Each week the Scottish Snippets Newsletter has always included a number of photographs which illustrate the weather, flora and fauna of the current week around Scotland. There are so many such graphics worth including, however, that a separate "colour supplement" is now being created so as not to totally overload the Newsletter. Here is this week's crop!
The weak winter sun is here slipping below the horizon just after 3.30pm on Tuesday afternoon, its orange rays reflected from the clouds at Lochend Loch in Drumpellier Country Park in North Lanarkshire, just as a flock of seagulls passes over. This location has produced a number of good sunsets in recent weeks - though the sun does not penetrate the clouds every day!
Like all the birds and animals, raptors such as this Kestrel find it harder to find food in winter. So they spend more time sitting on the top of bare branches, watching with their keen eyes for any movement that might mean a tasty meal! Those keen eyes also mean that they can see humans approaching with cameras - I needed to stay hidden by some other hawthorn trees to be able to get close enough.
The peanut "brick" was put out for the small birds. But the defences of a long piece of thin wire proved to be an easy obstacle for this grey squirrel to overcome and it gorged itself on the tasty meal. Fortunately, after over-indulging, it departed and the birds got a (small) share too!
The bright berries and evergreen leaves of this holly tree seemed to fit in well with the approach of Christmas.
On Thursday of this week, the cold bright weather changed back to milder temperatures but with dull, overcast skies. Being 30 November and St Andrew's Day, it seemed appropriate to visit Mauchline in East Ayrshire and the memorial tower to Scotland's national poet, Robert Burns. In Scots baronial style, it is 60 feet high and was opened in 1896 to mark the centenary of the poet's death. The Memorial Homes alongside are occupied by older folk - rent-free. A bronze statue to the bard's long-suffering wife, Jean Armour, was installed in the centre of Mauchline in 2002.
In the early part of the week, the clear skies and northerly winds produced more ice on small lochs - such as the one at Drumpellier Country Park. It is surprising to see many of the local birds, such as this female Mallard, choosing to sit on the cold ice rather than floating on the water.
If you want to look back at earlier editions of this Colour Supplement, there is an Index Page
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