One of the features of the far north of Scotland which is shared with the Northern Isles and the Hebrides is a remarkable quality of clear, sharp light. This quality is difficult to describe adequately, but it can dominate everything in effects from astonishing clarity to a light which seems almost to penetrate solid objects and light them from within. The view from my camp site had some of this effect.....
The evening shade was pure and clear and seemed to amplify the warm glow struck from the flanks of Quinag by the dipping sun. My tent (in the lower right of this image) had a great view, but the real grandstand effect could be had by climbing a small hill.
It was, quite simply, stunning and I sat long into the evening just absorbing the slow change of light.
A glance from the tent first thing in the morning after a cool night puntuated by the sighing of seals and the gentle talk of deer hinds grazing nearby revealed cloud streaming off the flanks of another of Assynt's distinctive mountains, Canisp.
There was the promise of a fair day to come in the early sunshine, though the forecast was for a cloudy morning followed by a brighter afternoon prior to a spell of windy weather.
I took breakfast after packing up the tent, a sequence which proved beneficial. As the rising sun passed behind a cloud bank, a barely discernible noise started...... it was the sound of tens of thousands of midges reacting to the lower light levels and shouting "Get him!!" Truly, bright sunshine and a breeze are the kayakers friend!
I still had to pack the boat, so one of these proved once again to be worth its weight in gold......
After finishing breakfast from inside my midge-armour I got on the water as the northern light played another dazzling trick. Searing sunlight streamed through the thin cloud and fired it with white light, creating a lace-like effect.
It was just 7.30 am and the day had already given so much.