Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Celebrating the Uncelebrated

At Mull Magic, we tend not to be too hasty about making New Year resolutions. Certainly, not as hasty as we tend to be about dishonouring those that we are foolish to make in the first instance! However, one resolution that we do uphold is the acknowledgement and appreciation of the interconnectedness of life that makes this wonderful island that we are proud to call our home so very, very special.

This ‘interconnectedness’ is known today by the buzzword, biodiversity, a catch-all that celebrates the bones, heart and lungs of the ecosystems in which we all live and breathe. It recognises the contributions played by land, sea and sky; soil, rock and cloud; phytoplankton, fish and whale; mosses, lichens and liverworts; beaches, birds and butterflies. Everything, including human beings, the destroyer and potential saviour of all that we celebrate!

On the Isle of Mull, much is made regarding the contribution that the island’s ‘celebrity’ wildlife brings to the island. For a decade or more, thousands of ‘eco-evangalists’ have made the crusade to Mull, in order to grab a slice of the wildlife action that has so vividly been portrayed by television programmes, such as ‘SpringWatch’ and ‘AutumnWatch’. For many, the Isle of Mull has become synonymous with White-tailed Eagles, Otters and Corncrakes, birds and beasts that are rarely, if ever, encountered in parts of the mainland.

It is only right that we celebrate our iconic wildlife, but, in doing so, we should always remember that they could not thrive on Mull if it wasn’t for the wonderful supporting cast of other wild things that exist on the island. The White-tailed Eagle is not an island and there is, indeed, more to the magic of the island of Mull than White-tailed Eagles!

In 2011, Mull Magic will continue to support the island’s eagles and otters, as we have always done, but we will redouble our efforts to bring more of the undiscovered and the unheralded wildlife to the attention of those with eyes to see and ears to hear. In 2011, let’s all make the wildlife resolution to CELEBRATE THE UNCELEBRATED and to marvel as much at the humble House Sparrow as the exhilarating (White-tailed) Eagle!

Sunday, 19 December 2010

Tomorrow it will rain

Our fascination with the weather is said to be a very British peculiarity. It would appear that if we didn’t have things meteorological to discuss, some of us would have very little to talk about! On a serious note, the bright, sunny mornings of Spring on the Isle of Mull do, indeed, help to lift our mood, while the dark, gloomy days of Winter, quite literally, dampen our spirits.

Being an island and considering our geographical position, the Isle of Mull is particularly subjected to the vagaries of the weather. Our cool, maritime climate, influenced by the warming waters of the Gulf Stream, has meant that, until recently, our Winter weather has been dominated by wind and rain (and then some!) The darkest days of the year, on the run-up to the Winter Solstice, can be the gloomiest for some, when the need for succour from a bottle or anti-depressants is greatest. However, the past couple of Winters have seen our weather reverting to type, with the return of the snow and ice of childhood memory.

Global warming has played some funny tricks with our weather here on the island. Surrounded by sea, Mull has become used to frost-free Winters, when what snow that fell was largely confined to the high tops of the central massif surrounding Ben More. The past two Winters have brought with them some real Winter weather, with bitingly cold, frosty days and nights recalling times when the snow lay deeper and the sun shone brighter: the halcyon days of a seemingly lost age.

With the snow and ice come difficulties, but, here at Mull Magic we welcome the return of Winter as we remember it from bygone days. It did seem that we may never experience snow in Scotland like we used to ever again. We now realise that Mother Nature has a wicked sense of humour and was simply storing it up, in order to drop it on us in bulk! Having said all this, the Isle of Mull has missed out on much of the snowfall that has crippled the mainland, both now on the build-up to Christmas and during the early weeks of 2010.

As we fall on our backsides (for the umpteenth time!) on the treacherous black ice that masquerades as our doorstep, we realise just how fortunate we are. We will have fun today, for tomorrow it will rain!

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas

The festive period is a time of year destined to divide the nation. Some people revel in the Season of Goodwill’s unique atmosphere and simply adore everything that has a ‘Let’s Party’ tag on it. Others, quite frankly, would prefer to undergo temporary torpor and sleep until normal service is resumed around the 3rd of January. Christmas will always be a very special time of year for Mull Magic. With presents bought and placed under the tree and our respects paid to Santa Claus at Glengorm Castle, we like nothing better than to put on our boots and head out in to the Mull countryside. This time of year offers us a wonderful opportunity to get closer to much of the island's wildlife, while walking off the excesses associated with the season.

Talking of resuming something akin to normal service, after a hectic few months taken up with other commitments, Mull Magic is pleased to be up-and-running once more on our Blogspot and Facebook pages. Our many friends and followers, from all around the world, are hugely important to us and we know from your feedback just how much you’ve missed keeping up to date with all that we’ve been up to during our recent internet absence. Thank you all for your support during 2010 and we hope you will continue to enjoy sharing our love and passion for everything that is magical about the Isle of Mull in the forthcoming months.

The tail end of any year, inevitably, has many casting a retrospective glance over their shoulders to the year almost past, while contemplating what the 52 weeks of the New Year may have in store. To conclude what has been yet another thrilling 12 months for Mull Magic, we would like to re-live some of our favourite moments of the past year with you on our Blogspot and Facebook pages - check back for updated pages and albums soon.

At Mull Magic we love the friendly, fun feel of Christmas, here on the island, and would like to take this opportunity to wish all our friends and followers a fun-filled Christmas and the health and happiness to make all your dreams come true in 2011. SlĂ inte mhath!