Sunday, 31 August 2014
The loudest earthquake we've had here occurred at 8.14 this morning - it sounded like an explosion - and the ground shook. The British Geological Survey site at Plockton - seismograph record above - showed the event clearly.
The earthquake was later reported to be a magnitude 2.4 event, at a depth of four kilometres below Glenuig, with people reporting tremors as far away as Inverness - see BGS report here.
Saturday, 30 August 2014
Friday, 29 August 2014
Despite this, we've set up a website which attempts to dig into a much earlier history, that of Clan MacIain. Sometimes called the MacDonalds of Ardnamurchan to distinguish them from the MacIains of Glencoe, the MacIains occupied Ardnamurchan from about 1314 until about 1625, with Mingary Castle their clan seat. In that time, they went from being a minor sept of the MacDonald Lords of the Isles to being one of the most powerful players in the region - and then fell to a point where the clan was little more than a bunch of pirates hiding on Ardnamurchan's north coast.
Although long gone from the peninsula, the MacIains have left evidence of their time here, for example in some geographical names: the lochan in the top photo is Lochan Tom Mhic Iain, Tom Mhic Iain being the low hill to the right in the photo. These features are just west of the Kilmory turn.
As another example, much of the structure of St Comghan's Church in Kilchoan dates back to MacIain times and perhaps even earlier - and there are MacIain grave slabs in its churchyard.
The website was set up in the knowledge that descendants of the MacIains - McCains, Mackeans, Mackeens, MacIans and others - might have a particular interest, using it as a way of connecting to their ancestral homeland. We hope that they, in particular, enjoy the site.
The MacIain site is at http://www.clanmaciain.com/
What's happening at the castle can be followed on the Mingary Castle website blog, here.
Thursday, 28 August 2014
Meanwhile, we're also picking a good second batch of fruit from our raspberry canes, enjoying a constant supply of courgettes, and struggling to keep up with the best harvest of broad beans ever. There have been disappointments. The peas didn't produce much, and we now know why: a cock pheasant was getting to them in the early morning before we were up.
Wednesday, 27 August 2014
Picture looks from Kilchoan across Kilchoan Bay to the end of Ormsaigbeg, with Coll visible in the distance.
Many thanks to Kilchoan Early Bird for the pictures.
Tuesday, 26 August 2014
The photogrammetric survey of the Bronze Age standing stone at Camas nan Geall is beginning to bear fruit. Jim Caldwell has now processed the scores of photos that were taken a fortnight ago when members of Ardnamurchan Community Archaeology met with people from the ACCORD project - see story here.
Monday, 25 August 2014
For those who want to stay at Ockle, Ockle Holidays has holiday cottages to let.
On the subject of weather, many thanks to Jim Caldwell who has sent me a link to a site which shows the current surface winds. For a start it's interesting, because it shows how the wind here changed from yesterday, when it was in the northwest, to this morning, when it's firmly in the southeast - click on the word 'Earth' at bottom left to change hour and day. Secondly, it's rather pretty. It's here.
Sunday, 24 August 2014
Many thanks to Kilchoan Early Bird for his picture.
Saturday, 23 August 2014
All three of the heathers - bell, ling and cross-leaved heath - are in flower, though the bell heather flowers are beginning to turn brown. The same little glen was home to some bell heather which was more pink in shade than normal.
The colours along this hillside are breathtaking, and when one walks it's like wading through a sea of lilacs, purples and pinks.