Saturday, 19 April 2008

Seven days in the wilderness

Having said good bye to the Texa Rangers I am now back on Islay and they are homeward bound. It was a week of extremes in every way. We had some fantastic nature moments, discovering plants and new birds for many. Living off the land and coping with the wind chill that took the temperature to down to -5c. Brrr! Sorrel, Dock, Wood Sorrel, Primrose, Sweet Violet, Stinging Nettle, Hawksbit, Pignut, Lesser Celandine, Oarweed, Eggwrack, Sea Lettuce, Caragheen were all tasted and experimented with and we all now are working towards 101 ways to cook a limpet. It was too cold for fish, and some crabs were available but not as many as we all had hoped.

We looked at the archaeology and tried to imagine what it would have been like for the folks who inhabitated Texa and made a humble living from it. We did our bit too and became adept at cave dwelling, wall building and keeping a meagre fire going to warm and cook on as well as keep up our spirits. Wonderful. We made time for practising rescue techniques and field first aid too.
Below is not an oven ready bushcrafter but two of the guys training with a blizzard blanket.

We counted over 100 wild goats and as the days went by they became quite used to us and were watching us regularly. We spent time learning, sharing and observing. Golden Eagle, Peregrine, Gannets, Shearwaters, a handful of Sandwich Terns, Meadow Pitpits, numerous gulls inlcuding a Glaucous and a young Iceland Gull too. Shags and Greylags on nests. Raven and Buzzards were regular visitors as were Hoodies!

Watching the Golden Eagle - amazing for all!

Another year and yet another expedition passed....can't wait till the next!