Sunday 8 March 2015

Shaking off the cabin fever

One of the reasons for the reduction in bloggage of late has been the lack of opportunity to be outside and seeking inspiration. I'm nowhere near as outdoorsy as I used to be (if ever!), so synchronising free time and fair weather is a bit of a challenge. This morning there must've been some sort of cosmic syzygy, as the stars and planets aligned in perfect harmony with a spell of sunshine and a less lazy start to a Sunday.

Our Lass and I drove across to West Mainland to walk along the shore of the Loch of Wasdale and then amble through Binscarth Wood. Initially, the route was on a firmish farm track with a few potholes, and we listened to a Skylark in the distance and a much closer, but hidden, Starling, who was mimicking all manner of his feathered neighbours.

Around the shore of the loch, the track, and indeed us, became much muddier and wetter. Out on the water, there was a large flock of Wigeon, with a few Tufted Duck in the mix. On the banks of the loch and a small island, there were many loafing Oystercatchers and numerous gulls.

In the Summer, when the water level in the loch is lower, there are traces of a causeway running out from the shore. It is not known whether the structure on the island is a defensive fort (broch) or a chapel.

As our path became a lane once more, we descended between banks of Gorse towards Binscarth Wood. Birdsong filtered up from lower down in the valley, as Robin, Wren and Chaffinch staked their claims to territory. Rooks, Ravens and Hooded Crows raaked, cronked and cawed respectively, as they criss-crossed the blue sky in a constant cacophony of corvids.

Once in the wood, the ground was covered with a carpet of fresh green growth. Snowdrops and Lesser Celandines were flowering, whilst Bluebells and Daffodils were still in that lush leafy stage.

Base image courtesy of Ordnance Survey and Geograph
We retraced our steps back to the car, making good use of the puddles in the afore-mentioned potholes to wash our muddy boots.


Martin said...

Gosh, full-sized trees and woodland plants on Orkney!
It looks like you had a lovely Spring-time walk.

Imperfect and Tense said...

Looking forward to Bluebells in the not too distant future!