Sunday, 21 February 2010

The snow, the sea eagle and the stone

We have more snow. By the rest of the UK's standards not much - but for us, enough. Enough to turn shadows blue white and for contours to leap and sparkle in the brilliant sun. But not enough for the sheep to be hungry as it wasn't that thick. The sun has been warm, and south facing slopes of field, hill and road melt by mid afternoon. And this evening as dusk fell, the temperature fell with it, and snow crunched again under foot.

Rounded stone wall above Crackaig, looking into the low winter sun at Gometra with the Ross of Mull in the distance.

Earlier on today walking across the hill, following the occasional deer track in the snow, finding a place where a deer has lain over night, sheltering from the snow, coming upon footprints of hares and wading through heather covered in powdery snow.

Treshnish Headland this morning.

From the Sitheans, over Calgary Bay this afternoon.

And on the hill, one could almost hear the quiet, lonely, stillness of snow - but suddenly disturbed by a large bird of prey taking flight across our path - a sea eagle, close enough to see its wing tag with naked eye. It flies low and slow, away from the Sitheans eastward.

A little further on, we find delicate spiky bird tracks, and follow their sharp edges along the path of a turf dyke covered in snow, to their (unanticipated) conclusion in a pile of delicate feathers strewn bloodless on the ground. All that remains.

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