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Category Archives: out and about

Seamus the Free Range Tabby Cat

I wasn’t the only one walking on the wild side this morning – Seamus went out about 07.00hrs while it was still dark. I saw him later from the bedroom window in daylight hunting up on the hillside. I don’t know if he caught any mice but he was certainly enjoying the hunt as he leaped and danced amongst the long grass and dead bracken fronds.

He met me by the gate to the old steading as I returned from my walk but I have Helen to thank for these lovely pics as he ambushed her out there later —

He loves to patrol the old stone wall —

The mice like it too as it gives shelter and cover from the many birds of prey resident on the Isle of Luing —

We occasionally have golden and sea eagles visiting from Mull and I can’t help but imagine what they would make of our Seamus.

He made the most of his day in the sun and was so tired when he arrived home after sunset that he didn’t even make it onto the big chair – simply dropped on the carpet by the fire and observing us through half shut eyes —

But he did recover and came up to join me later – adopting the imperial position on the well cushioned sofa where we enjoyed another film from Netflix πŸ™‚

 

 

 

 

Sunshine on Luing

Deffo a day of all things bright and beautiful – wall-to-wall sunshine brought me out for a hobble over the rough ground beyond the house —

I would usually be sinking ankle-deep and more into mud and rushes at this time of year but with temperatures below freezing we have a frozen ‘tundra’ out back —

Walking poles help keep me upright but can be a bit of a nuisance when it comes to using the binoculars or taking photos —

No worries – the views to a snow-clad Isle of Mull over Cullipool and across the Sound of Lorn are well worth the effort —

Great stuff! —

If only we could have more of this hard frost – getting around would be so much easier πŸ™‚

 
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Posted by on December 10, 2017 in Isle of Luing, out and about, Walks

 

Night Light

A poem from Helen at ‘Find the Wildlife Within’on WordPress

Find The Wildlife Within

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Waking, I look first from the window
for the three lights in a row on the island
showing they’re at work on the lobster pond.

There’s a time of night when stars line up
in a row of three too; lofty
companions to Fladda Lighthouse.

Then there are the lighthouses on Colonsay,
and the Garvellachs – smaller stars skating
across the sea’s blank mirror.

Waking from a dark dream, I am fortified
for the day ahead by these nine lights.
Three on land, three aloft and three a-sail.

Night light, star-light, sea bright.
Looking out, I’m reassured by this
constant constellation.

Night Light

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Posted by on December 9, 2017 in out and about

 

Caroline Caps Ben Cruachan

It was grim and more than a little blustery around here yesterday when a storm called Caroline blundered through —

but we held our ground and even found a gorgeous freshwater pool formed by rainwater dripping down from the cliffs above —

In fact beauty in abundance one minute —

and glowering storm clouds next —

Today was much the same leading to snow – especially on top of Ben Cruachan —

where Helen caught this shot of the snow-capped mountain from the roadside while on her ‘Santa’ run to Oban this morning πŸ™‚

 
 

The Road to The Isles

It’s fully 16 months now since Helen and I moved to the Isle of Luing in the Inner Hebrides where the weather can be wild and windy one minute and quite benign the next —

The roads are fewer, rougher and tighter than those to be found in the rest of Scotland so it’s very much a case of horses for courses —

Helen and I have had to adapt in many ways but overall it has been well worth the effort —

Shopping – gardening – cooking and baking can be more of a challenge but the occasional success has it’s own rewards —

and with our second Christmas together on the island fast approaching we are looking forward to 2018 with confidence —

The photo was taken just a few minutes before Boss-cat dug his claws into my forearm to get my straying attention! He is a farm cat after all and is as much at home in the tumbledown steading catching vermin or out on the hillside with the deer and the ever-present threat of attack from above as he is on my lap in front of the log fire of an evening —

I blame Netflix where ‘Medici’ has taken us into devious Italian banking circles and ‘murrder’ awaits round every street corner – ‘old hat’ to some perhaps but brand new to ourselves here on Luing πŸ™‚

 

Love is in the air at Bardrishaig

I may be stretching a point here when I credit our wild roe deer with feelings normally associated with humans –

but – having watched our resident buck at close quarters for several months now –

and – our more timid females as and when they make their skittish appearance –

it certainly looks like there is a match made in heaven taking place on our doorstep.

But work came first this morning as our fine fellow trimmed the front lawn —

under the watchful eye of his bride-to-be —

Even our resident cock pheasant get’s in on the act as he sprints across the lawn to his position on rowan tree knoll in time to take his place as best man —

He had to be quick for the groom has smartened up and is on his way too —

How about that then – even the cock pheasant seemed a little envious – if a tad embarrassed at the speed the nuptials took place —

No doubt – all being well – we will hear the pitter-patter of little hoofs around here again next spring πŸ™‚

 
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Posted by on December 2, 2017 in Gardening, Isle of Luing, out and about, Wildlife

 

Dawn till Dusk with the Belnahua

‘Dawn till Dusk’ – ‘if only’ say the ferry men and women – yes we have a lady skipper too and they are all expected to be up at ‘dark-a-clock’ to take their turn (in pairs) to bring the Belnahua from it’s mooring in open water to the island jetty in time for the first run of the day at 07.30hrs.

She’s at the jetty now and you may board her – if you can find her —

One of the benefits of being retired is that it’s usually OK to travel in the second – or third wave of the day – drive on in daylight and enjoy the five minute crossing —

admire the snow-capped mountains on Mull glistening in the sun as we did today on the 10.35hrs crossing —

or keep an eye out for the occasional sea eagle – seals – otters and other wildlife that find food around here in abundance —

The ferry dog having made the crossing many times at half hour intervals over the years has seen it all and has been known to swim the tidal race on his own when boredom gets the better of him —

Our drive over well gritted roads in temperatures just above freezing to Lochgilphead and Ardrishaig went well —

but the short winter days meant it was dusk by the time we made the return crossing —

and there was the Belnahua waiting to take us safely once again over the narrows of Cuan Sound —

and home —

to Luing πŸ™‚

 

 
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Posted by on November 29, 2017 in boats, Isle of Luing, out and about

 

Evening Star

via Evening Star

 
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Posted by on November 29, 2017 in out and about

 

CRF250 Rally Does the Cliff Walk

Sunday was one of those days when I thought I might dig over part of our vegetable patch only to find it water-logged from all the ‘weather’ we have had in recent months so I left it in the capable care of our resident roe deer buck —

and headed out on the 250 Rally with the intention of riding some of the farm tracks on the island —

The tracks were OK but when they ran out I found the grass covered sections to be just as water-logged as my garden —

Rather than cut them up I pulled out and cantered over on the tarry stuff to Blackmill Bay —

where I took a few ‘artistic’ shots of the remains of the old jetty —

that – as this old post card shows – had once been the main lifeline to and from the island —

But a red-blooded guy with a itchy throttle hand can only take so much of this before his mind starts to wander and thoughts turn elsewhere —

to the stony path running part-way up the cliff between the two slate quarries in the north-west of the island —

Stormy seas have washed out parts of the old track but there was enough left for me to get a pic or two —

and set the scene —

before heading back to meet up at the Atlantic Island Centre in Cullipool where my son Jim was celebrating his birthday with friends and family —

Not a bad day all round πŸ™‚

 

‘No Snow on the Isle of Luing’ – says the MSX125 Gorm

Across the Sound of Luing our neighbouring Isle of Scarba has it’s cap of snow —

and our ‘big’ neighbour across the Sound of Lorn – the mountainous Isle of Mull has more than it’s fair share of the white stuff —

but here on the Isle of Luing it’s like a summer’s day —

if you give or take the occasional flurry of hail – sleet or snot —

So good in fact that I brought out the ‘surfer dude’ bike – the MSX125 Gorm and went looking for long distance Atlantic Breakers – only to find them a trifle benign —

No worries – as our near neighbours say over there on the Slate Isle of Easdale – ‘the nearest landmass when we look seaward is Brazil’ – that’s a smidgen under six thousand miles for an albatross so no doubt we will have many a ‘good blow’ before winter is out πŸ™‚

 
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Posted by on November 24, 2017 in Isle of Luing, Motorcycling, out and about