An Evening Walk at Tarskavaig

There’s an hour before the sun goes down. A cloudy evening but from the shore at Tarskavaig I know the light will fade against the backdrop of the Cuillins, with Rum stretching out on the horizon. It’s a fifteen minute drive, the narrow road up over the moor, no other traffic tonight, pausing only in a passing place to watch the way the light moves shades of brown on the lochan, the dot of lambs on winter-brown grass, a touch of snow on the peaks.

A small crossroads at the township, and a red phone box marks the way to the car park. Beyond the deer-gate, a path leads up over the moor, ten minutes to the bay. Swallows swoop overhead.

picking my way –
a sheep’s track
so many primroses

dusk falling…
the sound of the water
pulls on shingle

to the west
a makeshift bench…
Atlantic driftwood

barely a ripple
across the bay
a cuckoo calls

fading light –
lichen on the black rocks
a splash of sea thrift

The stillness of this soft Skye air – already the midges! Almost dark now, I make my way back up the hill, the images still playing: the blue of the sea melding into blue of the sky, only the deepest blue of Rum, its peaks a jagged echo of the Cuillins, marking the horizon.

Even in the fading light, it’s an easy path back, the red breast of a robin marking the deer fence at the end of the open moor. I pause at the door of the car. The song of a blackbird fills the evening air, perched in an oak tree that’s been bent almost double with the wind.

The road hugs the coast before the steep climb back to Kilbeg. Ahead of the final turn, the wideness of the bay at Achnachloiche and I pull over for a minute to watch the last of the evening light, fading fast now behind the dark mass of the Cuillins.

twilight on water
a line of oystercatchers
suddenly rising

Last Night I Saw an Owl

Last night I saw an owl.

I was driving home from singing practice, and we were running late, it was well past dark o’clock by the time I drove home, in fact with the nights drawing in it was almost dark when I *got* to the choir, never mind driving home again,

and it was the third time I’d been into town that day, back and for’ard, back and for’ard, and there are times when living in the countryside seems less than totally rational, less than totally sensible, what with the price of petrol and the need to drive back and forth, the rain that comes sheeting down day after day, and the mud and the puddles on the road and the need to fling yourself ditchward when folk drive too fast, not used to or not caring for the single track nature of these single track roads, Continue reading “Last Night I Saw an Owl”