Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Lunch Break for Scottish Sales Reps!

My daily plan included going to Stranraer, up into Girvan in Ayrshire and then back down the coast toward home. The A75 is a beautiful drive and this morning, though overcast had some lovely autumn colours. The larch (tamarack) is turning yellow and all those needles will fall soon. I love the pine smell we get around here when the needles drop.Sadly the pine needles weren't all that I could smell today. Here is my faithful territory partner issuing some real daisy cutters in the back seat. What is it about bull dog breeds that make them so "windy"?

Lunchtime found me completing my calls in Stranraer. I was hoping this would be the case and I had brought along my camera and binoculars for a short detour out to the Mull of Galloway to see what I could see.
The road out to the Visitor Centre and the lighthouse is a narrow single track road with passing places. As I got closer to the Mull, the weather conditions were steadily declining. It is still stunningly beautiful, despite the dampness. When Polly and I got to the car park, the wind was really howling. I am so glad I brought an extra jacket and sensible shoes along.

I put the lead on Polly and we walked out to the lighthouse and the most southerly point in Scotland. The Lighthouse is always as neat as a pin and immaculately kept.
Around the front, facing the sea is the foghorn. Just about anything can be labeled as a visitor attraction . . . That's the fog horn down there. I didn't go down there. My excuse was the wintry weather. The conditions weren't quite dim enough for the horn to be blowing (which was a slight disappointment) but there was an oddity of nature to more than compensate for the fact that the fog horn wasn't hooting.

There were a surprising number of snails on the big stone wall that faces the sea. Every part of the wall that had a bit of stone that stuck out a bit proud had snails hunkering down underneath it. There were hundreds of snails. I have never seen this before and I was thrilled! The wall is painted white very regularly and every dark spot you see on this wall is a clump of snails!Polly and I were sheltered from the prevailing winds which were really whipping up now. While I was filming this little clip the rain/sleet started and I was missing my gloves that were safe in the top drawer of my dresser at home. We got a good blast right in the face when we turned the corner and returned to the car.Look at those gorgeous cliffs and wintry Irish Sea. On clear days we can see Ireland. I certainly pick up BBC Ulster on the radio and get all the traffic reports for Belfast.

The Mull of Galloway is a wonderful spot for birdwatching. Sadly there were no birds to be seen today because of the high winds and sleet. I have promised myself that I'll be back in the spring to see if I can see a puffin. I've never seen one and I have always wanted to add a puffin to my life list.

One bird that made it onto my life list today, though there is no photographic evidence to back it up is a Black Necked Swan. I saw it twice. Once in the morning on the way up and then again in the same spot on the return journey. It is on a small loch on the A75 between Castle Douglas and Dumfries. The loch and its swan were plainly visible from the road and I was really happy to have seen it.

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