This year, September arrived with a glorious burst of good weather. We made the most of the warm days ahead of the winter months. Both visitors and locals enjoyed swimming and snorkeling in the waters surrounding the Small Isles (the sea is usually at its warmest in September but still very chilly, especially for those not used to swimming outdoors in Scotland).
After the intensity of summer, this season gives us the chance to take a breath, ground ourselves and look ahead to winter and beyond. Both Rum and Canna are progressing with applications for Dark Sky Island status recognising the beauty of the night sky above the Small Isles and the fantastic, light pollution free opportunities to observe everything from the crescent moon and the milky way galaxy to the northern lights. The redevelopment at Eigg pier is coming to a close and we are all enjoying the new facilities including a brand new cafe/ bar.
In the natural world, skeins of geese can be seen overhead, their calls a clear harbinger of the season. The seals are preparing to have their pups and making lots of noise at night and the sounds of roaring stags echo through the landscape. The first storms of the season have arrived bringing travel disruption and inconvenience but also making those times that we can curl up in front of the fire with a good book even more welcoming. As with everything in life, they pass soon enough.
It’s the perfect time to layer up and head out for a walk. The turning of the seasons means crisp days, clear air and if the weather co-operates, intense, vivid skies. Perfect for photography. A hike into the Rum Cuillin might provide the opportunity to view eagles soaring overhead and if clear, an incredible outlook across the Hebrides. The less hilly but still lengthy Muck coastal circuit covers a variety of terrain from farmland to beaches, all with outstanding views. And the best way to end a long, bracing walk? With food of course. From the sea to the land, the start of autumn is an abundant time for local produce from fruit and vegetables to game and seafood. We are enjoying hearty warming dishes like venison stews and sweet apple and bramble crumble.
How does autumn look and feel where you live?