A bit of Sping

10 March 2011

I'm not sure the tiny green leaves and just-emerging daffodils are enjoying this week's blizzards and gales. The crocuses which shone out like little jewels in the dead grass have collapsed soggily. But it's ok because we've had a taste of Spring, and it was lovely.

It was also rather well timed, coinciding with a visit from Rowena Birkett-Jones, an art teacher based in Edinburgh who, with her mother Patricia, will be running a course in October creating beautiful sketchbooks.
View through Patricia's window
Rowena had never visited the area before, so we set off on Patricia (the boat) around the other Summer Isles. Rowena was beginning to soak in the wonder of a clear, sunny Saturday in Coigach when a small dark dorsal fin appeared just away from the boat. The first porpoise sighting of the season! Beautiful.

We headed on towards Tanera Beg, hoping to show Rowena the resident Common and Grey seals, but before we could find them I noticed a rather large bird circling about the north end of Tanera. A bit like a flying barn door. Unmistakably a White-tailed (or Sea) eagle.
A fulmar swoops
The shallow water between Tanera Beg and Fadha Mor reflecting off white sand from the nearby mearl beds, is an inviting turquoise. Tempting though it was, we remembered the chill of snorkelling there back in August, so were content to watch starfish and the odd seal from the dry desk. Around the cliffs of Tanera Beg hoards of fulmars are arriving to breed. They fly close to Patricia, peering at us inquisitively.

So, we had a great weekend: it’s always a delight to show off our home to people who so The cliffs of Tanera Beg (thanks for the picture Rowena!)clearly appreciate this lovely place, and what we’re up to. We’re very much looking forward to welcoming Rowena back to Tanera in October with Patricia and lots of students eager to be inspired by the scenery, wildlife, and some excellent tutoring. Let us know if you would like to be one of them!

Rowena and Patricia Birkett-Jones will be running a week-long residential course developing beautiful personal sketchbooks, from 15th to 22nd October 2011. See the Sketchbook page for more information, or read more about our creative and active courses.

Tanera Mòr, Summer Isles, Achiltibuie, by Ullapool, Ross-Shire, Scotland IV26 2YN

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