Winter walks at Treshnish
There are many different winter walks at Treshnish, but I thought I would start the new year by sharing possibly my favourite one.
Ben Duill is the hill behind East, Middle and West at Haunn. I like to walk through the field beyond the cottages and out through the wooden gate. Instead of walking down to the shore, I walk up the hill beside the fence and then head out towards the sea, steadily gaining height, as if curling round the hill like an unfurling orange peel.
There is a cairn on the edge, with a lovely view over to the Treshnish Isles. Past the cairn there is the remains of an old wall, on the cliff top. You get to a point where suddenly the view to Ben More stretches out beyond you. Looking down Loch Tuath, with the shoreline boundary of the farm below you. The Whisky Cave is hidden along there, and the path up to Crackaig and Glac gugairidh.
From there it isn’t far to the cairn at the top of Ben Duill. It is a wonderful place to catch the winter sunset.
We started 2021 with a spell of magical crisp cold weather. The brightness of the light lengthened the days and brought a smile to everyone’s faces. The day these photographs were taken, Farmer was busy repairing the fence between the hill ground and the in bye fields and I headed off up Ben Duill with the dog.
It was lovely to see a Red grouse flying across my path and later to hear (but not see) another calling. On our way to the cairn on the top of Ben Duill we disturbed some Red deer hinds with last years calves. They stood looking at me for a while, and then scampered off over the brow of the hill.
That afternoon was especially clear and it was magical to see Mingulay, Vatersay, Barra, Eriskay, South Uist and North Uist peaking out from behind Tiree, Gunna and Coll.
To the north this wonderful view of Rum, Skye, Muck and Eigg. Canna was visible too to the west of Rum. To the east was Ardnamurchan Point, the most westerly point of the UK mainland with its lighthouse.
Immediately south was Ulva, Gometra, the Treshnish Isles, Iona, the Ross of Mull, and beyond that the Paps of Jura stand out and you know then to look for Islay and Colonsay.
The fading daylight casting glowing veils of pink on the snowy mountains and the rich almost creamy blue on the sea left me speechless. It was freezing cold as I walked back down the hill to the wooden gate. I stood watching the dramatic setting of the sun beyond the Treshnish Isles.
What a totally magical afternoon.
Happy New Year
It is already the 10th of January and I completely missed writing a festive blog this year. It isn’t quite the Auld New Year yet so I think it is safe to wish you a Happy New Year now. We are lucky not to be in full lockdown on Mull so can still move around freely on the island. We feel hugely privileged to have this freedom and to be living here.
I took this photograph of the Aurora Borealis at 2am on the 6th of January. The moon was out competing with the light of the aurora – the moon usually wins.
I hope you are all keeping well and safe, and that it is not long before we can welcome guests again.