Its 3.30 pm here and I can see already that we are heading for one of our wonderful sunsets, as the whole of southern Mull is now topped with gold and gigantic ball of fire is rising from Iona and maybe that’s where the sunset will be tonight. However they often wander behind The island of Ulva and set there.
I am speechless often on these inspirational natural occasions and Iona does look magical with a very low sun now surrounded by light grey clouds making The Island look even more religious than it already is.
I am surrounded by paperwork today and desperately trying to get more organised. But how I wish I could be walking on a white sand beach on that beautiful northern tip of Iona. The call of these islands is so hypnotic and wonderful, it’s a shame to be indoors. I must get out tomorrow and check a few wildlife sites.
Then again I have Sheffield United to check on too!!!!
It’s another wonderful day here with lots of blue sky and puffy white and grey clouds.
There is no wind at all and just a light ripple on the very blue sea. Iona looks beckoning as usual and it must be low tide as its white sand coastline is very clear.
The sun is like a huge fireball across Loch na Keal on my left, as it rises over Benmore and the other mountains around it, and is too bright to even look at from my office.
More people should come to Western Scotland and its Islands in the off season because it has truly spectacular visual wonders and serenity at this time of year.
On yesterdays Wildlife Expedition I had two very keen ladies, one from Scotland and the other from Ireland.
They were a pleasure to take out and from the off while waiting for the sea eagles the female came in for a chat. As it turned out it was a chat, but not with us, but its male partner as it swept in calling and landed close to the bigger female. Both looked very colourful and were very noisy !!
We had two otters interacting with two other Sea Eagles as we headed toward Gribbun, but it looked like fun rather than aggression and we had great views of both on Scarisdale rocks. We also had great northern divers, a black throated diver, which is reckoned to be the most beautiful UK bird In its summer plumage and this one was in its winter plumage, !!
We then had a family of 3 otters very very close and seemingly oblivious to our presence
In Glenmore we had one f those evocative views of a golden eagle sitting on the skyline in the majestic way that they do.
One hen harrier today, lots of red deer stags and females with young.
3 separate dippers, redshanks and lots of other things as well as views to die for, on this magical Island.
I have a wildlife trip tomorrow and hope I see the otter I had today on Loch na Keal which was on a mission seemingly, on a very calm sea.
Has there been a better day than today ? For Mother Nature to put on a party for everyone with all of the mountains topped with snow, and dazzling sun bouncing off Loch na Keal like it was all glass.
Tonight I don’t see a sunrise shaping up yet but I do see a green strip of sky peeking over the top of the Ardmeanach Peninsular which may grow into something more.
It has been white over everywhere today, not as cold as yesterday and sheltered from the light wind, dare I say warmish !!
Visually though everywhere I looked today I felt speechless for once. The majesty of it all here and colours of sky, mountains, sea, land and islands, was perfection for the eye.
Well overnight it was very wild indeed here with very strong winds howling away and snow and hailstones pounding down. On getting up it was still very black and white, over the landscape as far as the eye could see.
But The islands are indeed magical with landscapes winter white with golden autumnal vegetation mixed in.
The cliffs of the Wilderness [ Ardmeanach peninsular] are topped with a golden sky and the severe drop from top to the sea below, looks like a giants ski slope !
The sea on Loch na Keal was green and now from here it is muted pale blue and huge white and grey clouds are puffing themselves up over the Island of Ulva.
Basically then another visual set of natural wonders that only The Hebridean Islands can conjure up.
Its now 1.40 in the afternoon and the sea is blue and very calm after its wild party night and distant Iona is bathed in gold sun again. Its a great pity that more visitors don’t explore more of the South of Mull and not just Iona itself.
Venturing out each day seems to be a nod to the White Tailed Sea Eagles lately, as they arrive overhead and seem to enjoy escorting me down The National Scenic Area and Loch na Keal toward Salen, often to then alight on the big shingle expanse at Killiechronan.
In other words it seems they are human watching as we would go bird watching.
It feels odd and mysterious.
As the view is from here now at 18 minutes past 3 and with what looks like an Alien Craft dropping gently onto The South of Mull. Somewhat like Close Encounters of the Third kind, if you remember the movie !!
The back drop is pale blue with 3 separate tiers of gold looking like a very posh and huge new cark park !!
Off to the right I see more golden sky appearing through the same blueness of sky.
What does it look and feel like if you are on The South of Mull itself right now I wonder.
Anyway I have just just come into the house with an immature sea eagle coming over us from The Island of Ulva.
It is now 3.30 in the afternoon and it has been a wonderful day since early morning.
There is still no wind at all but the the slightest ripple of golden sea between my office and Iona.
There is another charcoal like sky miles out and below that golden clouds peeking through the slightly lighter charcoal.
Even in winter we have the most magical colours adorning sky, mountains and sea.
It’s fascinating really that we don’t have more artists living here but then I am still an artist I suppose ? But my wildlife tours and wild friends consume any spare time I might have to get back to drawing and painting. One day I will !!
Slices of Orange are now poking out of the creamy grey clouds and there is no doubt about another sunset coming up this evening and tomorrow sounds just the same, probably with a full moon like last night and amazing sunrise in the morning.
I often ask my wildlife customers when talking about that word we humans invented and that is ‘intelligence’. In short, which is more intelligent to live on an Island which looks like somewhere in the South Pacific at times, or to live in any major city on Britain’s mainland ?
It another very calm day here with the sun trying to get through light clouds.
The landscape is also very colourful and yes out above Iona right now the sun has won the little battle with the light mist and now it looks pretty sunny down there.
I see Red Deer patrolling the skyline behind the house and yesterday I saw Fallow Deer which I think are the most beautiful of any British Deer and beyond I feel. They trot around like ballet dances and we only get them in the Knoch Area of Loch na Keal and Loch Buie, which is in itself very beautiful and majestic.
Clearing all the time now so it could be a nod from mother nature to get the sun bloc on.
Hoping Sheffield United win today and I have to say I do miss seeing them in real life like I always did when I lived in Sheffield.
If anyone read my morning posting they will rmember that it was amazing here particularly the scenes around our mountainous areas.
However about lunchtime the multi colours had gone, replaced by a pervading white mist particularly over the sea which I guess was something to do with it being a lot milder then.
It has all changed again now with the mist ebbing and a ball of a sun shining through it high above the house and I can now see Iona and southern Mull pretty easily with its backdrop of sunshine.
On my way down Loch na keal to Salen I saw one otter and a couple of sea eagles sitting on their islets.
This has become very trendy it seems for sea eagles to do !! A bit like beards have become trendy on the mainland !!! along with long blonde hair !!
Iona has disappeared again I the last 5 minutes, so maybe tonight we aren’t going to get that sunset and full moon like last night.
As you can tell from the above and all of my postings you can never be bored here because it is always changing, and determined that we live a colourful life.
What a scene at 8.30 am from my office and across the sea, where a brilliant red sky is covering Benmore and all of its adjoining mountains peaks.
It is overwhelmingly colourful, with pink. red, blue and goodness knows what else covering this most exotic scene.
There are now a couple of sheep 25m away from me posing, with this fabulous backdrop as if the whole area was on fire. What a winning photograph this would make in any competition ??