Saturday, 6 October 2012
Closing down but not closed down
It is closing down time of the island, at least for some. The plant garment that the island has wore for the season is changing fast. The cold nights and shortening day length mean that the plants are closing down for the winter. The green is fast changing to yellows and browns, the knee high thatch dropping to ground level and in places thinning. The mass of nettles and thistles dying back and looking like a bad comb-over, barely covering the bare earth. The lack of plant cover brings the lichen lawns even more to the fore.
The warmth of the last few days has brought butterflies onto the wing and even a few moths. But many of the butterflies are now looking for a place t spend the winter, closing down in an almost final way.
Jeremy and I are closing down as well. All the visitor boats stopped on the 30 September when people have to give way to seals. So for the last week or so we have been taking down hides and stowing them, removing all the ropes and signs, cleaning out sheds, tidying up around the buildings and generally battening down the hatches. The 6 months closed season causes a huge amount of wear and tear so what we can take down and store we do.
Of course not everything is closing down, the builders will be on till the end of October finishing the Lowlight development. The hardcore seal researchers will be coming out in a couple of weeks for their 6 weeks stint. And of course the seals are just getting going. More pups born in the last couple of days, we are now up to 11 pups, only another 1990 left to be born in the next 8 weeks.