Marine harvest

When descends on the Atlantic The gigantic Storm-wind of the equinox, Landward in his wrath he scourges The toiling surges, Laden with seaweed from the rocks: Seaweed, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow Exactly a year ago, I wrote about the kelp forests which lie offshore to the west of the Outer Hebrides and are part of the… Continue reading Marine harvest

Nine men went to mow, went to mow a meadow

or in my case 9 cows and their calves..... The Ladies are back! These are my contract mowers who arrive every year for 4-6 weeks in October to graze the grass on our headland. The grassland on our croft is managed to produce suitable breeding habitat for corncrakes, breeding waders such as lapwings, oystercatchers, redshank… Continue reading Nine men went to mow, went to mow a meadow

Michaelmas Fruits

Pinkgills, Earthtongues, Fairy-clubs and Parrots In these islands there are no hedgerows adorned with hips and haws, orchards laded with apples or woodland walks full of glowing leaves and the chance discovery of spiky, sweet chestnuts, milky hazel nuts or golden chanterelles. Our native woodlands are confined to deep ravines where the rowans, birches and… Continue reading Michaelmas Fruits

Waving not drowning

The Hebridean Gardener's Lament "its cold, wet and windy" or in my case the grumpy gardener blues is yet to be replaced by the sunny morning tuneless whistle as I pull on my red woolly hat and wellies and march off to the garden. In the "edgy islands" spring does not officially start until May… Continue reading Waving not drowning

Arrivals and Departures

I should know better by now but the arrival of autumn always takes me by surprise.  The gold of the buttercups is fading and the bleached heads of the grasses are a pale cream highlighted by the richer hues of the red clover. Russet brown seed heads of the wild angelica stand tall like skeletal… Continue reading Arrivals and Departures