Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Elusive Scottish Wild Cat

The elusive Scottish Wild Cat is a tough character and one that has endured the worse weather and conditions thrown at it.

Peter Cairns has managed to photograph this shy creature and has a very interesting website called the Highland Tiger which informs the reader about the difficult task of tracking and monitoring this endagered animal.

The wildcat is of great significance to all members of Clan Macpherson, since it is has for centuries been the Crest of the Chief and the emblem used to mark membership of our Macpherson heritage and Clan.

The family motto warns; not to touch the cat without a glove!

Sir William Macpherson of Cluny - 27th Chief of Clan Macpherson

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Pied Woodpecker

The beautiful and inspiring Pied Woodpecker also known as the 'Spotted', for some reason.

A very shy bird and a joy to see at any time but rare to catch sight of it on the ground.

More information about woodpeckers at the RSPB website 

A little poem on St Andrew's Day

A small poem from Scotland's national bard Rabbie Burns - Epistle to J Lapraik, an Old Scottish Bard.

I am nae poet, in a sense;
But just a rhymer like by chance,
An’ hae to learning nae pretence;
Yet, what the matter?
Whene’er my muse does on me glance,
I jingle at her.

Gie me ae spark o’ nature’s fire,
That’s a’ the learning I desire;
Then tho’ I drudge thro’ dub an’ mire
At pleugh or cart,
My muse, tho’ hamely in attire,
May touch the heart.

If you’re not familiar with the auld Scot's words, here’s a wee bit of help.

This isn’t a translation as such but an explanation of some of the words, and an attempt at a plainer version to help you read it:
nae = no
hae = have
whene’er = whenever
gie = give
ae = one, a single
o’ = of
a’ = all
dub = puddle
hamely = homely

I am no poet, in a sense
But just a rhymer almost by chance
And I have no pretence to learning
Yet, what does that matter?
Whenever my muse glances at me
I jingle at her

Give me one spark of nature’s fire
That’s all the learning I desire
Then though I trudge through mud and puddles
At the plough or cart
My muse, though dressed in a homely, old fashioned style,
May touch the heart.

Enjoy St Andrew’s Day!

Monday, November 29, 2010

A Black labrador in the snow

Do labradors like the snnow? I think we can safely say, Yes!

A winter woodland scene

Edinburgh: A Snow Scene

A Scottish Snow Scene

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Glencoe lochan: Lord Strathcona

Autumn trees reflected in Glencoe Lochan, Glencoe, Scotland. The trees were planted by Lord Strathcona in 1895 for his Canadian wife Isabella, a native North American Indian, so that she would feel at home and not be homesick for her Pacific West Coast homeland
Autumn trees reflected in Glencoe Lochan, Glencoe, Scotland.

The trees were planted by absentee landlord, Sir Donald Smith, 1st Baron Strathcona and Mount Royal

He had the trees planted in 1895 as a gesture for his Canadian wife Isabella, a native North American Indian, so that she would feel at home and not be homesick for her Pacific West Coast homeland

Monday, November 8, 2010

Glen Clova from Ben Tirran

Glen Clova and surrounding hills covered in early snows

Red Squirrel at rural garden feeder

A Sketch of Edinburgh - David Galletly

Sketch of Glasgow - David Galletly

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Stonechat sitting on a Bramble

Stonechats are robin sized birds. Males have striking black heads with white around the side of their neck, orange-red breasts and a mottled brown back.

This one is lacking the striking colours and is likely a Female or a yearling. The females lack the male's black head, but have brown backs and an orange tinge to their chests.

Birds are frequently seen flicking their wings while perched, often doing so on the tops of low bushes.

As its name suggests, birds utter a sharp loud call that sound like two stones being tapped together. You can often attract a response from territorial males by tapping 2 stones together to imitate their cry.

They breed in western and southern parts of the UK, but disperse more widely in winter. They eat bugs, invertebrates, seeds and fruit, particularly blackberries as seen from the photograph.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Friday, October 22, 2010

Friday, October 15, 2010

Bluebird of Happiness: The Blue Tit

Don't forget to feed the birds this winter!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Monday, October 11, 2010

Autumn colours

Chris Lynam sent us several pictures, including this lovely one of an autumnal path

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Sun on the burn

Monday, September 27, 2010

Pictures from the Top of Ben Nevis

A Victory handstand at the top of Ben Nevis. Well done Derek!

The derelict bothy at the top of Ben Nevis, with many walkers and scramblers picking their way across the ankle-wrecking boulders.

The long and winding road back to base camp in Fort william.

Beautiful day with great visibility and stunning views. It's not always as bright and always check the weather forecast before you start out.

Most of the trail is well maintained but it is still a mountain with precipitous sides and a reputation for catching out the unwary and unprepared.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Karen Matheson: Amazing Grace

Fear a' Bhàta video: Capercaillie sings

The hauntingly beautiful voice of Karen Matheson singing the song, composed in the late 18th Century by Jane Finlayson of Tong, Isle of Lewis, for a young Isle of Skye fisherman, from Uig, named Donald MacRae.

Fear a' Bhàta , The Boatman.

Oh, my boatman, o hòro éile
Oh, my boatman, o hòro éile
Oh, my boatman, o hòro éile
My farewell and health to you, wherever you go.

Often I gaze from the highest hill
Striving to see the boatman:
Will you come today, or will you come tomorrow?
And if you don't come at all it is wretched that I'll be.

Oh, my boatman ...

My heart is bruised and broken;
Often the tears run from my eyes.
Will you come tonight - or should I even expect you?
Or will I just close the door with a melancholy sigh?

Oh, my boatman ...

It is often that I ask of mariners around
Whether they saw you; are you unharmed?
But every one of them says to me
How foolish I am to have given my love to you.

Oh, my boatman ...

My darling promised me a silken gown;
He promised me that and a tartan plaid of beauty:
A gold ring in which I could see his image,
But I fear that he has now forgotten.

Oh, my boatman ...

Although they said you had no substance
That did not diminish my love for you.
You will be in my dreams at night
And in the morning I will search for you.

Oh, my boatman ...

I dearly loved you, I do not deny,
Not a year's love nor for just a season;
But a love that began when I was a child
And will not wither until death consumes me.

Oh, my boatman ...

My friends and kinfolk often say
That I must spurn my memories of you,
But their advice to me means no more
Than the ebbing and flowing of the sea.

Oh, my boatman ...

I will be forever tearful and dejected
Like a wild swan wounded and broken
Wailing its song of death on some weedy pond -
Left by the others, alone and abandoned.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The Inverinian burn runs under the Trees through Glen Lyon

A river flowing in Glen Lyon

The Inverinian burn curving round from under a bridge, over rocks.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Stac Pollaidh: A Photo Blog of Scotland

The views were magnificent, with distant views to the peaks of the very north glistening white in the sun.

The blue of the lochans that were interspersed between peaks like Suilven and Cul Mor, stood out against the barren summer green of the wilderness.

We spotted a small group of stags close by on the hillside, and they seemed happy to graze as we walked by.

It was a great day to be in the hills.

See more marvellous photos of this venture at this site: Photo Blog of Scotland

Views of Glen Lyon and Glen Lochay

Click on the picture to see more beautiful images taken by Tim Haynes

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Wearing a Kilt at the beach

An approved card

McGill was a prolific artist, designing more than 12,000 cards over six decades, and selling more than 200 million cards in British seaside towns.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Artist Paul Bartlett - Natural Selection Gallery

"Contemporary wildlife art by Paul Bartlett. Paul uses ripped pieces of paper and magazine to build intriguing mixed media works depicting the animals and landscapes from his travels at home in Scotland and around the world."

I have been a great fan of Paul's work since first I saw it.

My first sight of Paul's picture collage of a Gannet in profile, was a momentous one and I have loved his work ever since.

I encourage you to browse through the online picture gallery but having done that then seek out his gallery in Fife. You will discover that viewing the pictures in their true setting is even more remarkable.