With so much to do in the garden recently we've not been in the hills enough so we were determined to enjoy a good walk today. We left the car in the little car park by Glasbheinn Cottages, crossed the cattle grid by the Mingary turn and headed north into the wilds, walking steadily uphill along the eastern flanks of Glas Bheinn, following the deer fence between Ardnamurchan Estate land and Kilchoan township's common grazings. Picture shows the view across Kilchoan, Kilchoan Bay and the Sound of Mull to Mull itself.
We were watched as we climbed by a large group of red deer stags, their new antlers growing under a covering of velvet. They gather in this area to be fed a special supplement by the Estate - growing antlers is hard work.
Looking towards Maclean's Nose we could see the cages for the new Marine Harvest fish farm. Work continues near the Calmac pier to develop the facilities needed to service the cages.
The going was pretty wet underfoot following several days of rain - on Thursday alone we had 24mm, an old inch, and the temperatures haven't been great. On Thursday night the overnight minimum was 5C, so it isn't surprising that growth in the hills is miles behind.
That said, the first wildflowers are coming into bloom in protected hollows and on the lower slopes. This is lousewort, and heath milkwort and butterwort are also out. Perhaps it's the flowers rather than the warmth, but we saw a couple of moths....
....and this little beauty, a green hairstreak, understandably very unwilling to fly far in the chilly breeze.
By this time we were walking along the eastern slopes of Meall an Tarmachain, with the sun trying to come out. This view looks across Lochan Clach a' Chorrach to Ben Hiant.
We finally reached the peninsula's watershed, and looked down towards the north coast. By this stage the sun seemed to have given up its efforts, and a thin rain was being driven by a stiff westerly wind. The lochan here is Lochan na Cloiche.
I like to walk with some sort of objective, and this is one of them, the four lochans in the little glen called Coire nam Bothan. The name means the corrie of the hut or cottage, suggesting that someone, at some stage, lived in the area, but we've never found any sign of habitation.
Three of the lochans are unspectacular....
....but the fourth sits right on the watershed and is as close as nature can get to an infinity pool.