Stacks of peats reach for the sky, as Skye and Rona look on in the distance, across the Inner Sound.
Yesterday, I took a break from the studio and spent a couple of hours up on the hill gathering and stacking peat, to help a neighbour, in readiness for the winter…. until we were driven home, when midges descended in clouds around us.
The majestic Black Cuillin watch over us, offering no comment, as we gather and build our modest, peaty castles.
They march inland and upwards in this featureless and vast area of peaty bog, grasses and heather, known locally as “the backs”, which stretch out in a seemingly endless expanse towards Baosbheinn. My guess is that the nickname is quite possibly the origin of the colonial expressions “outback” from Australia and “back 50” and similar, in Canada and the US.
The earth has given up a bounty which will warm the hearth and the heart.
The Minch lies becalmed, as what remains of the bog cotton continues to dance in the (slight) breeze.
Rona and its lighthouse punctuate the Inner Sound, with Skye beyond.
Startled by my visit, the sheep linger close to the headland until one reminds the others that they are not lemmings.
Off the north tip of Skye, the Isles Eilean Trodday, Fladaigh Chuain, Gaeilavore and Lord Macdonald’s Table seem to lie low and contentedly in the calm waters of the Minch.
As do the quietly glorious Shiant Isles, below.