The Most Beautiful of All

The ferry leaves from Oban every day
And passes Tobermory on the way,
Then just beyond the lovely isle of Coll,
Is Tiree, the most beautiful of all.
(Moira Kerr)

Machair - A riot of Colour
Machair – A riot of Colour

It’s not just blue skies and azure blue seas.
Presently the Isle of Tiree is a riot of colour.
Step out the door! Open your eyes! Colour is everywhere!

Not everything is white and yellow.
Here down by the harbour, as elsewhere, there is pink.

The word ‘machair’ is Gaelic, meaning an extensive, low-lying fertile plain and itis one of the rarest habitats in Europe, found only in the north and west of Britain and Ireland. Almost half of the Scottish machair occurs in the Outer Hebrides, with the best and most extensive in the Uists, Barra and Tiree. (Machair sand has a high shell content, sometimes 80 or 90% and this helps distinguish it from the ‘links’ of eastern coasts, which are formed from more mineral-based sand.)

While May is often the sunniest month in the north and west, it can be dominated by cold easterly winds, so spring comes late to the machair. Once the pasture blooms, it presents an astonishing riot of colour for which the machair is justly famous. It is this beauty that has inspired generations of Gaelic bards and draws many tourists to the Northern and Western Isles each summer. A month ago the first daises began to appear and the Machair was white, now it is a sea of yellow.

Here the stock enjoy their five a day!

Enjoying their five a day
Enjoying their five a day

With the sun warming everything up and encouraging the flowers to open up and offer a smile, you feel that you must get out with your camera. Yet, no matter how many photographs you take, or videos you make, somehow you just cannot capture that riot of colour.

Tiree is a riot of colour - all over the island
Tiree is a riot of colour – all over the island

This is colourful ‘Life on Tiree’