Sunday, 16 June 2019

Sunday 16.6.2019

A green and gentle June evening, warm sun, refreshing breeze, birds a-tweeting and carolling,scents of newly cut grass, blue and white sky. Quite perfect for walking and musing.

The general lushness of our woods just now was especially noticeable after three days away on the other side of the country. Mountains, moorland and the "cnocs and lochans" of Sutherland. It is the most extraordinary landscape, a geologists dream, described as
"a glacially-scoured lowland area which displays alternating roches moutonnées (cnoc: a small rock hill in Gaelic) and eroded hollows often containing small lakes (lochans)".
We`d thought to do some scrambling, possibly stopping at Stac Pollaidh but while the informative sign showed what it might look like on a good day

our view of it wasn`t quite so exciting.

Nevertheless we walked a little way up the midge-infested path, taking in a view or two as we emerged from the trees
but then scuttling back to the car and driving on.

So it was to be a low-level few days but none the worse for that: a beautifully situated campsite at Clachtoll*, a fascinating Broch to explore **,the long walk into Sandwood Bay *** (into the teeth of the freezing northerly wind which was a key feature of our stay),the discovery of the rather wonderful pies at Lochinver Larder **** and a visit to Highland Stoneware ***** which is a business with a sense of humour as well as some very collectable pottery.






And next week, gluttons for punishment, we`re due to get the tent out again. :)

Sunday, 2 June 2019

Sunday 02.06.2019

Late Spring seems to have segued into early summer pretty seamlessly if this evening`s conditions were anything to go by. This morning`s rain eventually dispersed leaving a warm quite humid atmosphere heavy with scents.
Dramatic skies, a symphony of bird song and a gentle breeze stirring everything into the perfect summer`s evening. June appears to have arrived.

Sunday, 19 May 2019

Sunday 19.05.2019

A really beautiful late Spring day once the mist and low grey cloud dispersed. Sun riding high and warm,trees in their Sunday best,

birds, butterflies, bees, ..........and yet,and yet.........have just finished an extraordinary book* and suffice to say it certainly put a different perspective on our surroundings and gave pause for thought as we walked round.
Not that the dogs paused for anything, even old dog no.1 was doing a little frolicking and a pheasant and a squirrel kitten had very narrow escapes.

*Wilding by Isabella Tree

Wednesday, 15 May 2019

Wednesday 15.05.2019

A spur of the moment climb up to Oxen Crag yesterday evening after supper,inspired by the lovely weather we`ve been getting (it did get warmer)
Not quite such a still clear evening as we have been having but we were climbing up as the sun set which made for bonny views.
Bennachie is just such a handy little mountain!

Saturday, 11 May 2019

Saturday 11.05.2019

Deceptively bright, sunny days, deceptive because of a demon wind that bites your ears and snaps at your nose.
Looks glorious though - fresh green foliage, deep yellow coconut-scented gorse,woolly clouds,heaped up, suggesting their own stories.....and the birds! Four buzzards at the top of the hill just now, wheeling over freshly seeded fields, lapwings rolling and diving,the ubiquitous skylark overhead - it`s all a heady mix called Spring.
But just a tad warmer would be nice. :)

Wednesday, 1 May 2019

Monday 1.05.2019

Only one place to be on Mayday morning: in England-shire at the top of a hill seeing in the dawn in the company of dancers, beasts....and a hedge...or is it a tree?

Whatever,it was a jolly affair and later there was a walk through English woods which were decked out in the freshest of green and scented with wild garlic.

In the meantime, somewhere along the way, April got lost but there were walks, work and a weekend away in York to the inaugural York Blues Festival including a headline set by the magnificent Achievers.

Rumour has it they`ve a gig north of the border next year.........

Sunday, 31 March 2019

Sunday 31.03.2019

When we first arrived on this hill, thirty years ago to the month, I thought the wind must never stop blowing, so long did it persist for those first few weeks. But it does of course. And you get Spring mornings like these: frost on the ground, sparkling in the sunshine, fresh, crisp, magically still air filled with birdsong and the trees poised to burst into leaf, almost as if they`re biding their time for the right moment.