We had snow just after dark yesterday evening, big, wet flakes which melted at first before starting to settle, followed by a sharp frost during the night, but the sky had cleared by dawn to give us a one of those glorious winter sunrises over the Sound of Mull.
After weeks of grey, colour flooded the landscape. To anyone interested in photography this was the equivalent of a ten-course feast with five different wines and a good whisky to follow. Wherever one looked, pictures jumped at one - but many of what seemed great opportunities faded when it came to editing, while chance shots, like this one, came up well.
All the months of work that have gone into Mingary Castle are beginning to show. The great curtain walls, with their fresh pointing, glowed in the early light, which also picked out some of the finishing touches, such as the flagpole now raised above the north battlements.
The night's snow didn't last long in the fields close to the sea, but the hills in the centre of the peninsula stayed white all day. This is Beinn na Seilg seen from the fields near Mingary Steading.
By ten o'clock the wind was beginning to settle in the northwest and began to roll in some heavy hail showers, this one moving across Glas Bheinn, but they were very localised, with one end of the village getting a hammering while the other stayed in sunshine.
A quick run round to Mingary Pier to take a picture of the castle from that side, with Beinn na h-Urchrach behind it, and to see the way the snow line ran along the 50m contour, was interrupted by....
....another hail shower. The colours faded in sky and landscape, and the pictures taken came in shades of monochrome.
With the temperature remaining low and the hail beginning to settle on the roads there were the inevitable mishaps. A delivery van slid off the Ormsaigbeg road and couldn't get enough traction to haul itself out, though the situation was quickly saved by the kindly intervention of a local crofter. The delivery? A freezer.