The Orchid Way

It is Thursday.
A decision has to be made.
Where shall we walk this afternoon?
Let’s climb Beinn Hough but where shall we start?

Early Purple Orchid

Looking back on it, we made the right decision:
Park one car at Balevullin and the other at Hough.
Climb Beinn Mhurstat first and then Beinn Hough itself.

The early morning brief showers had long since gone.
We were enjoying blue sky and marvellous clear views.
As they say it was turning out to be a ‘cracker’.

Skerryvore Lighthouse from the lower slopes of Beinn Mhurstat

The ascent of Beinn Mhurstat is easy going due to the road.
The road leads to the mobile phone mast.
But what a treat was in store.

There appears to be no distance at all to Barra Head and the oUter Hebrides

No sooner had we set out than we spotted an orchid.
After that initial excitement we lost count of them.
Our walk was turning out to be ‘Orchid Way’.

Clear blue skies over Tiree and dramatic clouds at sea

It was a pleasure to meet a familiar face.
However, our ways parted when he descended.
He went back down the way that he had come up.
We had chosen to cross over to Beinn Hough via the cleave.

Moving north up the Outer Hebrides

Our climb was well rewarded.
The views all across the island were a joy.
From our vintage point at the summit it was clear
Tiree is at the very heart of the Hebridean archipelago.

Sandaig and Kenovara from Beinn Mhurstat

There were so many birds and wild flowers.
Not only that we saw two species of bees.
What we not expecting was the frog.

The walk is not at all demanding.
Of course you have to be careful when walking.
One section that demands extra care is descending the cleave.
Even the descent to the waiting car at Balevullin was straightforward.

Spot the frog

There are several variations on this walk.
You find details in the book ‘Tiree Walks’
‘Twelve Walks through an Island Landscape’

Twelve Walks through an Island Landscape

What a great place to live.
What a great place to have guests.
What a great place to come and visit.
What a great place to visit time and time again.

Ben Hynish and the Golf Ball from Beinn Hough

Thanks to The local vet Anne Stanley for her help in identifying the orchid.
Thanks also to John Bowler of the RSPB for identification and comments.
“An Early Purple Orchid.
This is a really localised orchid on Tiree
with the biggest population by far being on Beinn Hough / Mhurstat
and it appears to have been a good year for them there.
They only occur in tiny numbers at a handful of other sites on Tiree.”

Early Purple Orchid

This is ‘Life on Tiree’.