The ferry normally arrives at a convenient time for a wee walk around the crofting township of Scarinish. It is just after coffee time and before lunch time. With blue skies, calm seas, and hardly a breath of wind it was an ideal day to get out and enjoy a lungful of good clean Tiree air.
By the time I came in sight of the pier the ‘MV Lord of the Isles’ was alongside the pier, but at that point in time her stern ramp had not been lowered onto the linkspan. It was indeed a beautiful morning and with little wind it felt reasonably warm for March. Trying as much as possible to avoid travelling across the island we have been doing our daily constitutional around Scarinish. It has made us take a fresh look around us and in doing so noticing things we might never have appreciated. As a consequence I left pier road and across some rather damp ground to observe the ferry from a different viewpoint.
Opposite the pier office in one of the gardens are some fine example of what I would call ‘palm trees’. As you may know, trees are in very short supply on the island, so any specimen is to be valued. Yet, I wonder how many drive off the ferry and up Pier Road without even noticing these ‘palms’.
Perhaps those walking along Pier Road are more likely to observe the Mill Burn that flows under the road. For those driving to or from the pier, perhaps they are in too much of a hurry to take any note of it. Being ‘Millars’ we find it so interesting that the house we live in is very close to the the ‘Mill Burn’. In just over a month the irises that flank it will come into bloom. Indeed much of the island will be carpeted in yellow blooms.
Sheep are very much part of the Tiree landscape and economy. As we made our way towards the Old Harbour (by this time we were both out walking) we were reminded that sheep are a vital part of the ecosystem known as Machair.
Looking south across the Passage of Tiree the sun was turning the sea a glorious shade of silver. To the north there was very little in the way of clouds, but to the south there were some high level clouds. Oh! It was great to be outdoors.
Having crossed the Machair we dropped down by the Old Harbour and then walked on towards the Lighthouse. Other than when we left our home, as yet there has not been a single soul in sight.
Leaving the lighthouse behind we crossed the road and went past the former school and school house. Here there was a colourful reminder that it is Spring. With a bit of shelter it is great what will grow.!
In this garden there was another ‘palm tree’ albeit a diminutive one. This particular specimen is exposed to the direct southerly and south westerly winds.
Here we found ourselves behind several of the homes that face the road in the centre of the township. From here we enjoyed views across the island towards Ben Hynish.
An interesting game is to try identify the houses or townships that you can see in the distance. It is not always easy. At least we could identify Ben Hough with its mobile phone mast.
After this winter’s persistent rain much of the ground is still very wet. Water is still lying in many places but the small lochs do give some great reflections on a day such as today.
Most photographs capture the view of the front of the houses. It was interesting walking behind them and taking note of what we were observing..
The view between the various houses gives an idea of the outlook most of them enjoy. Our daily walk normally takes in just such views.
We retrace our steps – not quite literally – and come towards the back of the Co-Op, where today’s delivery has not long arrived. How grateful we are for the manager and his staff who are continuing to serve the community. A big thanks to all of you.
Before heading back to our home we dropped down to the harbour once more. With the tide out and the fishing vessel ‘Strenuous’ lying against the pier, we receive a message that provision is to be made for creel fishermen who are like many others going through tough times financially.
Earlier today in an earlier post reference was made
to the provision of lifeline services to the island.
If you have not already read it you can find it here.