Tuesday, 22 August 2017


For the past twelve years we have lived in a house which faces southeast and which has a view which extends some twenty miles down the Sound of Mull. One of the joys of this view is that we have seen so many winter sunrises, this one from our bedroom window on a still February morning.

In those years, until recently, Mrs Diary worked in the shop on two mornings of the week, so there were plenty of opportunities around nine in the morning for those less employed to catch a sunrise. This picture was taken in mid-December, looking down the jetty, while....

....this one looks from the jetty towards the houses in Pier Road - still in darkness - and Ben Hiant.

This is an almost-midwinter sunrise, the sun peeking through where the dark land of Morvern, to its left, joins the dark hills of Mull.

These winter sunrises happen at a time when the world is just waking, so their background is the call of a bird or the sound of a car coming along the road or a human voice - each sound individual, discrete against the silence.

Sometimes the reflection of a perfect sunrise is interrupted, by a flight of birds or a passing ship. A trawler moving west at this time has probably just unloaded its catch at Mingary Pier and is heading back out to the fishing grounds, or has spent the night at anchor in Kilchoan Bay.

Of all the sunrise pictures this is my favourite: Lochan nan Al inundated by a high tide. What makes it so very special isn't the peace of the picture, the silence I remember, the dark land, or the muted colours. It's the two ducks, at bottom right, swimming out onto the still waters of the lochan.

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