Wednesday, 31 August 2016

West of the Basin

Last week we walked the east side of the Basin. The land on its west side rises in a series of terraces to the Ben Hiant ridgeline. We enjoy traversing it, leaving the car where the track from the Beinn Bhuidhe wind turbine meets the road, and then working our way southwards, rising steadily higher across the contours. As a walk, with its magnificent, unfolding views, it's one of our favourites, even when, as happened this morning, the weather was determined to be miserable.

The picture looks across the Basin to where the B8007 Kilchoan to Salen road runs across its southern end before plunging downhill towards Camas nan Geall. In the distance lie Loch Sunart and the hills of Morvern

Every time we walk in this area we see eagles. A pair rose just ahead of us and soared away across the Basin, where their intrusion irritated the ravens which nest in the crags above Camas nan Geall. They rose and harassed the eagles until they soared higher and higher above Ardslignish.

For a steep, bleak hillside, this area is full of the ruins of buildings. I have no idea how old they are or who built them, but many have the rounded shape and the dimensions of typical shieling huts. However, the two in this picture are larger and more rectangular, and perch on a shelf of rock with the rock face to shelter their backs and a view before them. Whoever built them enjoyed their views.

We kept finding more and more ruins. It's the first time we've seen this structure, and it looks very interesting. In most of the others, the walls are formed of roughly-piled stones, but this one only has a foundation of a single course of large rocks. Of most interest is its lozenge shape and that rock in the middle of it, which probably rolled down from the hill behind. This suggests the structure may be very old.

At the furthest point of our walk, above Bourblaige, we saw this large herd of red deer hinds, with not a stag in sight. One of the hinds, towards the upper right, is larger than the others and an unusual grey colour.

At this time of year, and in this weather, the fungi are enjoying themselves. This one looked as if, ever since it was a wee, wee fungus, it really, really wanted to be a flower.

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