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Hebridean journal

Friday, 8 June 2007

Friday 8th June 2007

At 4.15 this morning a huge flock of Starlings descended on the bush opposite GB's front gate. Despite the light nights it was too dark to photograph them properly and only those silhouetted against the skyline showed up. The rising sun created some beautiful scenes in the sky.

Sadly, it gave way to cloud before too long.

Question - What do they grow on Point? Answer - Fenceposts!

The question as to which is the front of Tigh na mara and which the back has been the subject of debate for some years but both its owner and I say this is the front.

We went to Stornoway for coffee and I set out before GB, walking over the moor past the peat workings and nearly as far as the main road at Garrabost before he picked me up.

Those who know me will appreciate I have always had a thing about post boxes and have taken many photos of them over the years. Those in Scotland provide additional scope for this ridiculous hobby because in certain cases they lack the Royal cipher. This one, for example, has been made in the time of Elizabeth II. Since Scotland had no Elizabeth I an EIIR cipher would be inappropriate so the Scots just settle for the crown on them instead.

In the afternoon I had a walk down at the beach and spent ages just taking in the delights of waves, sky, and seascape.

On the way down to the shore I came across a moth - a geometer; some sort of carpet moth. Sadly it wouldn't open its wings for definite identification.

On any beach I love examining the pebbles and stones that have been rounded by the action of the sea and brought to rest on the shore. Here they are primarily gneiss and granites.

The Thrift (Armeria maritima) has been fantastic all over the Island this last week.

Primroses (Primula vulgaris), which have been over for some time down South, are still flowering well on the cliffs hereabouts.

On the cliffs and the shore well over a dozen Wrens were wandering and flitting around. Some were parents and others, like this one, were youngsters with the remains of their yellow gape visible.

Both young and old were noisy as Wrens usually are and though they let me come very close they kicked up an awful fuss about it.

An Orchid - one with spotted leaves - was just beginning to come out by the shore - as yet to be identified. (This is a composite photo to show budding flowers `and leaves,)

There were Arctic Terns on the shore and they gave me the best photos of that species that I have ever managed.

A Ringed Plover was on the beach as well but at times it was so well camouflaged it took me ages to pick it out on some of the photos.

On the way back up to Tigh na mara I noticed that almost every Yellow Flag Iris had its resident spider. In the evening Fiona and Ann came for dinner. Painted Lady butterflies also came to feed - on GB's garden flowers. Fiona came from Knock, Ann from Callanish but the Painted Ladies started out on continental Europe somewhere so they get the prize for being most attracted to GB's repasts!

Mind you, the Painted Ladies didn't get offered stuffed mushrooms with haggis, chicken, and drunken raspberries which the rest of us had! At the light began to fade around 11 in the evening the drumming of Snipes could clearly be heard over the crofts at the back.

So here ends another day, the abiding memory of which is of baby Wrens.

Posted by tigh-na-mara at 12:01 AM BST
Updated: Monday, 18 June 2007 3:50 PM BST
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