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The Joys Of Spring
Posted on: 14th April, 2017
Image: Morag Morrison, Lickisto, Isle of Harris © Ian Lawson www.ianlawson.com
We’re not entirely sure that the Isle of Harris has seasons. The climate can often be, shall we say, changeable, with some days enjoying four seasons in a single afternoon. As the old saying goes, if you don't like the weather in the Outer Hebrides, just wait a minute…
But it’s clear that Spring has finally sprung and we’re now emerging from the long, dark island winter at long last. Our northerly latitude means that changes in the season seem swift, with days rapidly lengthening as the land around us comes to life once more.
For many of us here the calendar is marked by the arrival of lambs. Most crofters here raise Blackface sheep and depending on the timing and prowess of last year’s tups, the lively little offspring tend to begin appearing at the start of April. It doesn’t take long for the new-borns to find their feet and begin cavorting across our crofts.
Colour begins to return to the land, the moors and grasses gaining a little more green and the bog cotton, Canach in Gaelic, burst into wind-blown whisps of white. In village gardens, bright yellow daffodils bloom, native birds begin breeding and great flocks of migrating geese pass overhead.
The island comes to life in other ways too, with a fresh influx of visitors arriving daily, keen to learn and explore more of the Isle of Harris. Backpackers and bikes become more common on our roads and unfamiliar faces are a welcome sight, a sure sign that the tourist season is underway.
Here at the distillery we’re already inundated with guests, even busier than we were last Easter, and we’re delighted to welcome them through our doors. Our tours are in great demand and we relish the opportunity to share our story and island spirit with new people. We hope in turn they will share our story with others as they travel onward.
The shop is full of fresh batches of Isle of Harris Gin and the Canteen is bustling too, a most convivial place to gather communally to enjoy fine local food. There are some new additions to the menu, with Hot-smoked Salmon (from Amhuinnsuidhe Castle) and our own Chicken liver pates alongside our regular offerings of soups and home baking.
All in all, we’re feeling rather full of the joys, with the promise of another positive year ahead of us, one full of new potential. So, if you’re visiting Harris in 2017 make sure you make plans to pay us a visit. A warm welcome awaits, whatever the weather.