Heat wave conditions over the UK for the last couple of weeks saw myself and Alan head down the Clyde coast for the short hop over the water to the island of Great Cumbrae. Under a fiver each to get there and we swapped sticky heat for a nice sea breeze. This was a few weekends ago now so the tulips in Largs were at their best.
Roads really are efficient killing machines for wildlife and even on this tiny island with few cars we found many victims. A few years ago, on a bike ride back from the Arygll area I was amazed at the carnage on a quiet B road to Tighnabruich during a sunny summer weekend as squashed snakes, hedgehogs, frogs, rabbits, two badgers, birds and assorted small unknowns decorated the tarmac every few ups and downs of my bike wheels like some surreal blood splattered, sometimes still alive and wriggling, wallpaper. It really shocked me as an animal lover just how many victims there were on what was a single track road with passing places in fairly remote highlands. In a car you would never notice this mayhem taking place and would be looking at the scenery instead, which was impressive, but with very dark undertones I now realized anywhere humans have spread their ribbons of death and destruction. In an increasingly fast paced world nature has to be equally speedy and ruthless to survive.
From a Scottish spring heatwave to a west coast winter. An excellent video of Scotland when we do get loads of seasonal snow. Unfortunately for the resorts it's never predictable or guaranteed here... the past ten years dumping anything from 10 feet of the white stuff in one week over the high summits at Easter and folk actually digging down to find the roof of their cars at sea level to some years with only a teaspoon of snow all winter and still green hillsides. Even when we do get snow falling in large amounts the weather for skiing can still be appalling with gale force storms and lashing rain for days or sheets of ice and vicious hailstones sweeping the slopes, forcing visiting polar bears to scamper back towards the more settled, stable weather patterns of the high Arctic. So this group from the south of England, who usually go to the Alps presumably, ( probably much closer to London time wise) were very lucky with excellent conditions giving you a real flavour of how good Scotland can be when all the stars align.