Each year, our summer months seem to fill with activities. In some years we're able to get out into the world, in others we find enjoyment close to home. Either way, we usually do a wrap-up post on social media with pictures or video. A confluence of interesting opportunities and enjoyable events have made this past June, July and August more vigorous than most.
So instead of one big post, we're doing something a bit different this year with a series of 5 blog posts:
Part 1 (June): Exploring in Gairloch, Highlands
Part 2 (June): Enjoying a day of culture in Glasgow
Part 3 (June-July): Beekeeping in Lindau, Germany
Part 4 (July): Celebrating in Minnesota and Wisconsin, USA
Part 5 (August): Working and walking on the Isle of Skye
We aim to post one blog each week, starting now.
2-5 June 2023
Text by Blake Milteer
Every 2-3 months we make the 5-hour drive from Edinburgh to Gairloch. Sarah grew up here and has maintained strong ties to the people and landscape; so our time there is inevitably spent catching-up with family & friends combined with exploration of the region's stunning landscape. Most visits also include a stop at the Gairloch Museum, which has excellent displays of objects from their permanent collections, but also sustains a programme of temporary exhibitions. On this visit we really enjoyed the exhibition of exquisitely-painted portraits by Daniel Murray.
As for our own art, we had new paintings and drawings to drop off at Inchgowan Gallery. Rachel and Zoe are always kind hosts and we highly recommend booking their shepherd's hut or wee hut for your stay in Gairloch. Their location at Flowerdale is an ideal point for venturing anywhere in the region.
There are also magnificent walks right from the property, including the path up to Flowerdale Glen to the falls: Eas Dubh and Easan Bana:
The walk is just about 4.75 km or 3 miles round trip. As many times as we've gone up into Flowerdale Glen over the decades, it's never the same and never gets old. This day was quite warm and relentlessly bright. The conditions in June were also unusually dry, as is apparent by the low water levels in the river and falls. Video by Blake. (38 seconds)
This has become one of Blake's favourite trees in Flowerdale Glen. Perhaps it will be the subject of a drawing someday. The hill in the background is An Groban which we've not yet been all the way up, but we will (again, someday). Have a look here for another video featuring bits of Flowerdale and An Groban. Photo by Blake.
The next day, we went out for a longer walk up Beinn a' Chearcaill. The hill does not present a terribly difficult climb at 725 metres, but it's quite rough in places and the path disappears entirely at the top of the ridge. This is a great mountain for just wandering along the massive slabs of Torridonian sandstone and among the boulders once you're on the ridge. It can feel a bit otherworldly.
Beinn a' Chearcaill walk. Video by Blake. (48 seconds)
The conditions were again hot and dry, and it had been that way for some weeks prior. The vegetation was sufficiently crunchy underfoot that we tried to walk from rock to rock as much as possible.
Chillin' at day's end. Video by Blake. (47 seconds)
A walk in Badachro. Photos by Blake:
And to finish, some night walks along Gairloch Pier and shore:
At Gairloch Pier. Video by Blake. (20 seconds)
Part 2: Enjoying a day of culture in Glasgow