Sunday, 24 July 2016

Bourblaige Circuit

Someone said, the other day, that the weather is always poor for the Glasgow Fair weeks, and this year has been no exception. However, whatever the forecast - and today's was for a day of grey overcast - we seize every opportunity for a walk in this beautiful place.

Today we spent four hours doing a circuit of the cleared village of Bourblaige. We set off to walk down to the coast below the village, passing to the east of it. The picture shows the entrance to Loch Sunart to the left, with Morvern beyond it. To the right is the Sound of Mull, with Mull itself in the distance. At centre foreground and to bottom left are the scattered remains of shieling huts, temporary shelters used by the women and children when they spent weeks during the summer herding the animals away from the main villages.

The bluebells are out - the Scottish variety - and are much appreciated by the local slugs. A flower which is doing very well indeed this year is eyebright, seen to the left of the picture.

At this time of year, with the grass high, it's difficult to distinguish the stone walls of Bourblaige's buildings - in this picture there are no fewer than ten. The village occupies a stunning site, in an open bowl of land which slopes away to the south, and which rises to the west - the direction this picture is looking - to the heights of Ben Hiant.

I always have a couple of things in mind that I want to look for on a walk. Although it is already late in the year, I had hoped to find some of the magnificent orchids which we've found before in this glen. Several burns come together in Bourblaige, and all their water....

....flows out through the glen. It is very steep sided, and reaching the burn and the site of the orchids was a scramble, only to find that not one orchid was still in flower. However....

....we did have the pleasure of meeting this very smart snail. It looks like one of the many colour variations of the common garden snail.

From the lower part of the glen it's a short walk to the shingle beach and a convenient rock outcrop where we sat and enjoyed our coffee - only for the sun to make an appearance, albeit shining for only a few minutes.

We walked west along the beach where, in the increasing warmth, butterflies - mainly whites, meadow browns and a few common blues - had begun to appear. Then we turned inland, climbing the steep hill up to the west side of Bourblaige, stopping to look back down the glen we'd descended - at bottom right. In the middle distance is the entrance to Camas nan Geall, with the headland of Ardslignish beyond, and the hills of Morvern in the distance.

On our way back to the car we passed the first scarlet waxcaps of the year, a reminder that summer is fast running on towards autumn.

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