Monday, 11 July 2016

A Sluggish Day

Yesterday’s weather, cloudy, warm and damp with occasional light showers moving in from the west, may have been the sort which slugs love but for us it’s discouraging weather, weather which makes one want to stay at home in front of the fire and read the Sunday newspapers.

We resisted the temptation, dressing in full waterproofs to walk up the back of Ormsaigbeg and along the ridge called Druim na Gearr Leacainn, stopping occasionally to look across Kilchoan Bay to the cloud which obscured Ben Hiant.

The hills are sopping wet, and the previous night’s more serious rain was busy making its way down to the sea in myriads of rushing rivulets and bubbling burns.

We cut across the ridge at its eastern end and then followed the narrow isthmus of land which separates the twin lochans. As we walked we were recalling a black and white moth of which we’d seen several on a knoll near these lochans at around this time last year when….

….we saw one clinging to a grass stalk. It’s a magpie moth, and once we’d seen one….

….we kept finding more, and more, until we’d counted over twenty. We’ve only seen a magpie moth elsewhere once before, along the banks of one of the burns that run down to the sea beyond Ockle, so there must be something rather special about this spot. With so many to look at, we noticed how much their patterns and colour varied, this one being the smartest.

It’s rotten weather for a moth to be taking to the wing, but here’s someone who is loving both the weather and the half-drowned beasts that are its prey, an almost-black toad who stayed stock still while his very close-up photograph was taken.

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