Thursday 25 April 2019

A Misty Spring Day on Meall a'Bhuachaille

An unusual day of dark swirling clouds and occasional hazy sunshine. A lack of clarity. A fuzziness to the world. Colours muted, air heavy. Warm in the forest as I wandered along to An Lochan Uaine, all green and silver and mysterious. A breeze rippled the water, rustled the trees.

Beyond the lochan the wind grew stronger, coming in gusts that bore the faintest hints of dampness, just touches on the skin that might have been minute rain drops. The ground was dry and dusty. No rain for many days. Signs warned of extreme fire danger. Not that far away to the north, and not far from my home, a wildfire is burning, twenty square miles of moorland and forest in flames, one of the biggest ever it is said. Rain is needed.

From the path up Meall a'Bhuachaille I could see hills fading into thick grey nothingness, the world restricted. But the new forest springing up on the slopes was brightening with the spring, oblivious of the sombre weather. It's always a delight to see these young trees, speaking of a healthy future. Broom in flower was startling, the yellow blossoms almost too vivid for this day.

As the last little trees faded behind me I was enveloped in the cloud and chilled by the now strong wind. No sense of spring up here. The summit cairn gave some shelter for a brief stop for chocolate then I was starting down. No views, no landmarks. It could have been any hill, anywhere. Just a path to follow.

The first trees appeared again. Loch Morlich, prominent on clear days, was lost in the mist. Pale curving ridgelines appeared above indistinct forest. Then I was in the forest and back at the car. Another day on a familiar hill but one that always has something different to offer.

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