Visitors from further South are always impressed how long our summer days are, and how short are the “white nights”.   Traditionally, it was a happy time; long carefree island days.  Families saved the inbye land for winter feed and sought summer pastures by mountain and shore, living in summer cottages called  Shielings, from which we take our name.

The serpent got into Eden, and on Mull we have midges.  Don’t worry.  If there is 4 mph of wind, Sister Midge is grounded.  The sea is on two sides, and there’s usually a breeze, so we do better than most.  But if it is still, humid and dusk, don’t stand around and get eaten.  Walk briskly, or go inside out of harm’s way.  A wreath of bog myrtle is supposed to give protection.  It certainly has a lovely scent and makes you look like Julius Caesar.  But it is safer to buy a proprietary spray.

In June, wildflowers are at their best.  The orchids are in full bloom in the marshland, and there are exquisite dog roses at the back of the top field.  The marshland and coastline are rich in wild thyme, thrift, scabious, birds foot trefoil, eyebright, Grass of Parnassus, and many other species.  Fledglings emerge waiting eagerly to be fed by their parents, and June is a good month to see some of the 200 species of moths and butterflies.

Mervielle du Jour moth

In July and August, the big elms reach their full majesty; and as the summer wears into autumn, huge harvest moons cast their mellow light across the sea.

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