I think that the last 24 hours and still going have been the worst weather I have ever encountered on The Island.
I can see only about 100m of landscape from my office and then it looks terrible with a raging sea all the way out to Iona.
The wind and rain are extremely wild and horizontal and no ferry’s are sailing and no one local is out and about.
There is a small glimmer of hope in a few hours time I think, but I feel it will only last the blink of an eye.
Well this is Mull for you with me an hour ago painting this almost tropical look that the Island had.
Now an hour later we have had a big and prolonged snowfall and Mull looks like northern Russia.
However I can see it already passing and the scene looking summery again, but with a dusting of white.
How often have I said to visitors that Mull is forever changing and entertaining !!
Its another one of our visually beautiful days here.
It was black as soot early morning but now in the sweep of an eye the whole scene from the house is of snow capped peaks, blue, white and light charcoal clouds.. There is virtually no wind, every shade of brown and gold you can think of, Red Deer are trotting along the skyline while the birds are going silly on the feeders.
Here we go now with sun blazing into my office and no doubt similar visual invitations all around the Island to come and explore on such a stunning day.
However I have to see how Scotland get on in the rugby against France AND !!! what a goal it was from Sheffield United’s captain in yesterdays Leeds, Sheffield encounter. We won of course and it looks like my team are back in focus to chase promotion to the premiership.
Well its another inspiring day today with the Island looking positively exotic again.
No wind at all, very sunny, flat calm seas, gorgeous colours rising up the mountains from sea level slopes to the snow covered peaks surrounding Benmore.
There are plenty of Great Northern Divers about and otters are not tough on this flat sea. Two adult White Tailed Sea Eagles are nestled together at the top of a tree watching over their territory, to deter other sea eagles that might want a slice of it !!
I have seen February in the past turn into weeks of warm sunshine but of late we have had some snow hail and driving rain !!!! Almost always a terrific sunset though.
Well we have had it all today. It began pretty good again and I got my card machine sorted by our Island expert James Westland, which means I will soon be in action with people booking Wildlife Expeditions again.
Then around lunchtime we had a couple of big hailstone showers and now we could be stuck in here as snow in large quantities is pouring from the sea and over the landscape and the house.
I can see a big sun above The Island of Ulva which is getting bigger and bigger and looks like it is shaping up to do battle with the snow any minute.
It all looks like a Christmas scene from every direction and maybe more so because I still have our big tree up and feeling reluctant to take down now. But I must of course.
I see that the massive low sun is winning the battle and the snow is currently easing and melting.
The people of the past that inhabited this magical place must have been so daunted and both afraid and in wonder at the scenes that they daily lived with here. Its 4.45 and Mull is at peace again with itself and every colour of the rainbow is out from the open door of my office.
Such has been The Island of Mull in the last few days. Two or three ago, we were all held prisoner by impossibly stormy weather with no ferries at all running from, or too Mull and Oban.
However the last two days have been simply wonderful with a yellow sea out from my office right now and blue water and the South of Mull and Iona very distant bobbing way out to sea and the horizon.
I have never seen Mull and the National Scenic Area of the west coast so wonderful.
Chatting to a few people this morning all agreed that it was like summer in the Med with no wind, very warm and exotic views wherever you looked with snow dappling the peaks around Benmore across Loch na keal..
It is after all only February but also my birthday today and as I get on with Mother Nature so well maybe this was all meant as a birthday present for me. So thank you very much to her for such a magical day today.
Today is just like the Mediterranean, with clear blue sky, not a drop of wind and all day sunshine, after yesterday evenings crystal clear moon.
Problem was that yesterdays overall weather here, was like the high Arctic and we had the rare occasion of there being no ferry sailings to or from Mull all day because of ferocious winds whipping the sea into a frenzy !!
Irony is that the sheer variety of mother natures endlessly changing natural wonders makes the Hebridean Islands so endlessly entertaining !
By the way I forgot to record an otter near knock on Loch na Keal the other day as it trotted past me within a couple of feet before diving into the sea 25m to the left.
Same day whilst looking for oysters and shellfish I picked up a massive specimen of an oyster which I have just eaten along with some lemon juice !!
The WhiteTailed Sea Eagles are now becoming daily regulars on Loch na Keal but you might still need your binoculars and ideally a telescope also.
It has been a period of pure beauty on Mull and very Arctic in its look..
Wildlife bookings for this time of year are never that good and if the rest of the UK get poor weather’ potential visitors think, well it must be even worse on the Scottish Islands !! NOT TRUE of course and today for instance the sea is flat as a pancake, the sky is clear and the colours of the sea and landscape are again wonderful.
Finding Hen Harriers at this time of year when most are now in Europe is tough BUT !! There was a female with a brilliant white male dancing like a fairy among the grassland south of Craignure.
Otters are not tough to find on such calm days and the White Tailed Sea Eagles are regularly on their usual patches.
However a tragic sighting yesterday was of a stranded Long Finned Pilot Whale, desperately trying to right itself on the shoreline of Calgary Bay. It was a terrible thing to see as it fought to get to deeper water but failed every time. Where were the Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust and the much needed slings to lift it to safety ?The poor creature needed more than a couple of people to help it escape to deep water again.
Calgary looked a big and lonely place as we watched this huge beautiful creature a few feet away from us and fighting for its life, but without the right gear we simply watched it dying.
Mull needs National Park Status, rangers on the ground and a management team a hundred times better than our none proactive Community Council.
It has been the most brilliantly clear day here
It’s a cold wind but fine out of it, with sunshine from sunrise and probably to sunset I am certain. A wonderful sky also since the sun broke the peak of Benmore this morning,. The sea is flecked with the white crests of a million waves. Benmore is capped with snow but the colours of nature are staggering today and it is a photographers paradise ..
What will the sunset be like tonight I wonder with such clear conditions.
I don’t really have the words to a aptly describe the island today, so I will get out while the going is good as they say.
Wish you were all here !!
I am running out of superlatives to describe Mull in its various exotic poses each day.
Here we are today with a golden landscape stretching to the cliffs below the house. Then we have a light ripple on a very calm blue sea. Beyond that is Inch Kenneth full of history and which adorns Loch an keal and the views onward toward Staffa and Fingals cave, then on to Iona. The south of Mull is a long crumpled looking landscape and pretty black looking right now.
Above the south of mull and Iona is an equally long but wider strip of pink and occasionally dense Orange sky reaching up to a lovely chalky blue sky and above all of that wonderfully coloured clouds now with the sun getting ready to burst forth.
Finally I have to state WOW !!!!! Because it is now sensational