Visit to 'Scotland'. UK Sept/October 2007

These geese were an example of the wild life, in their hundreds on an out of the way loch, then there were the other wild birds who had come to realise that man is not the enemy and that food at this garden centre was readily available. Shared of course with the red squirrels

It was interesting to note that on our return journey near Stirling, Perthshire, we saw thousands of geese in flight, they having been feeding on the newly reaped corn fields.

The coal tits along with many other species and of course the territorial robin who always lets you know he's about by singing his heart out, but not disclosing himself.

Or of course you can always spend a bit of time looking for the wild deer, but don't make a sound or they will be gone! in this photo there are three, although only one can be clearly seen; look along the top of the grass line and you will see at least one, given away by the white flash beneath his tail.

Or you can undertake something less difficult like watching the young fry (Small trout) at the waters edge of Lock Morlich on the Cairngorm road, there in their millions, much to the delight of the 'jack heron' who having had his fill promptly flew off.

Loch Morlich with the Cairngorm mountains in the background. full of fish and surrounded by wild life and beautiful countryside with mountains as the back-drop.

Talking of the mountains, if your scene is hill walking or even mountaineering then you can do both in this area, but you must remember to walk from the bottom of the Cairngorm, if you take the newly constructed Funicular Railway which transports to a height of 1097 metres then you will not be able to exit from the restaurant area onto the mountain as this is forbidden due to the area being classified and an 'Area of outstanding national beauty' the summit of which is still a 150 metre climb,

However you will be able to visit the 'Ptarmigan' restaurant named after the large bird that inhabits this area of the high mountain, where you can purchase gifts and meals as well as visit the demonstration area where the mountain environment and it's inhabitants are explained, a worth while visit which ever way you tackle the climb.

Having reached the top the views on a clear day are spectacular, albeit you do have to disregard the fencing used at this ski resort to catch the drifting snow, which in recent years has been at premium. This year however looks more promising as there was snow on the mountains when we arrived in Avimore village, the weather being warm it soon cleared with just some frosts in the early morning.

Now if your driving you own or a hire car you can explore the back roads and enjoy the fantastic views, you do however have to have the weather on your side we were just lucky although our experience has shown late September early October to be some of the most settled months as far as the weather is concerned and of course you do benefit from less holiday makers on the roads and see the trees in their Autumn colours.

After only a couple of quite severe frosts the leaves were changing colour and falling like snow.

No matter what your interests you will find it in Scotland, anything from fungus to forna and flora,

Even if your a train spotter /enthusiast you will find it here, the Strathspey Railway runs from Avimore to Broomhill Station near 'Boat of Garten' and it is intended to extend to Granton on Spry in the future, having taken this trip I can recommend it.

And if you want to discover the history of Old Scotland, then I highly recommend you visit the Folk Museum at Newtonmore not far from Avimore, where you can spend several hours looking at the old way of life and the houses and tools they used in days gone by.

Despite the heather having finished flowering many weeks ago , the purple flowers are still present on the plants, which is what gives the mountains and hills their purple hue. I feel sure that like me it does add to the view.

For those that have previously visited Scotland I think you will agree the lochs more often than not appear Black, unusually on this trip with the intense blue of the sky this was reflected in the waters of the lochs which made them so much more attractive.

Although it's very nice to have dry weather while you are on holiday remember without the rains we wouldn't have the brooks and streams that is part of Scotland , this year being generally wet has filled the lochs and the streams and brooks were in full flow.

I can add nothing to this photo except to say it's at Carbridge just along the road from Avimore, we rarely go to Scotland without going to see this feature of the landscape.

Dear reader let me not leave you thinking that Scotland always has blue skies! as this photo shows clouds form and it does rain, this photo shows a small craft passing through the Caledonian canal which runs from the Irish sea on the West Coast to the North sea on the East Coast, from one side of Scotland to the other, via various lochs, and on through Loch Ness, home to the allusive loch ness monster, to the North Sea, the passage of the boats being controlled by lock gates, and road bridges throughout the 60 mile journey allowing quite large craft and fishing boats to pass through.

I leave you with this photo , one of my favourite spots, it holds great memories and I along with my family have visited this area of Scotland many times.
I hope you have enjoyed the photographs, and if you go to Scotland have a great time, and please respect the privacy of others and the environment.


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