Sunday 14 February 2021

Busy Doing Nothing

There has become a recurring theme in the emails I receive from friends and family, and in those I write... The same problem faces me as I sit down to compose another blog post. 

We are living through a coronavirus lockdown. There's nothing to write about !

I suppose I could have a moan about the somewhat challenging weather that this winter is presenting to us. The recent intense cold snap has seen the Roskhill River freeze over for only the second time since we moved here in 2008. Last night, one of the (admittedly somewhat exposed) Skye weather stations recorded a highest wind gust of 84mph. From my window, beyond the shivering sedge on the moor, I can see huge plumes of spray round the cliffs where monster waves are crashing in from the Atlantic.

But the weather here is often extreme, and I have written about it many times before.

Maybe the local birds are worth a mention. We keep stocked, simple peanut and fat-ball feeders in the garden, which regularly attract a reasonable variety of common garden birds. Currently, we have more than the usual number of blackbirds, with often as many as four males chasing each other round the lawn, while Mrs B (an especially large and feisty female) keeps guard under the feeders, seldom letting any other ground-feeding bird more than a fleeting visit for any crumbs that have fallen from the fat-balls above. 

Yesterday, I happened to be gazing out of the window while chatting on the phone, and a single snipe pottered out from under the bushes and began probing around into the mossy lawn. The bird gradually made its way to the edge of the lawn, completely ignored by Mrs B and the cock blackbirds, to where a row of well established pines provide a bit of a windbreak. The grass is longer and unkempt there, and the snipe spent a good twenty minutes contentedly probing about, presumably finding something good that snipe like to eat. 

And lockdown doesn't mean 'locked-up'. We still get out and about. Dog-owners don't get the luxury of choosing not to venture outside when the wind is howling or the river is all ice. We wouldn't choose to stay cooped up indoors anyway. We are thankful that we live in a place where we do not have to consciously avoid close contact with other humans - it is quite rare to see another human here. But every day we can enjoy the landscape and the sky, and never tire of its beauty. And for now,  like everyone else, we will wait, remain patient, read our books, puzzle over our jigsaws and vacuum the carpets yet again.

I will share below a couple of Sue's recent photos.

From the garden

Loch Dunvegan

Super Cupar