The photo looks across Kilchoan Bay to Ormsaigbeg and Moel Buidhe, the yellow hill, its structures neatly picked out by the snowfall. A buzzard quarters the marshland looking for mice and other small animals.
The area at the back of Kilchoan Bay has the misfortune to be one of the places where flotsam and jetsam collect along this coast, while many of our beaches and bays, particularly those along the north coast, remain clear. It's probably a function of tide and prevailing wind, but another factor must be the passing traffic. With the Sound of Mull a fairly busy shipping lane, the beaches facing it are bound to suffer more.
Strictly, neither of the words flotsam and jetsam describe this rubbish, as flotsam is defined as material not deliberately thrown overboard while jetsam is material jettisoned, for example to lighten a ship in an emergency. The length of rope was probably lost overboard from a fishing boat or fish farm, while the plastic soft drinks bottle was thrown away thoughtlessly.
The Ardnamurchan coast has far less rubbish along it than ten years ago thanks, in part, to laws which have made it an offence to dispose of rubbish at sea, including the Merchant Shipping (Prevention of Pollution by Garbage) Regulations 1988. Most ferries now display notices warning passengers that it is an offence to dispose of rubbish overboard.
The village, in preparation for our summer visitors, makes an annual effort to clear its beaches. Led by Geoffrey Campbell, this year's Kilchoan Clean-Up will take place on Easter Monday, starting outside the Ferry Stores at 11.00am. All are very welcome to take part - even twenty minutes helps. Bags, gloves and other gear are supplied, and the task ends, appropriately, at 1.00pm at the Pub.