Its been a fine week – weather wise – with mostly blue skies. It’s also been quite chilly especially in the early mornings when frosts have decorated the meadows and the rising sun has created clouds of filmy mist where the burns make their way through the glens.
Which reminds me, have you noticed that when you least expect it you see something magical or unusual? Well, last week, I took the dogs down to Loch Harport for a lazy wander and bit of a swim (me to wander, the dogs to swim that is) . The sun had been shining all day and I hoped I might find something worth photographing down at the pier, while giving Lila & Tali some exercise. The sunset promised to be marvellous so that was on the agenda, but maybe a Heron or some of the resident Shags might be around – it can be a magical place when the light is just right. Well I wasn’t to be disappointed it seems, Ferguson’s had been relocating pontoons using a great sea-going crane. The pontoons were lined up along the road to the pier and were festooned with mussels – wish I had taken a photo of that.
But that was not the best bit. Further along, hauled up out of the water were a collection of anchors. I can only imagine they are used to anchor the pontoons and their sheer weight will keep them in place on the rocks over winter. Strangely they were a beautiful sight, this first day out of the water they were covered in seaweed, and all manner of crustaceans. The iron – rusted – of course, and there was a great tangle of assorted ropes but it was the colours that got me, and the multitude of textures.
I wondered if they would look the same in a day or two, so went down again – low and behold (I love that phrase, it sums up this idea that what’s happened was totally expected. Its in the same category as Ta-daa) the ropes and anchors were ‘clean’, not a crustacean in sight. The rust was still there – well it would be wouldn’t it – and the ropes were still tangled and multi coloured, but somehow these great hulking pieces of metal now had a ‘been here a while’ look to them. The sea birds must have had a grand feast!
But that wasn’t all! Oh no! As I stood on the pier photographing a young Shag (Phalacrocorax aristotelis) fishing in the loch, I got this strange feeling I was being watched. I scanned the loch but could see nothing new, then a couple of moments later a head emerged and two big dark eyes gazed at me from the safety of the chilly waters. A Harbour Seal, one of three I then noted, that were hunting in Loch Harport – the others were much further down the loch. Every few moments this seal would dive and then resurface, either closer or further around the pier, obviously curious, stretching itself out of the water to watch the dogs as they padded along the shoreline. Now this isn’t really a life changing moment, we see seals all around Skye on a regular basis, it was just one of those instances when you catch your breath ’cause what you’ve experienced was totally unexpected in a place that you’ve visited countless times. Quite magical really!
Oh, and the sunset? Well the mountains were just – MAGICAL!