RSS

Category Archives: Walks

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 🙂

 

 

 

 

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 🙂

 
Leave a comment

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

 

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 🙂

 
 

A Dog is a Man’s Best Friend

‘A Dog is a Man’s Best Friend’ – so they say – but in this case ‘they’ have got it wrong. Young Rory pictured here many months ago is actually family friend Diane’s best ‘friend’ —

But even I managed to shelve my reservations and fiddled with his velvety ears for a few mins in a Callander cafe on Sunday to give Helen and Diane peace to drink their coffee —

It actually looks as if I’m getting more out of the deal than a now grown up Rory 🙂

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on November 21, 2017 in Isle of Luing, out and about, Walks

 

Neptune Crowned on Ganavan Sands

Ganavan Sands by Oban – so beautiful on any day but particularly on a sunlit – early February day —

20170211_144306

I first came here as Boy Scout sixty five years ago to camp on the nearby Island of Kerrera. That was probably in the month of June and I don’t remember seeing much sunshine. Rain – rain – midgies and more rain are my abiding memories.

20170211_140953

We had travelled by steam train from Kelso in the Scottish Borders – my first big adventure away from my family.

20170211_144416

It was an adventure alright and as children did in those days – we pulled the leather strap that lowered the window in the carriage door and stuck our heads out into the smoke and soot from the hard working engine during our long journey. The good townspeople of Oban could have been forgiven for thinking they were getting a visit from the Black & White Minstrels when we got off the train.

20170211_144206

C’mon mate – you have no time to smell the flowers on the gorse. It was 1952-53 you were here as a Boy Scout – Coronation Year – when our current Queen Elizabeth was crowned. It’s your turn this year — a stone from the beach with the beginnings of growth will do – looks like a galleon sailing down the Sound of Mull.

Behold – King Neptune —

20170211_143204

Mmmm – time for another haircut. Isn’t nature wonderful. To think these plants can grow from the back of a stone up near the tide-line where they are briefly covered with seawater but twice a day.

20170211_210014

Time to put it back where Helen found it —

20170211_210123

and thank her for the use of her photos —

20170211_143633

with a couple of my own —

20170211_171644
Tonight’s sunset on Bardrishaig 🙂

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on February 11, 2017 in Isle of Luing, out and about, Walks

 

The Toberonochy Two-step

One of those days to wrap up warm and get out while the sun is shining —

20170208_140402

There’s always a steady dribble of traffic from the Cuan Ferry no matter what day of the week – and –

with the Tall Ten at the gallop it was off down the island to Toberonochy where we parked on the empty quayside —

20170208_131128

What’s he fiddling with?

20170208_131228

Oh yes – it’s the newly fitted Givi Tailpack that came in the morning post —

20170208_131102

Just the thing for binoculars – spare gloves and an apple or two — but it’s too cold to hang about. Looks like ‘porky boy’ has had too many pies anyway – time for action.

20170208_131219

Past the big tree – worth a mention as there aren’t too many ‘big trees’ on the island —

20170208_132310

and down by the last house in the village to the open fields running down to the shore where our man limbers up for the Toberonochy Two-step with a twist of the hips —

20170208_133042

while his partner answers with the tiniest of bum flicks as she points with the – left foot?

20170208_132517

She blames the restrictive protective padding in her bike suit for the lack of movement but I reckon she was more interested in eating her apple.

Now she’s getting her shadow in the pic but I will try to ignore the salute – she is too polite to use two fingers anyway —

20170208_132857

It was so much easier putting a blog together when I had endless open roads to ride —

20170208_133726

Could be worse – the main aim is to show the Isle of Luing as we had it on a beautiful – early February day ___

20170208_165016

We made the most of it and were home in time to wash the mud and cowshit off the bike and enjoy this setting sun 🙂

 

 
 

Misty Morning

One of those misty mornings —

20170208_083621

but eagle-eyed Seamus has spotted the cackling geese on the frosted grass of the lower field.

20170208_085624

Nothing else to be seen beyond that until Scarba peeps out of the mist —

20170208_083759

but it doesn’t last and by the time Helen and I had the boots on it had cleared over the Pond.

20170208_100145

We take the clifftop grass route around the western perimeter fence —

20170208_100312

with views to the snow-capped mountains of Mull —

20170208_100307

to name but one of the many islands dotted off our beautiful coast.

20170208_100138

Well worth getting out of bed for 🙂

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on February 8, 2017 in Isle of Luing, out and about, Walks

 

Five Fools in a Fountain

It’s great what we do to work up an appetite for a Boxing Day curried chook lunch. H n I braved the storm and walked over to Port Mary corner with views across Cuan Sound to the Isle of Seil.

I stood there by my Hobbit Hoos wondering where the roof had gone.

20161225_124421

While the distaff side tested her new waterproof eye-shadow —

20161225_133426

while getting on with the ‘day job’ of photographing the waves and currents.

20161225_130016

Aah – very pretty Master’ said my Nigerian driver – nickname ‘Jaguar’ – when he drove me and family through a busy red traffic light on the outskirts of Kaduna in reply to my question – ‘What colour were those lights Jaguar?’

20161225_130927

Very Pretty indeed – but what’s happening across the Sound?

20161225_132131

There were five people on that headland last time I looked —

20161225_132435

Yup – five people I tell you! No doubt youngsters full of Christmas spirit —

20161225_132435

That must have sobered them up —

20161225_132429

There’s still three at least —

20161225_132438

Three – or is it four – could be one on his knees hanging on – or praying. That isn’t bad out of five mad fools.

20161225_124841_001

Chunter – chunter — bloody daft kids — wonder if it was them wot nicked my roof.

 

 

Don 🙂

 

 

 
1 Comment

Posted by on December 26, 2016 in Isle of Luing, out and about, Walks

 

Tags: , , ,

If Boats Could Talk

First published on here in April 2012 – I stumbled across it again while looking for the Red Roofed Cottage near Shieldaig. I enjoyed writing – ‘if Boats Could Talk’ so much I’ve brought it forward to December 2016.

If boats could talk perhaps this old clinker built twenty four footer would tell us why she ended her days abandoned on the banks of the River Dee —

She could tell us about the chap who sat down with a piece of paper and designed her curves —

She could tell us of how they steamed the wood and put the bend into her ribs – of the people who sailed her and the goods she carried.

She might even have something to say about the guy who made the temporary repair in her latter years by hammering a multitude of galvanised roofing nails into the rotten timbers that held her together at the bows.

But it wasn’t enough in the end and with daylight showing through – to be beached on the dry riverbank was the best thing for her —

At least she has found a pleasant place to end her days with brambles growing over her

and surrounded by daffodils in season —

I’ve been meaning to take a photo of that old boat for some time and today was the day. I nipped over the new fence and did just that while on my way to the Ross for a walk in a mixture of sunshine and hailstones. A fresh day to be out and I loved it —

With this view from the cattle pens across the Solway Firth and the Robin Wind Turbines to the snow capped Lakeland Hills even the most miserable amongst us would smile —

Although I did provoke a mini-stampede on the way there —

but they settled down before long —

If boats could talk

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on December 6, 2016 in out and about, Walks

 

Tags:

Their Christmas Goose is Cooked

One of the problems when living close to nature is that you can get rather fond of the characters involved. 20161205_125207

Our roe deer became part of the family but we haven’t seen them for about a week and they might even be in someone’s freezer by now.

Soft as it may seem for someone like myself –  born and bred in the country – it would be re-assuring to look out the bedroom window one morning soon and see them in the garden again.

Likewise the flock of wild geese that live throughout the year on Luing. Their friendly cackle as they fly in to the rich grazing around us in the morning and off again as darkness falls becomes part of our life here at Bardrishaig and on our walks to various parts of the island it’s not unusual to come across them sheltering from strong winds in some hidden valley.

Today they were obviously sheltering from the ‘guns’ engaged in the pre-Christmas shoot we had encountered on our way to the ferry.

Helen and I took a detour by Ardmaddy House on the mainland on our way home and were tickled to see our Luing geese having an ‘away day’ over there too. Virtually all were looking south to Luing and wondering if it was safe to fly home.
20161205_130955

 

Ardmaddy House was well worth a photo – even if it was from a distance. Standing in it’s well kept grounds at the head of Ardmaddy Bay – we have seen it across the water on many occasions when walking or visiting the north-east section of Luing where my son lives. The gardens on Ardmaddy Estate are open to the public throughout the year but we will leave that visit till well into Spring when there’s more to see – and photograph.

 

20161205_125234

Talking of photos – we passed a photogenic horse on the way down the single track road to Ardmaddy and I’m sure he will be thrilled to pad out this Post. Reminds me of ‘Scout’ – the Lone Ranger’s sidekick Tonto’s piebald horse – but he can’t be – trusty Scout will have joined the ‘Rider’s in the Sky’ long ago.

20161205_130440

The swans by the roadside on Loch Seil aren’t too bothered when cartridges start exploding and pellets fly for by all accounts the only person officially licensed to kill and eat the Mute swan since Tudor times is the Queen.

20161205_124235

As far as the Bewick and other types of swan are concerned it’s a grey area and hardly worth the bother as – except in certain secretive quarters – eating swan meat has been out of fashion for many many years.

20161205_125454

There is some nice walking country over by Ardmaddy but now is not the time to do it as it is obviously a ‘Shooting’ Estate and might even employ something as old-fashioned as a grumpy gamekeeper.

The walk by the Wishing Tree and over the tops to Kilmelford will be worth doing in the summer when the days are longer and the views fantastic – with luck – health and gamekeeper permitting we will do it then.

20161205_160645

H took this one on her way home tonight – nice sky – and thank’s for the use of t’others – my camera was able to gather fluff in my pocket all day.

 

Don 🙂

 

 

 

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on December 5, 2016 in Isle of Luing, out and about, Walks

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,