Wednesday, 25 June 2014
It's no secret that I'm in love with Scotland. In my blog I want to tell more about it, show more pics of the beautiful nature of the country. But most of all, maybe, just maybe the hurting will ease off a bit. That nagging sensation of missing that lovely country so damn much. Not a chance in hell I'll bet but who knows!
I'm not all knowing so I have to search and write what I find from other sites here and there, I'm sure you'll understand.
This time the Hebrides. Most likely Neil Oliver can tell you much more and better about it, but I'll give it a go shall I?
I've never even been to the Hebrides you must know first of all. Only to Skye and only twice for one lousy day. But that was an experience I'll never forget. It's so different on the ilands. The light is different, the whole atmosphere is different than on the mainland. You just have to feel it for yourself one day.
The Hebrides comprise a widespread and diverse archipelago off the west coast of mainland Scotland. There are two main groups: the Inner and Outer Hebrides. These islands have a long history of occupation dating back to the Mesolithic, and the culture of the residents has been affected by the successive influences of Celtic, Norse and English-speaking peoples. This diversity is reflected in the names given to the islands, which are derived from the languages that have been spoken there in historic and perhaps prehistoric times.
A variety of artists have been inspired by their Hebridean experiences. Today the economy of the islands is dependent on crofting, fishing, tourism, the oil industry and renewable energy. Although the Hebrides lack biodiversity in comparison to mainland Britain, these islands have much to offer the naturalist. Seals, for example, are present around the coasts in internationally important numbers.
The Hebrides, also known as Fingal's Cave, is a famous overture composed by Felix Mendelssohn while residing on these islands, while Granville Bantock composed the Hebridean Symphony.
I really would love to go there one day:
Same with Lewis, would love to go there:
Lewis Callanish stone circle
In some respects the Hebrides generally lack biodiversity in comparison to mainland Britain, with for example only half the number of mammalian species the latter has. However these islands provide breeding grounds for many important seabird species including the world's largest colony of northern gannets. Avian life includes the corncrake, red-throated diver, rock dove, kittiwake, tystie, Atlantic puffin, goldeneye, golden eagle and white-tailed sea eagle. The last named was re-introduced to Rùm in 1975 and has successfully spread to various neighbouring islands, including Mull. There is a small population of red-billed chough concentrated on the islands of Islay and Colonsay.
Red deer are common on the hills and the grey seal and common seal are present around the coasts of Scotland in internationally important numbers, with colonies of the former found on Oronsay and the Treshnish Isles.The rich freshwater streams contain brown trout, Atlantic salmon and water shrew. Offshore, minke whales, Killer whales, basking sharks, porpoises and dolphins are among the sealife that can be seen.
Heather moor containing ling, bell heather, cross-leaved heath, bog myrtle and fescues is abundant and there is a diversity of Arctic and alpine plants including Alpine pearlwort and mossy cyphal.
Loch Druidibeg on South Uist is a National Nature Reserve owned and managed by Scottish Natural Heritage. The reserve covers 1,677 hectares across the whole range of local habitats. Over 200 species of flowering plants have been recorded on the reserve, some of which are nationally scarce. South Uist is considered the best place in the UK for the aquatic plant slender naiad, which is a European Protected Species.
There has been considerable controversy over hedgehogs. The animals are not native to the Outer Hebrides having been introduced in the 1970s to reduce garden pests, but their spread has posed a threat to the eggs of ground nesting wading birds. In 2003, Scottish Natural Heritage undertook culls of hedgehogs in the area although these were halted in 2007 with trapped animals then being relocated to the mainland.
Lewis and Harris is the largest island in Scotland and the third largest in the British Isles, after Great Britain and Ireland. It incorporates Lewis in the north and Harris in the south, both of which are frequently referred to as individual islands, although they are joined by a land border.