Monday, 26 May 2014

The Wildness and Weeds of the Scottish Highlands

This is a weed in Scotland.  They grow over everything and work is being undertaken to remove them.
I guess it's the old story of what is a weed!  I have a feeling they may be easier to deal with than privet and camphor laurel.  So last night old eagle eye was sipping his whiskey and looking out at the hillside when he said he could see some deer. Can you spot them?
And there's a sheep too. This was taken on my big lens and must be over 1000 meters away from us. I cropped a second shot to prove him right. Fuzzy but deer all right!
This morning dawned grey but dry so we spent a lovely 3 hours walking to the village, having a cuppa in the cute cafe, visiting the museum and walking back.  This is the view from our front door.
The woodland is amazing and we keep expecting hobbits or fairies to appear. Walking tracks in Scotland are like cycling tracks in Coffs, they disappear and leave you on the road at times.
Glencoe is reached by this one lane stone bridge and we thank goodness they don't keep removing such things here as they do in Australia.
The river beneath is deep.
After a cuppa we call into the local museum where Garrie has to almost bend double to enter. It shows some history but concentrates on the massacre. I think people still find it hard to swallow that you could offer hospitality to someone for a fortnight and then they turn and kill you!
It stayed dry but looked threatening at times.
This loch is on the property we are staying on.
The highlands rise above.
And the snow melt creates waterfalls.
So after lunch at home and a brief shower of rain, the sun came out and we decided to take a walk in the other direction. We have at least pulled out our larger walking boots here but have still had no use for our thermals. The cottage is snug with underfloor heating so very cosy at night. As we climbed and the sun came out we were soon down to short sleeves. Past our favourite loch.
The air is so fresh and filled with the scent of pine needles and the exquisite songs of the local birds.  We have found a number of ways to challenge Garrie's issue with heights and today it was scaling Signal Rock also known as Hill of the Sun.
I tried several shots to convey the height but the surrounding trees made it impossible.
Here's the top bit of rock which you climb via steps cut into the other side.
I tried, in vein, to photograph the beautiful finches and other birds.  This is the best I'm afraid.
At least bushes and trees don't fly away.
This afternoon's walk led to
The beer of the day was a lager and really that's what Aussie beer is - lager.
Nice view from the pub down the Glencoe Pass
I decided to try another local delicacy - Spean Bridge Clootie Dumpling, with custard.  It's very like Christmas pud. Here's a link with more photos and recipes.
I must say I love the Scottish accent but found it very hard to get my head around it coming from a lady at the next table who's origins were clearly in Asia. So back home now loving our view. Tomorrow this will change but we won't be leaving the Highlands.  Stay tuned.