Sunsets in April

We are so lucky with the skies and the sunsets at Treshnish. In mid winter the sun sets over towards the Treshnish Isles, and by mid summer it has crept all the way up Coll and almost sets directly opposite Treshnish! It has made its way past the headland so it means we can enjoy a walk down to the old boathouse and watch it go down towards the Isle of Gunna, in between Coll and Tiree.

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Last night Farmer and I took the dogs down to retrieve a piece of Treshnish history I had found near the boathouse the day before, but accidentally left there – it was part of an oar, wrapped in leather which was held in place by dozens of tiny copper nails. Curlews were calling from the headland as we walked back up the hill.

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Blossom

It is always wonderful to see the first blackthorn blossom.

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The first frog spawn.

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Listen to the sea rushing in over the rocks.

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Find the first willow blossom.

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Catch the red of dried seaweed washed up on a fence line by a winter storm.

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Go searching for the hidden gems in the larch trees.

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Signs of spring

It is a family tradition to search for signs of spring. We found lots.

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A dog walk through the woodland is actually a serious scramble, as the winter has taken its toll on a lot of trees, felled by the strength of the winds, lying blocking the old paths. It is a long time since livestock have been able to graze in the woodland, and so the brambles have begun to take over adding an element of misery to our scramble at times.

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It was beautiful to be outside, in the silence of the stillness of this misty damp day. Stillness broken by the deep flap of the heron as it took off from a tree above me and flew across to the pines.

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It is never good to spot the first bracken frond. But we are looking forward to seeing the areas that we treated last summer, hopefully showing a successful lack of bracken this year.

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In the hazels near the Ensay burn mouth, a winter cache of nuts.

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Local wildlife #Mull

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I am trying to improve my local wildlife photographs, but only had one opportunity to photograph the hares in recent days. I crept round the side of the house, wanting to photograph them without the double glazing ‘filter’. Unfortunately the hens alerted the hares that a danger was approaching and 2 out of the 3 hares disappeared off up the road towards Prasad’s house. I didnt expect this one to wander within a couple of feet of me, round the corner of the house! He certainly moved fast when he saw me, and this was the only photograph I got.

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Farmer has put these hoggs back on the hill now. They have been so used to being together that they are still hanging out in a big gang, just on the other side of the hill fence this morning.

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It has been a good week for the local wildlife!

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The wheatear are back. The curlews are calling up by the loch so we hope they are beginning to nest there. The gulls are doing the same. Down in the wood there are signs (and sounds) of herons nesting. Guests in Middle cottage walked the Headland walk yesterday and saw the ‘resident’ golden eagles and a mother otter with two cubs along the shoreline between Crackaig and Haunn.

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The hazy skies have not helped with viewing any potential Aurora Borealis this week, and I bungled the shot of the year (a crescent moon tinged pink) last night. By the time I had focussed my attention on it, the clouds had gathered in and obscured it. I am not sure where the colour in the moon came from, but there was still colour in the sky an hour later.

Back in time

One of our neighbours lived and worked at Treshnish in the 1980’s, for the previous owners. She kindly showed me some of her photographs the other day and gave her permission for me to post them on the website.

There have been a few changes to the farmhouse since then – and to the cars that arrive in the farm square.

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And we don’t usually gather the sheep in off the hill and find a feral goat in amongst them. This fella was living along the cliffs beyond Haunn.

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Mull sunshine

We have had another day of glorious Mull sunshine today. A team of helpers have been beavering away to get things ready for the start of our summer season. It has been a long day and not one without mishaps, but we had sorted most of them!

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Duill has had a huge amount of work done to it over the winter, and was finally ready. And looking so nice. The sunroom is a great addition and the views are wonderful!

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A new window in the double bedroom has flooded the room with Mull sunshine!

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The new kitchen looks great, and the view over to the lochan is wonderful.

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We had to take the door off East Cottage to get its new Smeg gas cooker in!

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Farmer and I had to go to Salen with the trailer on. We enjoyed the detour along Loch Tuath and Loch na Keal.

Eorsa, Ben More

And home again. The views across to Rum, Eigg and Skye were wonderful.

Rum, Skye, Eigg from Haunn

Guests have arrived, and seem happy. The sunset rewardingly strong.

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The Mull hares

The pair of Mull hares who have been visiting the garden regularly didn’t appear this morning, and I have been wondering about them all day. Where were they? I was slightly worried and slightly disappointed having had a wonderful time watching them before breakfast yesterday. However.

At 6.30pm I looked out of the window, and there they were. So happy to see them again! Please excuse the poor quality of the photographs. I was on the other side of double glazed windows, and the light was fading.

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Irish hare or mountain hare?

It was such a relief to see the pair of hares again this morning. They spent a lot of time in the garden, preening, washing, eating, enjoying the sun, enjoying the escallonia. All these photographs were taken through our double glazed windows!

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And then we had a wonderful sunset.

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A pair of March hares

I finally managed to get some photographs (albeit through a seasalt-encrusted double glazed window) of the pair of March hares that visit our garden every morning. It was a magical experience getting so close to them, though they scarpered when I tried to get a shot without the salty ‘filter’ and opened the window.

Hares in garden

If I remember rightly, mountain hares died out on Mull a long time ago, and were re-introduced from Ireland. (more information on Prasad’s blog) They never seem to get any whiter in the winter than this. We are lucky and enjoy encounters with them all year round, sometimes seeing 4 together.

This morning, Farmer found the remains of one in the field below the house, a reminder that nothing lives forever…

Hares, hens, elephants

I will keep trying to get a closer shot of them, as long as they keep visiting. They are playing havoc with our seedlings in the veg garden, but we forgive them!

Mull in March

People quite often ask me what Mull is like in March. I can remember before I came to live here, forgetting that the spring might feel a bit later on Mull, even though it might be warm and mild. I suppose my advice always has to be that the weather can be mixed. Today has been beautiful. Some wintery showers for Farmer when out feeding the animals, but for most of the day strong sunshine. Some days it can be warm enough to eat outside, and it can snow.

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The days are getting longer, and that is always a special part of March. You know the long summer days are not far away. And that we should be able to enjoy many, many sunsets like this one over Coll, which I photographed this afternoon.

Stars and daffodils

Recent clear skies have given me great opportunities to wander around in the dark with my camera again. Watching the stars, searching for the aurora borealis, and listening to the sounds of the night.

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