National Geographic : 1974 Nov
the island except in the Ross of Mull, the southern section. The Ross is a mass of red granite. Its handsome stone was used lavishly in Victorian London. Iona, the Sacred Island where the Irish Saint Columba established his first church and monastery in Scotland (and where a fine medieval abbey church still stands), lies just off the tip of the Ross. It is doubtless the most intensely publicized three square miles in all Scotland, though no one could say of it that it must be seen to be appreciated. Seeing Iona is not, in fact, a memorable experience. Sensing it is. A pair of open launches take day trippers and campers from the mainland out to the holy isle and back. I had the depressing con viction that most of them wanted to buy a souvenir, come back, eat at Mull's Clansman Spearing forkfuls of harvest hay, Roddy Campbell and his sister Mary Anne build topknotted loaves of winter fodder at the family croft on Eigg (lower left). At a neigh boring farm a pair of kittens get first licks at the day's milking (below). Partly subsidized and legally protected from eviction, crofters need pay only a few dollars' rent each year -yet with hardly one acre in fifty arable, not many manage to make ends meet with the proceeds from their crofts. Opportuni ties for alternative full-time work are slim. Public-service jobs, fishing, and distilleries employ some islanders, but for many it is a question of crofting or leaving.