If you squint hard enough, you can just make out a small white building on the left, snuggled in the near lush hillside.
Just beyond it is the McCottage, which overlooks the Bay of Wigtown, Cairnsmore, and the RSPB nature reserve, where I’m standing, taking a photograph of this vast field of sunshine. Just off to the right is a derelict building once the control tower of a small airfield used during World War II. In fact, on top of Cairnsmore, there is a small cairn, dedicated to those airmen who lost their lives during exercise, their aircraft not making it beyond the craggy summit.
The control tower is now home to a small colony of Scottish bees. I’m unsure how successful they will be in this location, whether there’ll be enough forage to take them through a long season of honey making. The rape field isn’t ideal either. Honey produced by bees gathering in rape fields is often pale and bland, and crystallises quickly.
However. I know nothing, and am being guided by my mentor. A tall Dutch chap, with Edwardian beard, who thinks the location is ideal. His great x 8 grandfather began the first beehives in Leiden at the botanical gardens, back in the 1500’s. We shall see.
In the meantime, I carried on along the dusty track, avoiding potholes like chasms, to the old shore line.
I paused for a while along my wander and watched a skylark arguing with itself. Madly flapping and whirring, high above the marshy hinterland, fiercely guarding territory, its song was long and melodious. A heron swooped down, two lapwings immediately reacted, diving and looping, white flashes beneath a blue and grey sky. A skein of late geese flapping by, oblivious. I hope the bees like it here…