a’ togail. Stage 2 of the peats.

For those of you unfamiliar with peats, they are left lying flat on the ground for the first stage of drying, and then built into the wee houses to dry the other side.

Two weeks ago, our peats were cut ( here is the blog posting) and with two weeks great drying weather, they had dried sufficiently for the next stage – lifting.  With the traditional tarasgeir-cut square peats, it’s quite easy to build wee ‘houses’ out of them, to allow the rest of the peat to dry – not as easy with the sausage peats!

I was off work on Friday, so headed out on my own for a while in the morning.  You can see the peats towards the right hand side.

My dad and my brother Innes had been out a couple of evenings during the week, so half of the peats had been lifted.

‘Lifting’ consists of making these wee teepees out of the peats.

Innes working hard.

We didn’t work in silence though – my nice wee wind-up & solar powered radio!

I came across an ants nest under one of the peats.  Ants are not common here, I’ve never seen them anywhere apart from out in the peats.  In this picture, you can see the white eggs/grubs grouped together in the middle.  The ants were busy moving them to safety after they were disturbed.

Didn’t take us long to get them finished.  All done by mid-morning Saturday.  I am relieved by this, because the lifting is my least favourite part of the peats!  If this good weather continues, some of it will be coming home next Saturday.  I don’t mind taking them home because I’ll be on tractor driving duty!


  1. Ah! The secrets of sausage-peat lifting are revealed. Not to get too technical, but is the machine-cut peat not a bit bàn? The tractor requiring a typically flat “lèanag” area to cut on. What do you do for the coal-like black peat, even though it is a pain to lift/gather?

    Sterling job, though. ‘Tis (was) one of my least favourite peats jobs too.

    I hope to put together a (possibly satirical) video of our most recent peat-cutting expedition and upload it to YouTube, but time is short at the minute so not sure when.

    I look forward to the documented home-coming & cruach-making.

    BTW, looked at the clip of your program & the close-ups of speeding collies leaning in like bikes at the Isle of Man TT were great.

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