Due to the three Braemar posts this one is a tad delayed.No matter.A few days after the big storm that hit the central belt with winds well in excess of one hundred miles an hour I set off late on the Sunday to see what damage it had inflicted on the countryside.My fence,which has survived many winter storms, was smashed in several places so I knew this had been a big event even in sheltered Glasgow.
As I,d already posted two storms hitting the west coast in previous trips I thought I,d visit something different this time.I wanted to see for myself how the more exposed headlands beyond the beaches and cliffs had coped with increased levels of wind speed as stronger storms seem to be a yearly occurrence now.
The hamlet consists of this restored Castle,a ribbon of houses, a few farms and a tiny harbour isolated under the cliffs,sitting on the rocky stump of Farland Head, part of a square, rugged peninsula.The wall of steep wooded cliffs above would provide a bit of shelter I reasoned and also make for good photos.
http://www.wildlifeonline.me.uk/uk_elasmobranch.html A very Interesting site about UK wildlife this link also details several sightings of great white sharks in Scottish waters though none are confirmed by photos.Some of the largest great white sharks in the world however have been caught in the Mediterranean and unlike there we have an abundance of juicy seal pups.
It was a brave new realm and I was thrilled to be a part of it sitting in my thin lump of fibreglass above immense depths.Out at sea,sometimes,you could just feel deep channels sink below similar to exposure felt on a large cliff face when climbing.It felt like being a long way from your last runner. A totally different feeling to being in a boat,even a small one.Mind you,at times it reminded me of a fallen fly on a trout pond.
On closer inspection however the start of this promising gully was steep, dripping and tangled.Not a pleasant place to be at all.Thankfully these daft notions of adventure occur less and less as I get older.
In this year alone storms have cleaned out successive pockets of large healthy trees.Even If you plant new ones the woods get thinner every year this happens reducing the shelter belt provided for the rest.My local park,Dawsholm, set on a hill,has a skyline in places of snapped off mature beech trunks 30 feet up just where the first branches should start.
Scotland,at the moment,finds itself in a fairly stable part of the world weather wise.We just get rain.Lots of it.
Other countries are experiencing more extreme conditions than us as we move into a new age of change.From the early years of this century large sections of the population have been able to distance themselves from the natural world around them like never before.
Mother Nature is still out there though,beyond the city limits,becoming a little wilder and more fickle with each passing decade.Surely we cant ignore her when she taps us on the shoulder like this.
Maybe I,ll live to see the great waves crash against the Portencross cliffs once more.
Forests and mountains rise and fall...sea levels move up and down...living things multiply then die.
May Nature survive,evolving, til the last star falls from these dark heavens.
If humanity is brushed aside in the future new forms of life will spring up to take our place in myriad,radiant abundance.That,s just the way its always been.
Now that,s a happy thought to end with....Is it not :)