Harbour closed and the oldest tree on the island

IMG_1575 View south across the harbour entrance at Kirkhaven IMG_1546 The weather here has improved today after the blasting at the weekend but unfortunately we still have no boats again today. Though the wind has dropped it has swung round to the North and has built up quite a swell. A nearly 2m rolling swell is pounding the east side of the island looking very picturesque but stopping any boats from getting into the harbour.

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The monks pool – no bathing today.

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While wandering up the east side of the island  I passed the oldest tree on the island. Now there aren’t many trees on the island anyway, and all have been planted by the Isle of May Bird Observatory as cover to attract migrant birds. All except one and that is the Isle of May fig tree ( a cultivated fig, Ficus carica). As trees go it has to be said that it isn’t that big, it basically lives in a crack on a rock face pushing out leaves along the crack. Some years it seems to struggle but this year it is looking green and healthy though the leaves are not huge. But it was present and well established in 1958 when Joe Eggeling wrote his famous book The Isle of May, a Scottish Nature Reserve, making it over 50 years old at the very least. Eggeling guesses that maybe gulls had brought over the seed but I favour the thought that it came from a lighthouse keepers packed lunch but either way we will never know.
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