” production.  He spent much of the summer in Romania with Operation Wallacea leading bird ringing surveys, and continues to develop his photography, which can be found on his website:

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Scotland in June

Steve somehow managed to sneak his paraglider into the camper van and even got a couple of small flights in from above the campsite near Oban .

Rachel enjoying the amazingly calm conditions that dominated the first part of our time in Scotland .

And we're off !

Passing the lighthouse on Lismore as we enter the Sound of Mull .

Nearly there....

Coming in to the Coll dock .

Not too much traffic !

A pleasant campsite , though very expensive !...maybe the extra cost was levied due to the unique campsite residents...Corncrakes !

Heavy going through the sandy bit of a lovely circumnavigation of the South section of Coll .

Some of the Machair flowers .

Hogh Bay . 

Enjoying the bikes .

Another bloody cranesbill..

On the move...looking for a wild camp..

Looks pretty wild here...

Yes ! This looks just right...even in the fog.

We made short thrift of that !

Well camouflaged flat-fish .

 Well camouflaged green beetle...until it's not in the grass .

The beautiful coastal scenery .

Sticky insectiverous Sundew .

Near Gallanach .

Sea watching .

And we're off to Tiree .

Balephuil Bay .

Not a bad picnic spot .

The 1.5 km long beach of Traigh Bhi .

Another lovely camping spot...this time one of the 'crofting sites'...well nearly ! The actual official site was just behind the gravel pit in the distance !

Steve managed another flight down off the hill behind the campsite ( the highest point on Tiree...Carnan Mor 141m)  to land next to the van .

One of traditional black houses .

For sale !

Excellent cycling territory...not too many hills !

" We know where you live !"

The croft site near West Hynish .

Another island...Skye !

Stunning views of the Cuillin from the Glenbrittle campsite .

A walk up into Coire Lagan .

The clear waters of the lochan .

The view across Coire Lagan from Sgurr Dearg to Sgurr Alastair...the highest point on Skye .

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Autumn update

So much for my intention of a monthly blog this year!  It has morphed into a seasonal blog instead...
Here are a few photos of events over the last few months:

September was the month for gathering in the harvest - potatoes, pumpkins and onions are now stored for winter use, whilst other veg such as carrots, parsnips, leeks and greens are left in the ground to be picked fresh when needed.

A major change for us has been the purchase of a cottage in Rhiw, and our house in Conwy has been put on the market.  Tan y Garn is in a beautiful location on a hillside in Rhiw which has the name "Allt Salem" or hill of peace.  It has a stunning view over Porth Neigwl (Hell's mouth).  The last couple of months have therefore incorporated quite a bit of to-ing and fro-ing by both of us, to sort things out in Conwy, and move into the cottage.  The intention is to use this as a base for when we are off the island, and for Rachel and Ben too.  It has exciting prospects with various outbuildings and a small field behind.  

Tan y Garn

A couple of sun rise shots from the bedroom window!

Squill asleep in the front garden

Our first night with a log fire!

We have enjoyed having Chris Thorpe to stay for a few weeks at the end of his pilgrimage walk.  He has been fun to have around and incredibly helpful with farm work such as fencing.  His fishing expertise has also been enjoyed as lobster has been on the menu a few times.  He kindly gave Sian and I a fishing lesson....although nothing was biting that day!

Chris on Pen Cristin point.

Snowdrop has had to be weaned, as she was freely  drinking from both her mother, Morwenna and her auntie Eira - so there wasn't much milk left for us.  Weaning is not proving to be an easy process, and even after a week, her plaintive cries can still be heard from her seclusion in the Rick yard.  It has taken many attempts to stop her escaping - and finally 4 lengths of electric fencing have proven to be the only way of enclosing her in the paddock!
Eira took revenge on us after Snowdrop had spent 2 days of no escapes - by eating the quad bike key!  After much searching in the yard for the pulled out key, this has to be the only conclusion, according to Steve.  "My" goats are in bad books again.  Thankfully a spare quad key from Cwrt has worked to get the quad going again, and is now tied on with thick string.

Despite the lovely autumn weather, the conditions have not been suitable for much para gliding.  This shot is of Steve enjoying a quick flight one saturday afternoon when the easterly winds did settle to a suitable strength (look quite high up in the sky!)

The cattle have been moved onto the mountain for their winter grazing regime.  Two of them have had GPS collars fitted so that we can track the movement of the herd and determine how much grazing they are doing in the heathland areas.

 A beautiful cloud inversion in the Sound, taken from Mynydd Enlli.

Rachel was really pleased to have some of her paintings selected for the SWLA exhibition at the Mall gallery in London....and was even more pleased to sell a couple of them!