A Mull winter day

A Mull winters day at its very best. It is no hardship to drive to the ferry when the weather is so bright and beautiful. I had errands to do in Oban and so took advantage of the later ferry back (at 6pm).

Craignure-Mull-snow

On board the ferry, the car deck was being repainted as was the open deck.

Keep-painting-ferry

It’s corny I know, but the Lismore light sits so gracefully at the end of Lismore, and with the sun hitting her white washed tower..

Lismore Light

There were hardly any cars on the crossings I took, at lunchtime and back at 6pm. It is certainly a good quiet time of year to visit the island, and our guests in Middle this week have struck very lucky with the weather!

Winter-sun-oban-ferry

Any sign of the Aurora Borealis tonight?

Aurora Borealis was visible from Skye last night, and apparently it should have been visible from here. But I didn’t realise. So I didn’t look. I was gutted to realise that I could have been out enjoying the northern lights again. I will look tonight for certain. We are so lucky that we can just step outside and look for them without having to get in a car. The dark skies over most of Mull are so clear when the weather is right.

To make up for the disappointments of last night’s failed northern lights viewing, here is another photograph from that magical night last October when I stood, watching the northern lights, listening to stags roaring (it was during the rut) on the hill above me, and to the waves lapping on the shore below.

Calgary-Bay-Mull-Aurora-Borealis.

We had moments of brilliant sunlight today. As well as some ferocious rain and hail showers and squalls coming in off the sea.

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In spite of the storm

Apologies for another building work photograph but I cannot hide how exciting it is to see the sunroom develop. The builders have been working away despite the wind and the rain, they have sheeted the roof and the walls today, and started on the kit for Duill’s sunroom. Shian’s will have French doors opening to the south, where Duill’s will have an extra window instead of the doors.

Okay it is horribly wet and muddy outside, and so it looks a mess, but look at that open sea view through the huge window (on the left of the photograph), and through the other you can see in towards Calgary Beach.

Shian-Calgary-seaview

It will be wonderful in the summer to sit there, out of the wind, admiring the view.

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In the summer I will be apologising about the number of wild flower photographs I post.

Upwards and outwards

Despite a ferocious biting wind today there is great progress being made in Shian. I think I will have to rewrite the website description as it doesn’t feel small! And the sea views up into Calgary Bay will be wonderful.

Shian-sunroom-frame

A van with a view

Yesterday was fairly wet and windy, but the sun came out today. I had to go to the post office and found this lovely view nearby.

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The builders were busy and the base for the sunrooms was poured, and the thick slabs of insulation fitted round Shian’s outside walls. It will be one very cosy cottage once finished!

Today’s view, Mull in winter

Winter can be such a special time of year to be on Mull. The sun was shining. The hebe in the garden is flowering.

hebe-farmhouse-garden

Walter was looking for Farmer at the office door.

Walter-farmer-friend

The hens were on the wrong side of the gate.

wrong-side-of-gate

Today I had to drive to Tobermory in the late afternoon to collect M from an after school club. I think I met 2 cars in 15 miles. Calgary beach was deserted.

Calgary-Treshnish-Mull

Mishnish-lochs

The sun was beginning to go down over the Mishnish Lochs.

Tobermory-leaving-bay

Tobermory seemed so still and quiet but for a fishing boat gently steaming out in to the Sound of Mull.

Today’s walk #Mull

Blue-skies-Treshnish

Treshnish-woodland

Lichen-Treshnish

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Wigwam-fence-Treshnish

Feeding-Brownie

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The first picnic of the year.

The moon was dropping into the clouds over the Isle of Coll, as I got back from the school run.

Moonset-Treshnish-seaview

We needed to go to the Ross of Mull today. It was not fantastically sunny or anything, the sky was not blue – but it was incredibly beautiful none the less.

Gribun-Mull

The sea was mirror calm. The air was still. The roads were empty.

Mull-seaview

You could see for miles along Loch Na Keal, as far as Iona with the Treshnish Isles laid along the horizon towards Treshnish like crumpled ribbons.

Uisken-beach-Mull

The beach (at Uisken) was deserted until a fisherman appeared in his bright yellow wellies. We had our first picnic of the year, and walked on the beach there for the first time in years.

Uisken-Mull

It was a wonderful day.

A winter detour to Ardgour.

We had a day off yesterday. It was still dark when Farmer did the feeding so we could get away in time for the 10.25 Fishnish Lochaline ferry. We had time once we got to the other side to take our favourite detour – the wild goat route. Roughly half way between Lochaline and Strontian we turned right down towards Kingairloch.

Pebble beach and bothy.

Loch-Linnhe-bothy

Signpost, scratch post.

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Roadside Loch Linnhe. Fabulous views in all directions.

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Roadside wildlife.

Stag-roadside

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And wild goats on the beach.

Wild-goats-Loch-Linnhe

We only went as far as Ardgour. And we were back in Lochaline in time for the 4pm ferry having had a very enjoyable day out.

If you are coming to Mull this year, and planning to use the Glencoe/Corran/Lochaline route, and you have enough time between the ferries to take a detour, I recommend this one!

Today’s walk through the woods

The woodland on the hillside between the Ensay Burn and the farmhouse is known as Atlantic Hazel Woodland. It apparently has one of the highest densities of Hazel Glove Fungus growing within it to be found anywhere. The wood was featured on BBC Landward when they were doing a programme about Atlantic Hazel Woodlands.

Today I walked through the wood, catching glimpses of a Hare, who ran in front of me, as I fought my way through the undergrowth and brambles. I saw him several times during the course of my scramble. I wasn’t looking for the fungus today, just enjoying being in the trees, and looking through the spindly branches at the view down to the sea.

Atlantic-Hazel-woodland

Looking at other fungus.

Mull-fungus-woodland

The relentless storms during recent weeks have taken their toll, and as I was walking I was thinking about the way the woodland changes with catastrophe. I really will miss this hazel coppice which has blown over this winter. You can see the thicker older growth, some of it the size of a mature hazel. The younger shoots which have grown up since we fenced livestock out of the woodland. Over it has gone now, its root plate lying at a 90 degree angle to the earth now. Will parts of it survive? Perhaps. Time will tell and we will wait and see. Farmer was reading about the importance of decay as a habitat, so this ‘stool’ will have a use for some time to come as it decays and becomes a different habitat supporting a new variety of insects and bugs. I still feel a little sad when I see another tree that has fallen victim to the winds, even though I understand the process.

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And finally out of the woods, looking over the tree tops to the calm sea.

Treshnish-sea-view