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Monday, 6 June 2011

The Storm

Hard on the heels of my last blog about The Humming Tree, came the destructive face of nature in the shape of violent storm-force winds that bombarded West Scotland on May 23rd. The trees, in full, lush summer leaf, suffered. At Lochranza, for most of the day, the gales funnelled down the loch from the north-west and and down Gleann Easan from the south-west , sounding like approaching express trains, and colliding on the golf course, whirling and gusting. Occasional explosions were the crashing down of trees. The deer lay as flat as hearthrugs, chins to the ground. If I see them behaving like that again I’ll know it’s time to worry about what’s heading over the Atlantic.

The trees which bore the full brunt of this battering are now brown and even bare from the burning salt spray. However, I am assured by Rab Logan from the Forestry Commission that they will compensate for this trauma by going into frantic seed production to ensure their future survival. And the blackened bracken will actually allow for more diverse new growth on the hillsides.

After a year of extreme winter temperatures, followed by an April that saw us outdoor swimming, then an unseasonally wild and windy May, I wonder how future historians will regard our time now? Are these just wobbles in the weather or the harbingers of significant climate change?

Better weather arrived for our Texas Scramble, sponsored by Arran Distillery, on the Bank Holiday.

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