Friday, 20 November 2015

Back into the Hills

By first thing this morning the wind was round into the north-northwest and the temperature had dropped to a chill 5C. This wind direction may be cold, and it certainly brings the feel of winter, but it also brings sun. So we set off on our first walk since we returned from the flat lands of East Anglia, climbing the ridge at the back of Ormsaigbeg from where we enjoyed views across Kilchoan Bay towards Ben Hiant.

Looking further to the south, across the Sound to Mull, we could just see the summit of Ben More capped with the first snow of winter, and later we saw snow on Beinn Tallaidh.

Hardy as they are, the rigours of early winter have begun to take their toll on the hill sheep, and this may be one reason why we're seeing more eagles flying along the ridge.

Since we last walked in the hills, when flowers like heather and devil's-bit scabious were still in bloom, most of the colours have died, but there are still patches of brilliance, such as in the reds of the sphagnum moss.

From the top of the ridge one looks across the spine of Ardnamurchan to the Small Isles and Skye. In the foreground are the Twin Lochans, with the lower slopes of Beinn na Seilg to the left and Stacan Dubha to the right, while the ridge in sunshine is Beinn na h-Imeilte. The peaks of Rum lie along the horizon to the left, with Muck just visible in front of them. On the horizon to the right is the characteristic profile of Eigg, beyond which, to its right and left, are the mountains of Skye.

Turning the other way, there are super views down into the three crofting townships of Kilchoan, Ormsaigmore and Ormsaigbeg. This picture has part of Ormsaigmore in the foreground, separated from Kilchoan beyond by the Millburn. At bottom left one can just distinguish the neolithic chambered cairn of Greadal Fhinn, while at upper right are the ruins of St Comghan's church.

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