Not too much damage from the poker game last Tuesday, but no intention to go fishing as the plan was to go up to Ullapool to hear a talk by Philip Hoare on whales.https://www.facebook.com/search/top/?q=philip%20hoare%2C%20an%20evening%20and%20talk With Sarah coming over to Applecross as there are plenty in need of massages over here I managed one before heading north with my two four-legged companions. Last week the colours were spectacular
and I hoped they were still around for this trip. I was not to be disappointed.
I stopped the van again and again on the road and once out of the vehicle the view changes. Although on this road countless times I have never ventured onto the verges or stopped to look down the river.
The larch in particular are showing their colour. On leaving Applecross the whopper swans were peacefully feeding away on Milton Loch. The first three arrived on the first of October and were followed by another eight this week. They do not seem to be so resident on the Loch and they do not mix.
So the afternoon saw us at Corrieshalloch Gorge
just to the south of Ullapool
and a wander round some awesome scenery
with company, of course,
took us to evening where a quick stroll at Lael forest garden completed the daylight hours.
Happy dogs and a brief stop at Leckmelm but no one in before arriving at base. An Indian meal, a walk round the pier, watching a dragger’s deck being washed down of the discards and seeing a basket of tails and a couple of other baskets of small prawns.
The talk and slides were well worth the trip. Noel is funded by the Essme Fairburn Trust on a three year contract and it seems money well spent bringing nature closer to how we live. Even here we seem one step removed. Fine venue courtesy of CalMac, upstairs in the Ferry Terminal. Photo and talk courtesy of Noel.
A journey by some one who, up til the age of 25 could not swim and was frightened of water, was swimming with sperm whales off the Azores. The talk was fascinating all the way through with more than few highlights. Like when he swam towards a group of sperm whales and had one come over and check him over. He described it like an MRI scan, he was ” clicked” and then she turned away and swam into the deep. He described how the sperm whale is adapted for deep diving with its unusually anatomical attributes which compensate against huge pressures at very deep depths. Although we have little evidence of life down in the deep it is believed she will suck up rather than bite giant squid. Very similar to human species in both the relative layout of organs and size of brain, maybe an answer why we are so attracted to cetaceans. No other species has a female living long after reproduction is over and indeed the matriarch of the orca is known to be the most important in passing on gathered information to the pod. So much more and thinking about and remembering the talk and slides made it a short journey home.