September was a quiet month for me up this end of the island as I was on holiday in Provence, France driving there and back. When we got back to Inveraray on the way home the sea was like a mill pond, the sun was dropping in the sky and the autumn colours were hugging the hillsides and we all came to the conclusion that it takes a lot to beat Argyll scenery. We had all missed having the sea on our doorstep and our abundance of wildlife. Provence was remarkable in lots of other ways particularly the wall to wall hillside of scrub oak, the deep gorges and the flat stony limestones fields swathed in regimental lines of lavender.Ochre rich landscape, Provence
On my return we had our annual Deer Rut walk, but this time it was more of a Safari. Usually we have it on the outskirts of Tobermory at Loch na Gualine Dubh but harvesting was on going there at the time so we decided to relocate to the new wildlife hide location at Loch Torr , We teamed up vehicles and drove about 10 minutes into the forest and then a short walk to look over an open hill face. James Greig, our Forestry Commission wildlife ranger was a wonderful host sharing his knowledge of all things related to deer and think all that joined us found it very enjoyable evening, Thanks especially to James for making it special for lots of visitors.
We now have two public viewing hides open to the public on a permanent basis, one on the edge of Loch Torr near the beginning of the forest road and the other at the Forestry Commission Car Park at Fishnish, the Fishnish one has been very popular through the summer. We also have an additional viewpoint in Glen More thanks to the Tiffy Laing for allowing access off the road near the Craig Quarry.
Those whom live near Tobermory will have noticed all the hard work that has been done in Aros Park on Rhododenron clearance and the improvement it has made in opening up views, it has also opened up where people have been hiding dog pooh bags! In answer to the dog pooh crisis in Aros Park there is now a bin for dog pooh at either end of the loch; please use them for dog pooh bags and not for general litter, please take that home with you.
And an update on our geocache bears and some slides from their travels:
Ginger Bear originally set on his way by Ulva Ferry Primary School, has travelled 10, 681 miles , and has been to Cananda and back. He wished to travel the world. Here we see him in the Lake District, taking in some wonderful views
Little Big Foot sent on his way from Lochdonhead Primary School, wished to travel around Scotland and seems to rather like Ayrshire and has travelled 324 miles.Finally Bob from Salen Primary School is in Germany, having travelled 972 miles, but sadly seems a bit camera shy.
We are involved in several events over the winter so look out for poster
Jan Dunlop, Countryside Ranger Manager
Jan.firstname.lastname@example.org 01680300640/07765898600 and on facebook Mull and Iona Ranger Service