Category Archives: experiencing nature

The blooming of summer

Billy Connelly once famously said that Scotland has only two seasons, “June and Winter”, but the reality is very different. Just as the Japanese divide the year into twenty-four sekki (seasons) which are then subdivided further into three ko, a … Continue reading

Posted in archaeology, birding, birds, coasts, crofting, encounters with wildlife, environment, experiencing nature, landscape, landscape photography, nature writing, rare birds, Scotland, summer, Summer Solstice, wilderness, wildflowers, wildlife, wildlife encounters | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

The “Great Confinement” and the coming of Spring

1. To Torridon, BGC (before the “Great Confinement”) Diary excerpt, Wednesday February 12th. I watched the river plunging through our lower fields from the attic window. It was black and foam flecked; periodically wavelets slushed out across the field. The … Continue reading

Posted in environment, experiencing nature, geology, landforms, landscape, mountains, nature, nature writing | Tagged , | 10 Comments

Procession to late autumn

From Red River Croft it is possible track the procession of sunsets over the calendrical year, solstice to solstice. Across the Inner Sound the midwinter sun descends quickly behind the undulating hills below Skye’s Old Man of Storr while in … Continue reading

Posted in archaeology, Autumn, Autumnal equinox, birds, coasts, crofting, encounters with wildlife, environment, experiencing nature, nature, nature writing, Scotland, Skye, weather, wilderness, wildlife encounters | Tagged , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Abundance

It is late August and the morning is fierce with light. Westwards the Outer Isles are floating in a blue haze, their familiar shapes swollen yet indistinct. I am roaming the croft fields with a bag and a walking stick. … Continue reading

Posted in birds, crofting, encounters with wildlife, environment, experiencing nature, landscape, meadows, nature, Scotland, summer, wildflowers, wildlife | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Sinuosity

In April the land burned. Cold snow showers that had bundled together under cloud-bands of steel grey and ink in late March were swept aside by penetrating blue skies, fierce light and desiccating wind. The air was bright, dry and … Continue reading

Posted in birds, encounters with wildlife, environment, experiencing nature, landscape, landscape photography, mountains, nature, nature writing, orchids, skylarks, swallows, wildflowers#cuckoos | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Elemental Colours and Inner Sounds (Water Colours II)

I wrote last year about the Inner Sound and the Minch, stretches of sea between Wester Ross on the Scottish mainland and the Hebrides: https://notesfromasmallcroftbythesea.wordpress.com/2017/04/27/water-colours/ Red River Croft looks out over them both but especially where they meet, one running … Continue reading

Posted in clouds, coasts, environment, experiencing nature, photography, Scotland, weather | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Fire and fury (and cuckoos)

On Saturday morning a surprise landed on the lawn as I knelt gardening. A cuckoo, his livery as blue as the waters of the Inner Sound rippling with currents of platinum-grey and violet, his abdomen a striped T-shirt. His “Cu-ckoo” … Continue reading

Posted in environment, experiencing nature, landscape, landscape history, nature, peat bogs, Scotland, Uncategorized, wildfires, wildlife | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Winter blues and the magic of light

So much happens in midwinter, not just the mayhem of a family Christmas but out there, beyond the walls and windows, down by the shore, in the fields and in the woods. Apart from the preternatural (and for me much … Continue reading

Posted in birds, Christmas, clouds, coasts, encounters with wildlife, environment, experiencing nature, family, ice, landforms, landscape, landscape photography, midwinter, mountains, nature, nature writing, north winds, peatbogs, photography, Rainbows, Scotland, sea, Skye, snow, solstice, storm, Storms, thunder, Trotternish, weather, wilderness, wildlife | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

North winds, ice veils and winter loss

Southerly winds at this time of year often seem angry. To reach us here they must be funnelled through the narrows between Skye’s Cuillin mountains and the heights of Knoydart to then sweep past Applecross. Bursting from confinement at the … Continue reading

Posted in death, environment, experiencing nature, landscape, landscape photography, nature, nature writing, Scotland, sea, Skye, snow, storm, weather, winter | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Whale bones and wintry wilds

Snow appeared on our mountain tops with the back-turning of clocks, just as it usually does, so now days are constricted, confined at each end by swift sunrises and swifter sunsets. Each incremental diurnal shortening can almost be tasted. To … Continue reading

Posted in birds, bones, coasts, death, encounters with wildlife, environment, experiencing nature, landscape, nature, nature writing, otters, photography, Scotland, sea, Storms, Uncategorized, walking, weather, whales, wilderness, wildlife, wildlife encounters, winter, winter weather | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment