Sunday 29 November 2009

Winter Arrives at Seafield

Normally I wouldn't welcome winter but crisp, dry, sunny weather is a joy after what has felt like weeks of rain.

Life at Seafield has been busier than usual in October and November with lots of visitors in the cottages and the house. We managed to get away for a week of sunshine in Greece and enjoyed a relaxing time, swimming, walking and eating out every night. There were instructions on cooker cleaning in the villa but all our cooker needed was a light dusting after a week of inactivity. We stayed at Daphnes Villas at Vasilikos on Zakynthos which is a lovely place and very peaceful apart from the Skops owl which hooted incessantly.

The beavers continue to chop down trees, build dams and lodges and flood a favourite walk around Loch Coille Bharr. Having seen what two families of three can do, the prospect of a larger population being let loose in Scotland is worrying. One or both of the missing Creag Mhor beavers have been found on private land North of the release site but have managed to evade capture so far.

Achnamara had a bonfire and fireworks party. The weather was calm and clear and the fireworks display was excellent, reflected in the calm waters of the loch.

Tayvallich held a Christmas Craft Fair so I had a stall with my baskets and caught up with friends from across the other side of Loch Sween. The sunny day provided a good opportunity for a walk around Taynish Nature Reserve. At this time of year with the leaves off the trees you can see so much more and the blanket of green is replaced with fantastic autumn colours.

Basketmaking has taken a back seat over the last year but I have been busy this month teaching two courses, one at Kilmartin House Museum and the other at Logie Steadings near Forres. I have been making much more use of my own home grown willow which now provides a good crop of fine weaving rods in a variety of colours.

We had a walk to Seals Bay, half a mile down the track at the back of Seafield, just as the sun was setting. A seal obligingly put in an appearance but I wasn't quick enough with the camera to catch the gull silhouetted against the sky or the heron waiting patiently at the edge of the water. The clear sky is great for star gazing but we have not seen the Northern Lights this year which are sometimes a feature in November

Photos 1. Taynish Nature Reserve, 2. Daphnes Villa, Vasillikos. 3. Picnic at Stronefield Beach near Achnamara. 4. Beaver Lodge on Dubh Loch. 5. Achnamara Bonfire. 6. A hard working student. 7. Seal at Seals Bay. 8. Sunset on Loch Sween. 9. Autumn Colours on Loch Coille Bharr.