"Scottish Snippets"

"Colour Supplement"

7 October 2006

Each week the Rampant Scotland Newsletter includes 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 that a separate "colour supplement" is created so as not to totally overload the Newsletter. Here is this week's crop!

Kinneil House, in Bo'ness, was built for the Hamilton family in the early 16th century. James Hamilton, the Governor of Scotland until Mary Queen of Scots came of age, expanded the building but it was Duchess Anne Hamilton completed the building in 1677. By the 18th century, the Hamiltons had moved to other homes and the house was occupied by other tenants. One of these, Dr John Roebuck (founder of the Carron Ironworks) financed James Watt the engineer to work in a cottage on the estate on the development of a steam engine for pumping water from coal mines. The Roman Antonine Wall passes through the estate and one of the fortlets on the wall is located there as well.

The rain clouds were rolling in as I took this photograph of the road and rail bridges over the river Forth. The view could get a bit crowded if a second road bridge is ever built here!

I'm sure central Grangemouth, overlooking the Firth of Forth, is very nice. But to get there you have to pass through miles of refineries and chemical factories, belching steam and other gases into the atmosphere. After dark, even from miles away, the flares from burning gases produced by some of the factories can be seen lighting up the night sky.

The House of the Binns, in West Lothian, is half way between Edinburgh and Falkirk. It was rebuilt in 1612 by Thomas Dalyell, an Edinburgh butter merchant, who had made his fortune at the court of King James VI in London. His son, the Royalist Sir Thomas Dalyell, (better known as "Sir Tam") defeated the Covenanters at the Battle of Rullion Green in the Pentland Hills in 1666. He also raised the Royal Scots Greys regiment at the House of the Binns in 1681. The mansion is still occupied by the Dalyell family. At this time of year, the ivy on the walls turns that brilliant flame colour.

One advantage of cloudy days is that there is not such a stark contrast between dark and light areas. That proved to be the case in the courtyard of Linlithgow Palace, where the recently refurbished fountain is usually in shade but the palace walls behind can be brightly lit by the sun. During the summer, the fountain has again been flowing with water, but only at weekends. I'm told that the sound of the running water, reverberating from the surrounding palace walls, is "magical".

The cormorants in this picture can often be seen feeding on the fish in Lochend Loch in Drumpellier Country Park in North Lanarkshire. The stretching of the wings by the bird on the right is a typical pose and it can sit like that for a long time - possibly drying out its wings after diving for its lunch?

If you want to look back at earlier editions of this Colour Supplement, there is an Index Page

Where else would you like to go in Scotland?

Separator line