Friday, 3 July 2015

A Painted Lady

A kind way of describing the weather here would be to say that it never ceases to surprise.  This was the view across the Sound of Mull at seven last night, after a day when we were supposed to have wall-to-wall sunshine, and then....

....this was the view looking across from Ardnamurchan Estate land to Mingary Castle and the CalMac ferry terminal at ten this morning.

It was a glorious day to be out in the hills, with a warm easterly blowing and the views in every direction stunning.

This picture looks east towards Maclean's Nose and the cages of the new fish farm - and the clouds that seemed to threaten just never got any closer.

Our plan for the day was to take a relatively leisurely wander along the beach from the cleared village of Choiremhuilinn towards Maclean's Nose and then....

....back along the beach.  It's mainly a shingle beach but very varied, with several small, rocky headlands, and part of the fun of it is....

....the beachcombing, as this is a beach which accumulates clutter, both natural and, sadly, man-made.  An unexpected find was this sea potato, a sea urchin which is normally associated with sandy beaches rather than shingle.

But the discovery of the day was a butterfly. It looks a bit like a tortoiseshell but is a painted lady, the first we've seen here. They can't over-winter in this country but migrate in from North Africa, the Middle East and even Central Asia.  This is a mighty journey for any insect, yet sometimes this butterfly arrives in thousands. Since it's come so far, it is little wonder that it looks a bit battered.

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