I haven’t blogged for a while now, certainly not since we moved to Skye two and half years ago. Previously I had written about the wildlife around the little Hampshire village in which we lived. The lanes and fields full of wild flowers, native birds and the native woodland providing plenty of ammunition for my musings. So much has happened since then, moving here, running our B&B and really getting into Island life, all of which has taken up most of my time – so no real time to write a blog. But so much happens here that I will never remember it all if I don’t write it down so here I go again.
In theory March heralds the beginning of Spring. On Skye … well hold your breath and wait and see, we might get spring, we might have glimpses of spring … but given half a chance the winds from the great Atlantic will blast us with snow and hale, or then again they might bathe us with gentle warmth and sunlight. The secret – never expect spring as you once knew it in the south of England – well not unless you want to be disappointed. Not that March can’t be beautiful and full of surprises, it most certainly can. All around us the fields are changing colour from a yellowed brown of winter to a vivid green as new lush shoots push their way through the sodden earth. In more sheltered spots, Gorse has begun to bloom, vibrant yellow flowers to tempt any fat Bumblebee who venturers out from her nest on a rare warm day. Siskins, Pied Wagtails and Curlews grace the skies and fill our ears with glorious sounds.
Only last week we were blessed with a few warm sunny days that made me want to walk through Glen Sligachan with our dogs, Tali (Black Lab) and Lila (Hungarian Vizsla) and enjoy a few hours walking without the threat of rain. It was hazy in the glen, with a stiff breeze but warm too – a real treat. I was looking for frog spawn, there’s usually a fair bit in the glen in the fairly shallow pools alongside the path and I was not disappointed. In fact there was oodles of it, as if the frogs had suddenly decided that the time was right. I imagine quite a bit gets gobbled up by various birds, Grey Herons amongst them, that make their homes in the glen but I have no doubt that quite a lot mature to froglets too and spread their croaking news far and wide.
My goal – there has to be goal to walking on Skye whether it be photographing waterfalls, catching the light or movement just right, ascending a particular Munro, or aiming to see just how far you can get in a certain period of time. I wanted to see how far I could get by walking for two hours into the Glen. Quite a way it would seem, even if I hadn’t done any ‘serious’ walking for some months. It’s a good walk, relatively flat, a few burns to cross, a fairly decent path. If you’re lucky you’ll see Grouse, (in autumn you’ll definitely hear the rut if not see a stag or two). But it’s the views of the mountains themselves that’s breathtaking and the changing light as clouds pass over the glen. As the sun begins to creep down towards the horizon there’s the expectation of the Red Cuillin actually turning red as red granite reflects the colour of the dying sun and if you’re there you’ll not be disappointed – it’s truly stunning!
The walk tried my stamina, which at present is sadly lacking, it tired the dogs out and made me feel I had accomplished something. Though quite what I’m not sure – aside from discovering I am presently quite unfit – but I did attain my goal so I’ll put a tick in that box.
You’ll read all about all sorts of topics as the year unfolds, plus news from our B&B and a host of other crazy and sometimes serious goings on from Crossal in the centre of Skye.