Some of you know and some of you probably suspect that I lead a double life, which occasionally leads me astray from the virtuous path of gardening and writing about my garden. Sometimes the temptation to indulge in my other passion becomes overwhelming, sometimes I’m seduced by others, but often I require no encouragement.
Living on a small island off the west coast of Scotland has not diminished my predilection, in fact it has encouraged and diversified my interest. It challenges me physically and intellectually, but most of all it enriches my soul.
Who could not resist the call of the wild geese to put down the tools and look up in awe as skeins of Barnacle Geese fly overhead in a clear blue sky or fly low over the waves, flocks of arrows heading north-west? Mesmerised by the opalescent light of early evening I have sat beguiled by the silence and watched the last of the Whooper Swans fly into the northern twilight. I have wandered over the croft counting celandines and watching bumblebees on dandelions, neglected the vegetable beds and played truant to go and collect samples of algae!
To a curious naturalist, these islands are paradise. In retirement I am more of a dilettante amateur naturalist than a research scientist, but my interest in knowing the how, why and wherefores is still there. Sometimes it is difficult to distinguish the gardener and naturalist, most of the time they co-exist amicably, but the rigours of science can be demanding and time-consuming. So if you are curious as to where to find the gardener when she is awol from the croft garden you may well find her alter ego writing Hebridean Nature Notes.
Written with friends, Hebridean Nature Notes is a reflection of our enthusiasm for the natural environment and the wildlife of the islands. Our inspiration stems from our individual interests as Hebridean naturalists and biological recorders and a response to the identification queries and observations posted by local residents and visitors on the local natural history and biological recording social medial sites. The Hebridean Naturalist (journal of the local natural history society) includes nature notes, but space is limited. It is only published annually, so any spontaneity is diminished. We hope that Hebridean Nature Notes will be able to bridge this gap by providing a home for articles about the wildlife of the Outer Hebrides that will be interesting and informative, with a vibrant energy and enthusiasm which brings an observation to life and conveys the magic of the natural environment of our islands.