Hello Taynish – I’ve missed you!

By Caroline Anderson

It’s been hard hasn’t it?  I think this lockdown has been more difficult than the last one, apart from not seeing my family for a very long time which has been hardest of all, I’ve also missed insects and haircuts in that order – and believe me I’ve really missed haircuts!   However with the improvement in the weather, the longer days and hairdressers being opened again things are looking up! 

I ventured to Taynish towards the end of March and though ever hopeful, I wasn’t really expecting to see anything, but as always Taynish delivered with a first sighting of a Small Tortoiseshell butterfly this year followed closely by a bee, what joy that brought.

As usual the first stop was the boardwalk – again ever hopeful but probably about 6 weeks too early for damselflies.   However the lochan was absolutely alive with the sound of toads, it was very calming just to sit and listen for a while.

Then down at the picnic area more butterflies and bees, and a hoverfly of unknown origin, but which made its presence known by hovering right in front of my face – it seemed as curious about me as I was about it. 

The next visit to test out the new road down to the car park (it’s marvellous) was made last Friday.   There was a noticeable difference in the number of leaves on the trees and flowers on the plants – lovely to see patches of wood anemone and wood sorrel and of course the ever faithful primroses. 

Again the butterflies were out – but more Peacocks this time all fresh and new their markings were so bright and eye-catching.

I also spotted this fly, which I am assured is a male Tachina ursina. 

Lots more activity on the bee front too – you could hear the buzzing from the tree tops which was glorious, they were also very active on the whin.

So after a couple of visits to Taynish NNR (and a haircut) I still have seeing my family to look forward to.  All in all though I am feeling hopeful with good Taynish fresh air in my lungs and lots still to emerge, here’s to the next visit. 

On a more serious note, the positive impact nature can have on your mental health cannot be underestimated. Get out there – even if you have to force yourself – get outside, breathe it in, listen to nature going about its business, and I guarantee you will feel better.