The Dragon Bites

31 Oct

bush-5Sunday – another toss of the coin. Do we go to church cloistered in the middle of the island with the rest of the congregation where we are encouraged to repent our past sins. Or — do we go to God’s church in the open air with views to Mull – Lunga – Scarba and Jura plus the additional prospect of mainland views around by the Crinan Canal if we walk the rough shoreline to the southern-most point of our Isle of Luing.

The walk won – tea n sannies duly batched and packed into the rucksacks with binos and cameras – we slip furtively past the busy church five minutes after the start of service and head for Blackmill Bay.

Now I stand ready to be shot at dawn for my appropriation of this next pic as being Blackmill Bay Pier on the Isle of Luing for a distinguished collector of Western Isles piers has already claimed it as being somewhere else.

Make that ‘extinguished collector of’  – for I’m pretty sure that is the Mull skyline on the horizon as seen from Blackmill Bay and the closer headland on the right is a few hundred yards west of Ardlarach Farmhouse on Luing.

No worries – on closer inspection of my pirated print – or old postcard – and without the help of photo-shop – it even says in beautiful old fashioned italics thereon —


We park by the remnant’s of the old Blackmill Bay pier which was once the stepping off point for catching the steamer to Glasgow and also the main loading point for the many many tons of slate which were exported from the former Luing quarries to roof London – Bristol and many other cities in years gone by.

Helen and I have neglected the wild southern part of Luing in our three months living on the island. Strange really – for we stayed with Julia and Richard at Gorsten B&B on Blackmill Bay several times as we reconnoitered the island before making our decision to move here. We have no excuse for missing out on the beautiful if remote feeling south other than it has been an extremely busy time for us both. But the rocks never change – the roaring from the Passage of Grey Dogs can still be heard across the Sound of Luing and the gloomy Isle of Scarba looks as menacing as ever —

especially when viewed from under the Dragon’s Head Rock —


Thankfully the rustle of sandwich wrappings and the whiff of a good brew persuaded H to retire to a safe place where she demolished a tuna baguette with surprising alacrity for one so miniscule —


Duly sorted – it was time for H to make friends with the Dragon and couldn’t resist a parting tap of his snout and whispered endearment – presumably for leaving her unscathed —


The ten ton rock rock appears to defy gravity and it will only take one misplaced breaker – or perhaps a push from my ‘Mighty Atom’ – to bring it crashing down —


Point made – and taken – time to retire disgracefully and picture the phenomenon from-a-safe-distance – this is her anything for a ‘quiet life’ look —


No worries – at least her scull is still intact – I think. Time for me to sing-along with the twelve strong choir of one note ‘croanking’ cormorants as they wait for the rising tide to wash them off their rock —


wonder what ‘happening’ or sadness lies behind this stone cairn on the shore opposite the treacherous Passage of the Grey Dogs between the uninhabited Isles of Scarba and Lunga —


While the sharp-eyed ‘greener’ Helen ponders the deeper mystery of how this fishing net became overgrown with vegetation  —


Even I know the answer to that one but we will let her ponder a while for I’ve found a cast-a-way fishbox where the gale has blown it off a fishing boat and left it high-and-dry in the rushes. I will need her help to carry it back to the car.

I have an idea that if I can get it back home I can turn it into a perfect base for a coldframe to bring our early plants on in a sunny corner of the garden – or even keep her lettuce covered near the kitchen door and safe from the marauding roe deer.


Hansel and Gretel are occuping my mind a lot at the moment – but the war goes on – there can only be one winner if we are to grow our own veggies next year.

M-mmm —


I felt that 🙂

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Posted by on October 31, 2016 in Isle of Luing, Walks


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