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Thursday, 8 October 2015

In the Heavens and on the Ground

Last night (October 7th) we witnessed the strange shape-shifting spectacle of the northern lights from the campsite. Out of the brilliant green glow in the northern sky tall pillars of green light appeared and disappeared. Four shooting stars sped overhead whilst we watched. All the time, the weird and wonderful roars of the deer orchestra resonated in the still night air. 
It’s that time of year again when Lochranza is anything but peaceful thanks to the red deer rut. This is the seventh year I’ve had the privilege of witnessing its rituals on my doorstep, although it does leave me sleep-deprived.  The top stag of the past three years – known to us as Brutus- is holding on to his position as I write this, but there are plenty of younger stags peering in over the golf course fences and moving in ever closer.

(See my blog of October 2013 for more about the red deer)

Last Thursday (along with the rest of Britain I believe) we experienced temperature inversions causing strangely dense patches of fog. The Brodick ferry was unable to manouevre into Ardrossan Harbour and the Lochranza ferry had a crew member hanging over each side of the boat and peering through the mist to see Lochranza Pier.  However, you only had to be above rooftop height to find yourself in golden sunshine looking across the fog to Kintyre.
Another strange weather phenomenon from earlier in the summer was a startling explosion of thunder as the Arran Distillery roof got struck by lightning. It came without warning. Phones and the Internet were down for a while and it certainly upset the dogs that were staying here at the time.

On a more routine note, a main Autumn task for us each year is to get the ditches cleared out before the weather turns cold (it’s a wet job!) The ditches criss-cross the golf course draining into the burn which empties into the loch. As soon as we close on October 25th we’re going to be busy demolishing the existing reception building, which is past its best in terms of leaks and draughts, and installing its replacement. The new building will have an office, a laundry, a campers’ room and disabled facilities just as before.

As always, we remember the season for the people we meet – it’s the great pleasure of being campsite wardens. 

Wishing you a warm, happy and healthy winter

From the Lochranza Campsite team: Alan and Carol, Kev, Kema, myself and Nigel.