Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Feeding Time

 "Ma! Get me another peanut!"


The young great spotted woodpecker had forty winks after he's fed at Les Humphrey's feeder.

Many thanks to Les Humphreys for woodpecker pictures.

The Joys of Country Living

"Well nourished, antlers growing well, will look good for his new harem. Portrait taken just after he had harvested our three new fruit trees."

Many thanks, and sympathies, to Jim Caldwell, Portuairk.

Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Satellite Broadband

Until recently, those households within a few kilometres of Kilchoan's BT exchange at the Sanna road junction have had a pretty good broadband service, with download speeds of up to 6.5 Mbps and upload around 0.33. However, in the last few months there have been problems, with huge fluctuations in speeds - so, for example, we can no longer use Skype to communicate with our son in Canada and uploading photographs to Blogger has required patience. The reason - so local gossip has it - is that, in installing some of the new fibre-optic cables, BT workmen damaged the existing telephone cables.

While Kilchoan is promised lightning speeds in September when superfast broadband is finally connected - the cables were installed in January 2015 - those who live on Ardnamurchan scenically beautiful north coast or in the Glenborrodale exchange area live, and will continue to live, in a BT broadband blackout.  Community Broadband Scotland did offer some north coast houses a glimmer of hope through a community-driven link to Arisaig, but this has been held up, apparently by BT.

So Tony Swift has been doing some research, and has come up with a company called EuropaSat. As the name suggests, it's satellite based, which has some inherent disadvantages, but the rates are reasonable, the speeds impressive, and their service, so far, first class. There's more about EuropaSat and its rates here.

Friday's Sunset

Peter Southern writes, "My wife and I spent last week at Fascadale with friends (we normally go in October but have managed a bonus week this year) and I managed to snap the sunset on Friday night. It looked fantastic in real life and I hope I have done justice to it with the camera. The first photo looks out to Egg and Skye while....

"....this was the view towards Muck."

Sadly, we don't see these summer sunsets from Ardnamurchan's southern coast so can't vouch for the sunset itself, but these are great pictures, Peter. Many thanks indeed for letting us see them.

See the Ardnamurchan Estate's website - here - for holiday cottages at Fascadale.

Monday, 27 June 2016

Kilchoan's Jurassic Coast

Dorset is justifiably proud of its Jurassic coastline - it is, after all, a world heritage site.  But Kilchoan too has its Jurassic coastline and, while the fossils aren't quite as spectacular as the Dorset ones, they're pretty impressive.

This ammonite isn't quite as big as those to be found in the Portland stone around Portland Bill, some of which are the size of a car wheel, but it comes a close second, and there are nautiloids visible which are the biggest I have seen anywhere in the world.

There are even the fossilised imprints of what look like 130 million-year old bear paws, bears which must have had a tough time taking on Tyrannosaurus rex.

For those interested in learning more about Kilchoan's Jurassic coastline, Trevor Potts, who runs the Ardnamurchan Campsite, does regular walks organised through the Kilchoan Learning Centre. The next one is on 12th July - details here.