Return to the hills

Fri, May 29, 2020

Blaven and Clach Glas, Isle of Skye

With Phase 1 of leaving lockdown announced yesterday, to start today and the guidance to stay near or within your local area, it was off to An Stac with Mrs. Stravaiger.

18 degrees at 7 this morning as we headed down the road to the Blaven car park. We respected the closed sign and parked just past. Roads still deserted, birdsong still to the fore. It was a crystal clear morning of hot air and cooling breeze as we plodded up the path, bound for An Stac.

It was a joy to film the river and the tumbling falls and the heather dancing in the wind. Millkwort, lousewort, tormentil, orchids, carpets of exquisitely pink and gorgeous moss campion. In a rocky gorge a community of roseroot congregated on the steep sheltered, boggy slopes. Across the river a wren shouted, a cuckoo coughed before resuming its usual signature tune and hush, what was that? Hold your breath and sit in the lee of the wind. Above the rush of the mountain water, a ring ouzel echoed in one of the gullies. Behind now! The raven soared above Blaven’s summit. A mustelid’s reek in the birches. A shrew in the ruins of a shieling. What a wonderful day to return to the hills. Nothing taken for granted. Everything examined closely, appreciated for its contribution to new life, moving on with a smile, heart gladdened.

And it wasn’t just us who were back in the bosom of beauty. My old acquaintance, the good Dr. A.H.B Man was back in his element. Summiting another hill. Adding another tale to his store of bothy lore. He really is looking forward to winter round the fireside. Remembering mountain days and summits heartily won.

Welcome back. I missed you!

Dr. A.H.B Man is back in the hills!