Today didn’t go quite as planned! It dawned bright, sunny, and dry, and the plan was to produce as much dyed yarn as possible to fulfill a rather large order. And I had planned to sit down and write a blog entry about the construction of the workshop. And it started so well ….. by lunch time I was a little behind what I had planned, but Stevan needed a break from the studying so I made up some sandwiches and we headed off to the hills for a picnic lunch. We were on our way home, walking past Lexie’s loch, when we literally stumbled across this little chap:
Well, actually, Peggy did. She had run ahead and had her nose down in some heather, when she suddenly jumped backwards. I think she had been hissed at by this youngster. We got the dogs away so they didn’t disturb the otter cub, and we moved away in case its mother was nearby wanting to come and collect her cub. It was giving off the most heart wrenching squeals.
Stevan then left me to look out for the mother while he took the dogs home and phoned the local wildlife ranger. He also rang the otter rescue centre to find out what we should do. They said it was most likely it had been left there by its mother while she went to find a new holt, and would either be back for it within the hour, or something had gone wrong and the cub had been abandoned. When he came back to tell me what he had found out, the little otter cub had begun exploring, and when it saw Stevan it made a beeline for him and went right up to his feet. He didn’t move, and the cub had a good sniff around before heading off to the undergrowth again.
We checked on it an hour later, and it was still there. More worringly, there was a buzzard circling overhead. I kept an eye on it for about 20 minutes, and then we left it for another hour. After ringing the sanctuary again we took their advice and went and lifted it. By now the weather was turning cold, and the otter was clearly becoming quite weak.
Stevan collected it in a sturdy box, while I stayed behind to make up the liquid mixture as advised by the sanctuary. It wasn’t particularly appetising, but apparently what would be needed by the otter to rehydrate. However when we attempted to get near to it she just hissed at us, and was obviously extremely frightened. We put a small plate with liquid in the box and left her to it.
Our neighbours, coincidentally, had been out fishing this afternoon and had come home armed with fresh mackerel. We invited them in to see our newest houseguest, and we were pleased that we did, as they are both confident in handling small, wriggly animals as they keep ferrets. Without a moments hesitation (but carefully armed with thick gloves) our neighbour scooped up the otter, wrapped her in a towel, and managed to get some of the liquid down her using a syringe. We then offered her a bit of mackerel, cut up into tiny, tiny pieces, which she proceeded to wolf down. She was clearly very hungry.
So now she, who has been named Winifred, is tucked up with two cosy towels in a cosy box, with a full tummy, in a warm cupboard in the kitchen for the night. Tomorrow she will have a long journey in the car to Ullapool, where we will be met by someone from the rescue centre, and she will then be taken on an even longer journey across the sea to Skye where they expect to have to keep her for another 15 months before she can be released into the wild.
I promise to update you soon on the progress of the workshop.
But, to end this posting on a really high note, I know that you will all be pleased to hear that my Mum is making excellent progress. She had a scan last week to check progress on the neck injury, and she was told today that it was knitting together nicely and she can now, finally, remove the extremely uncomfortable (but vital) neckbrace that she’s been in for the last four and a half months, and she can now use a smaller, more flexible neckbrace during the day, and at night she doesn’t have to have one on at all. With the weather warming up in Australia this really is good news. She was not looking forward to wearing a hot, sweaty neckbrace during summer. Thank you to everyone who has asked after my Mum and Dad. Your thoughts have really been appreciated.