Hibernation is calling!

It has been all go here despite the fact that the clocks have changed and the automatic feeling kicks in of wanting to hibernate until April. We have had to fight hibernation for now whilst voting goes on for the Glenfiddich awards and deciding who will take the risk of attending the ceremony with the possibilities of being stuck away for days at this time of year! Action has been seen on the hillside rain, shine or severe gale with the cementing team laying the bases for the upgrade of an extra 20Kw of PV panels to our existing array of 10Kw on Eigg Electric.

 This will be a welcome addition to our existing system throughout the summer months. This has been the first expenditure of our prize funds from the Big Green Challenge so I feel it is very exciting project with the added bonus of a visual result from community spirit at its best. The other exciting addition to the island this month has been the purchase of a woodfuel processor to enable the wood team to start supplying chopped wood to households. All working in the process of setting up a woodfuel business for the future but by the purchase of this wood processor now it enables us to have a trial phase to see how all the practical issues pan out. All very exciting and look forward to the first load of logs being delivered! The only other thing that has to be mentioned and is certainly spectacular everywhere is the autumnal colours. The hardy surviving leaves that have managed to hang onto the trees are a range of colours that cannot even begin to describe or capture in a picture and can only be experienced by simply going for a walk! I did take this picture of the carpet of leaves that just couldn’t hang on any longer but it is nowhere near the real colours or delight of kicking your way through them! On the wildlife front, October was active in the sea as a huge pod of dolphins were spotted feeding and playing around just off of Eigg and a week later porpoises seemed to be spotted on a few occasions maybe making the most of the last mackerel who knows but very beautiful to see the water so active. On land Waxwings have been spotted last week feasting on the berries before travelling on.

Programmes of interest this week was last nights What the green movement got wrong and the following debate.Really you have to watch it to make up your own mind!

One to watch on Sunday is the Making of Scotlands Landscape. It is a very factual series packed full of wonderful scenery and presented very well by Dr Iain Stewart. This week the series looks into our oceans which will hopefully come out with a more optimistic outlook in comparison to David Attenborough’s last programme!  In the first programme in the five part series Dr Iain Stewart reveals how Scotland’s unique landscape was shaped. Here, he uncovers the devastating impact of mankind and the climate on the nation’s trees. In this first programme, he uncovers how, over thousands of years, the actions of mankind and the climate nearly led to the downfall of Scotland’s trees and forests. It was only in the 18th century that man realised the extent of the damage to timber stocks, and measures were taken to re-populate the landscape. The impact was profound, but not everyone agreed with the results. Last week the programme looked into the land. For centuries, the beauty and drama of Scotland’s landscape has been regarded by most visitors as natural. But in 1950, an eminent ecologist concluded the Highlands had been devastated. Once it was rich and diverse he said, but humans had destroyed it and in the process created what he described as a wet desert. Dr Iain Stewart discovers how man made the proverbially beautiful Highlands of which Eigg featured. Programmes well worth catching up on iplayer and continuing with the series.

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