You may think from this title that this story refers to Feis Ile 2011 and perhaps how many sore heads there were over the course of the week due to the whisky consumption on the island. But no, the other main event of last week was the weather, violent gales and torrential rain at times reminded us of winter and all that brings. Ferry cancelations, power disruption and cuts occurred over several days as winds up to 100 mph battered the west coast of Scotland including our island.
This has had quite an impact on the nature and wildlife. The trees have turned brown, the leaves frizzled and that's on the trees that survived being up rooted or having branches sheared completely off. This isn't restricted to the deciduous trees as the evergreens have suffered as well witnessed by the photo of some at Foreland. Gardeners will be cursing as fruit trees, potato plants and other fruit plants like strawberry's have possibly lost their growth for the year. Even the enemies such as weeds and nettles have suffered, the whin bushes normally resistant to almost anything have lost a lot of their flowers and colour.
The birdlife, especially the smaller species have had a tough time with carcasses to be easily found, even gulls are lying where they met their fate. So will the colour come back or is it going to look like autumn through the rest of spring and the summer? Just as it seemed the summer colours were returning to brighten up Islay after the winter.
Mark Unsworth www.islaystudios.co.uk