It's no April fool there is really a whale in the Bay!
This was a common phrase in Argyll over the easter weekend. and to date our underwater visitor remains in the bay, he is however not always easy to spot! Indeed two of our guests on Sunday set off for Oban Airport and a planned trip in the skies. A clever entrepreneur not only decided to base himself over Easter Weekend at the airport and take visitors up in his plane to see Argyll but more importantly chose a stunning weekend- one in a million bank holiday weekends seem dry and sunny- and consequently some great shots of the area were possible.
However despite flying down towards Islay, out to Mull and Duart and then on up the greta glen to see Castle Stalker and the Coran narrows they returned in time for Afternoon tea to show off their shots. As we looked through the array of shots which really not only showed off the area but also the scale of Argyll we asked in an innocent manner if they had seen the Whale in Oban Bay. Despite a quick precursory look at the Oban views no whale seemed present so the immediatley got back in their car and set off for Oban in search of the Whale.
No sooner had they departed than it seemed they were back and pleased as punch to have been able to capture the images the trip in the plane had failed to offer.
Indeed whilst they were simply not unique shots they will probably never again see either a whale in oban Bay or Oban basking in Easter sunshine as we have this last week!
All in all it has been a great spell of weather but given the lack of foiliage on the trees and bushes it has also been a really interesting few weeks of wildlife spotting. Firstly the badgers have woken from their winter sleep and are now back- the clock change on Sunday did not seem to concern them- on their summer schedule with visits every evening, the otter has been spotted by the 5th Green on the golf course, the Sea Eagles are circling the driving range and the golf course remains inundated with geese - who clearly are enjoying the sunbathing before their long flight north and who could blame them - seem a constant target.
So in addition to these foreign and unusual visitors the island is really starting to wake up with bird song each morning alerting us to spring. The binocular collection has never been busier and whilst it can be cold sitting birding the views and sitings have been worth the wait and certainly reinforced what a wildlife treasure trove Eriska really is.
I am sure like everyone else in the Uk we have been surprised by the weather over the last 7 days although maybe at Eriska we have been surprised for different reasons. Whilst everyone has been buried under snow and near arctic conditions we have been basking in sunshine and enjoying another week of sunshine. It was very windy mid week and we were without power for a few hours but nothing like the central belt or even Arran which seems to have born the brunt of the weather and the tail end of winter.
Regrettably however I neither took my own advice last week nor my wife's advice this morning and proceeded as normal to light my monthly bonfire to burn rubbish and clearings from a weekend of work in the garden. However no sooner had I succeeded in getting the light to take than I was running with buckets of water and beating the ground with a brush to try and contain my now rampant muir burn.
In reality it was contained nearly by the cliffface and I was simply concerned that it might jump and head for the sports hall but when Anne appeared over the hill concerned that my house was on fire and explaining that the phone was not being answered- so they had imagined the worst- and the main hotel was engulfed in smoke maybe it was not quite as contained as I had initially imagined.
Anyway the ground is dry- I can vouch for this- and with the wind at its back the fire was moving quite quickly but after a few minutes of worry and a few buckets of water it was all nearly under control so next time I promise to listen to my wife! But is the cold front set to change or stay the same for the week ahead?
Today: After a cold night it will be dry with some sunshine. Staying cold and windy.
Monday: After a cold and frosty start to the day it will stay dry with only a few clouds overhead.
Tuesday:The dry weather will continue with sunny spells. The best of the sunshine again towards the West . Still feeling cold although easterly winds will be lighter.
Wednesday: Staying dry and cold with lighter easterly winds. There will be sunny spells by day with sharp frosts at nights.
Thursday:Starting dry and cold with some sunny spells, though a few snow showers possible,
Friday: Cloudier, windier and more unsettled conditions are then likely to spread in from the west, slowly heading northeastwards during the Easter Weekend.
Saturday: This rain may be preceded by snow, but it is certainly changing with cloud pushing in and tempertures rising along with precipitation! Typical Bank Holiday weather!
There are many reasons to live on the west coast of Scotland and walking to work last night as the sun dipped down behind the western mountain tips and the sky turned from blue to red was certainly one of those reasons. occassionally the sunsets on the west coast of scotland can be as spectacular as any where in the world and indeed the clarity and color can rival even the best- true we may have to wait for these to occur but when they do they are worth the wait!
In truth we have had a wonderful week of cold but dry still and sunny weather. Normally when my mother goes on holiday we can expect good weather but when she set off last weekend and the rain was pouring down we had begun to wonder if the old addage was going to hold true but it has come good in the end. So wil it continue?
Today: After a cold night the clear skies will leave a frost that will take time to clear and it will continue mainly dry and cold, though isolated wintry flurries possible on higher ground.
Monday: Rather cloudy at times but some clear intervals, with a frost for most parts, this sharp under clearer skies again perhaps a wintry flurry or two.
Tuesday: A bright, cold and mostly dry day with some sunny spells, although perhaps still some wintry showers
Wednesday: Mostly settled, fine and generally dry weather persisting with sunny intervals and light winds.
Thursday: It will continue with cold temperatures but a bit of cloud will push in and start to warm the morning up but with it also comes the risk of rain!
Friday:Rain to start and then brighter, colder and more showery conditions should follow from noon onwards
Saturday: The weekend should start mainly dry but rather cold despite sunny spells, however there is an increasing likelihood of more unsettled and breezier conditions developing
We are now well into the season with half term and weekend escapes.
We have to keep reminding ourselves that we are already half way through February and the days are creeping out. It almost seems that every day I am having to push the clocks back that operate our lights outside so that we are not lighting an already day light carpark and clearly we are not wasting electricity, but the other side of Spring sees us cutting the grass for the first time and providing it remains warm and dry no doubt the weekly chores on the golf course will start to run.
The good news however last week with our wet Thursday was that we saw the backs- or should I say underside- of our golf course visitors- 200 geese can certainly make an impression and whilst they fertilised the fairways and ate the rough back they obeyed the signs and stayed off the greens --in the most part! So the rain washed most of it on and now with a bit or warmth it will become bright vibrant grass!
So what have we got ahead for the weather this week-
Today: After a cloudy start it should start brightening up through noon and into the afternoon.
Monday: A little drizzle across high hills to start the day otherwise dry and mostly cloudy. A few cloud breaks possible later in the day
Tuesday: A dry day everywhere with most places starting cloudy. Brightening up through the morning with some sunshine for the afternoon
Wednesday: A mainly dry and settled period with bright and sunny spells. Frost and fog expected after dark which could be slow to lift and clear. Winds will be mostly light.
Thursday: Conditions are expected to be cold, mostly dry but rather cloudy and breezy, with the best of any brighter weather across inland areas.
Friday:The cloud at dawn will be thick enough at times to produce some wintry showers at day break, with some thicker cloud also spreading into the southwest at times giving some outbreaks of rain and hill snow.
Saturday: Slightly warmer than Friday with a breeze lifting the temperatures on shore but still a threat of rain in the afternoon.
As predicted another week of variable weather has brought some turmoil to the transport system but given that a couple of millimeters of snow in the midlands brought it to its knees we must bear a thought for the North Eastern seaboard of America which seems to have come across the "perfect storm" with winds and weather fronts from the North colliding with those form the south creating spectacular weather fronts dumping snow and plunging temperatures.
then think about us moaning at a bit of rain or temperatures moving towards freezing! Maybe the weather in the k is not quite as bad as we all think. Anyway it was as predicted last week another dry and sunny week at Eriska and therefore maybe we should plan indoor work more often so that our visitors can enjoy the balmy weather outside as we paint inside!
Anyway with the days starting to get longer and valentines day upon us we are almost approaching spring , the snow drops outside under the chestnut trees are in full bloom and we even have some daffodils starting to bud. lets hope the warm days and sunshine are not far away, although as I look out of my office this morning towards Glensanda I can see that the snow line is coiming down the hillside.
So will the storm from America reach us or can we continue to prepare for Summer?
Today: After such a still but misty day yesterday today will be dull, with rain and hill snow on higher ground.
Monday: Mostly cloudy with outbreaks of rain, most persistent to south with snow on hills, perhaps some significant new snowfalls across higher hills
Tuesday: Rain and snow becoming patchy , but feeling cold with fresh easterly winds.
Wednesday: Patchy rain, sleet and hill snow will gradually become confined to more northern parts but winds easing with some icy stretches developing.
Thursday: Mainly dry and bright with only a few wintry showers, these mostly light and generally very high mountains. A few sunny spells but cold.
Friday: Mainly dry and bright start but becoming wet and windy later in the day
Saturday: Rain preceded by hill snow and strong southeasterly winds but then returning to showery and rather breezy conditions.