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Hebridean journal

Wednesday, 13 June 2007

Wednesday 13th June 2007

One advantage of sleeping badly is that you see sights other folk are not fortunate enough to view. This is 2.40 a.m.

And 3.40 a.m.

And 5.15 a.m.

And now it is 5.40 a.m.

And a more reasonable hour – 6.40 a.m.

And the time of day that many people would at last think sensible – 10.15 a.m. One of the things that seems to grow particularly well on the island is the fence post.

This morning’s coffee was at The Woodlands Centre.

And we added a Blue Tit to our list of birds seen so far this holiday.

We went out on the Liurbost road, passing Jo’s favourite little island in the process.

We went alongside Loch Leurbost in the hazy sunshine.

And then over the hill to Ranish where the skies cleared completely and the sea became the deepest blue.

Around here even the most decrepit and abandoned buildings can have an air of romance.

King of the road.

In fact, they are everywhere!

Why do the windmills so rarely turn? At least today there was one turning.

And back to Stornoway where a scraggy looking Herring Gull was still guarding the boats.

Having bought a copy of Peter Cunningham’s book ‘The Castle Grounds’ I was anxious to explore them further so GB dropped me off there and he went home to work for a few hours, picking me up later in the day. I made a start by going along the Willowglen Trail. There are many fine trees in the grounds including this stand of Douglas and Grand Firs.

And stately Lawson’s Cypress bearing no resemblance to the stunted and mangled things we use as hedging in urban areas on the mainland.

An unusual shrub alongside the path was Leycesteria formosa, sometimes known as Himalayan Honeysuckle.

Throughout the woods there are ferns galore including the attractive Hard Fern which has two sorts of frond – the wider sterile ones shown above and the narrow fertile ones below.

Another unusual shrub was the Salmonberry (Rubus spectabilis) with its orange berries.

After spending some time in the woods the path winds put onto the golf course with a view over Stornoway and Broadbay.

The path re-enters the woods and goes alongside the nursery and Lews Castle College and before reaching the castle itself there is a fine example of a Sugar Maple.

Because of its dangerous structural state the Castle itself is deserted and boarded up but there are plans afoot to renovate and re-open it.

I walked round the edge of the outer harbour for a while.

I wouldn’t like to get on the wrong side of that beak.

And then made my way to the inner harbour and back into the woods.

Near the entrance I came across a Jackdaw ballet.

I was due to meet GB at the Porter’s Lodge at 5.30 pm and in true Edwards fashion he was there within 30 seconds of the appointed time.

Going back across the Braighe the waters were an almost unbelievable blue. Bayble Bay (with Tigh na mara on the right) was equally stunning.

And so, at 10.50 pm as the light finally began to fade, I headed for bed...

Posted by tigh-na-mara at 12:01 AM BST
Updated: Thursday, 21 June 2007 3:53 AM BST
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