Kyle of Tongue oysters

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Surprise, surprise! Two old tractors and trailers heading out onto the mud flats in the Kyle of Tongue. Never seen this before. They took a slow, circuitous route out to the oysters beds – you obviously need to know exactly where to drive your tractor, even if the tide was well out! Then set to work – one group putting out the new frames of baby oysters and the other group harvesting the nets full of adult oysters ready to eat. A huge expanse of row upon row of ‘oyster beds’, that we have never even noticed before. Probably because they have been covered by the sea when we have been passing or there has been nothing going on to attract our attention to them.

Lotte Glob

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We have long admired the wonderful creations of Lotte Glob and have acquired a few small pieces over many years.  Her home and studio are on the shore of Loch Eribol, and if the “open’ sign is displayed as you drive past, it is well worth a visit. Her croft ‘garden’, in which she has planted 6000 trees, reaches down to the shore and is a sheltered enclave of peace, tranquility and wonderful pieces of her work.

The myriad of blue tones that glaze her work are a true reflection of the colours of sea and sky on a day as beautiful as the one on which we visited. Other earthly tones, pieces of quartz and other rocks all embedded in her art work, all reflect her love of the landscape.

Golden landscapes

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The golden Gorse covered large areas of the landscape. We have never seen it in such splendid profusion for many, many years. Primroses were everywhere you looked. There were hillsides covered in them, river and stream banks, woodland floors – and just so many of them. Conditions must be perfect this year..

Then there were dainty violets – from deepest purple to pale lilac. Almost hidden in the vegetation, like little jewels.

And then there were ‘strays’ such as the ‘polyanthus’ we found growing amongst the primroses, in what was once a coniferous forest!

The north coast – birds

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Terns are one of my favourite birds and I spent a happy hour or so watching these Sandwich Terns doing a bit of preening, displaying and  ‘pairing up’ on the beach at Balnakiel. There were also some Arctic Terns when I first arrived but they flew off before I could get the camera out.

The Oystercatchers were on the beach at Achininver. They are such noisy birds! They spent ages in one spot, all facing in the same direction,and then there would be such a commotion as they flew up, circled and then landed in almost exactly the same place on the beach.

The Buzzard was perched on a fence post by the side of the River Naver. We watched it for quite a while before it flew up and moved to the next set of fence posts.