Keith Butler, Author at Skye Holiday Let
archive,author,author-keith,author-2,ajax_fade,page_not_loaded,,select-theme-ver-2.1,vertical_menu_enabled, vertical_menu_transparency vertical_menu_transparency_on,wpb-js-composer js-comp-ver-4.5.1,vc_responsive

Calm during the pandemic

I am sitting upstairs and looking out over the Sound of Sleat. Its low tide and the sea is like glass. Across the water one can just see the tiny community of Airor on Knoydart, one of the most remote areas of Scotland. It is hard to think this beautiful scene reflects a calm that is not felt anywhere in the whole country as we are all stand frozen in lockdown due to the Coronavirus pandemic. It is also hard to even imagine that the whole world stands still in the face of the threat from this tiny beastie when looking at the placid scene. I wonder if it knows how it has humbled human beings…

Lyn and I have isolated ourselves for almost a month now. It is so strange, even here in this quiet place. I spend some time on my photography ‘chasing the light’, as I call it and Lyn is keeping herself busy making stuff for our grandchild who is due to arrive in June. One way or another, this is going to be a year to remember.

We are busy with a difficult task concerning our bookings for 2020. As things have shut down and the future situation is unclear we are doing a rolling cancellation of bookings as things unfold.

Winter – Spring 2020

We realised that we have been neglecting our blog but here is some of the latest goings on here at Speuran Mora Studio: We had some early morning visitors after a long absence – they did not have to book! At this time of year they struggle for food so they had a nibble at our plants. It has been a very wet winter so the arrival of the daffodils are such a welcome sight.

Nature reviving

Nature reviving…

We are so pleased that wildlife is increasing on our property since we planted all the trees and have produced a small garden. Butterflies are returning and we have a resident toad in our compost heap! We also allow much natural habitat to remain in place and that helps too. We and our guests have recently seen hedgehogs and Nadia captured a picture of a young one. She also took this interesting shot of deer peering over the top of the hill.

Road Upgrade – October 2016


We are so pleased that we have had our road tarred, despite the expense!

When it was just a gravel road, the slope was such that all the small binding material was washed out by the rain. It was becoming like driving on marbles! Even our Suzuki was struggling and we were often concerned about the difficulty our guests may be experiencing.


We were amazed at the speed of the tarring and how it was done with this huge machine. Once it was done it was ready for use 4 hours afterwards.


We are not crazy about splashing tar about; it does not fit with the rural feel but this was necessary. The guests seem to enjoy using it and it has taken a lot of worry away.

Being here…

People really seem to enjoy coming to the studio; they are saying the kind of things that show it’s not just the physical place, but being here in its totality. It is so peaceful and quiet you just cannot but help relaxing. It is a place where you can lose those cobwebs and if you are coming from a stressful environment, a place where you can get your spark plugs clean again! We have had folk returning and loving it a second time. For us, it makes it all worthwhile; we want people to feel at home and to relax, breath in the champagne air and unwind…

The last signs of winter and Emerging Spring?

IMG_7173 IMG_7168

14th March 2016


We are emerging from the wettest winter in ages. Our hill was sodden like a sponge cake and, with the wind some of our tree stakes and tubes were actually blown over!

Talking about the trees, well there has been phenomenal growth.

When planted, the saplings were just 6 inches tall. Now some, in particular the oaks are topping the 1 meter height of the growth tubes! We have had to rig up a collar of chicken wire to prevent them being damaged by the deer. And that brings me to another topic.

The culling season ended at the end of November, and so did the visits by the small group of deer that used to be a regular thrill for us and all our guests. We assumed the worst, not helped by the fact that a neighbour saw the stag’s body on the back of a truck. The story that went with this was that it had got its antlers caught in some electrified fencing and thus had to be shot. But I am happy to report that a small group of deer are nervously coming back onto the property.

There are signs of a change in the weather as our crocuses and daffodils are flowering and the sheep have returned to the hill getting ready for lambing.

We are also very pleased with the short video constructed by the Cuillin Collective for our website. We hope you are all enjoying it!

The feral cats we feed have attracted a third member. All are neutered.



We have had some lovely summer days but September signals a change. It is cooler and of course the days are becoming noticeably shorter.


September/October is also the rutting season and the raucous bellowing of the local stag can be heard in the early hours. We have also felt his presence…


We awoke one morning to find that several of our young conifers in their tubes had been trampled. Clearly some big event had taken place in that part of our small plantation of trees! But, there must have been a guardian angel there as although some of the tubes were damaged and support poles snapped like twigs, the trees themselves were unharmed!


Rutting stag devastation


Still standing                   Trampled tube






Deer hinds still visit us every morning but are very scared as apart from the marauding stag, it is also culling season… For us the deer are welcome; they were here first.

Young deer


Recently had a family member visiting who seemed to attract the local deer. A group of about 8 hinds and…3 fawns pitched up almost every day! But one thing we cannot understand is that the mums, after jumping a fence leave their young Bambis frantically running up and down the fence. But, at the end of the day, they all seem to somehow get together again.

Of course, with so many deer about some of our plants have suffered. So, we have to stretch our imaginations to make our tubs of plants deer-proof.  If we ever succeed, we will have to patent the solution!

Longest day

More sunny days, lots of birds about, grass turning greener…could it be summer?

It has been a slow start this year but the countryside is looking beautiful. The weather seems to be improving.


We have had some foggy days but Knock castle looks spectacular wrapped in mist!


Our saplings have grown amazingly with many reaching a good two thirds up the tubes. Of the 115 saplings only two seem to be struggling.


The deer and the sheep are noticing our new shrubs and plants and we are trying some new ideas of discouraging them to have a go at these delights! One lamb got to our rockery and before you could say “Hoy!” a whole fern had gone down the hatch!


We have just put new links on our site for Walk Highlands, Isle of, Visit Sleat and Visit Scotland. There is also a link to SEALL (Skye events for all).


Ours guests have seen seals and golden eagles in the vicinity and there have been reports in the paper of sea (white tailed) eagles at Kylerhea.

Spring slow to come

Winter is just not letting go! But it has compensations. We have been treated to magnificent sunsets and some stunning cloud effects. Just wish the rain would slow down!

Despite the weather, the grass is pushing through and the saplings are growing apace.

We have starlings nesting in our roof …we think the young have arrived.

There is also a pair of cuckoos in the area, who are heard often and we see them from time to time.