"Scottish Snippets"

"Colour Supplement"

21 October 2006

Each week the Rampant Scotland Newsletter includes a number of photographs which illustrate the weather and the seasons, plus the flora and fauna of the current week around Scotland. There are often so many such graphics of Scottish subjects worth including that this separate "colour supplement" is created where some of the best pictures can be displayed in a larger format. Here is this week's crop!

"Egbert", the Little Egret, has over-wintered for a few years now at the nature reserve of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB), overlooking Loch Leven, Kinross. I'd love to know where he goes for his summer vacation - and why he thinks a chilly Scottish loch is the place to be in winter! He is not yet sporting the feathers of his head plume.

The village of Scotlandwell, nestling under Bishop Hill, in Perth and Kinross, is the home of the Scottish Gliding Club at Portmoak Airfield. Gliders can often be seen using the up-currents of the hill. A bridge over the river Leven at Portmoak, before it goes into the loch at Scotlandwell, was mentioned in a charter of 1152 - the first documented reference to a bridge in Scotland.

This view of Loch Leven (with its castle - just visible on the island across the water) was taken from the visitor centre at the RSPB nature reserve at Vane Farm. Loch Leven is Scotlandís largest lowland freshwater loch and supports a huge waterfowl population. This includes the largest concentration of breeding freshwater duck in Britain and up to 20,000 pink-footed geese in winter.

The nature reserve at Loch Leven isn't just about birds. There are lots of other flora and fauna to be seen, such as this puffball mushroom. There are lots of different varieties of puffball - this is probably a Mosaic Puffball.

Autumn colours are now appearing in profusion. This bright, red ivy was seen growing over an electricity sub-station in Glasgow!

The pictures in this Colour Supplement are often those taken a bright or sunny day. So, for a change, here is one of the historic Smithy at Gretna Green, in pouring rain - I was under a large golf umbrella while taking it). Gretna is the first town in Scotland on the old road from England. In 1754, an act was passed which required parental consent for marriage by anyone under the age of 21. In Scotland, the age of consent was (and still is) 16. So young lovers from England sometimes eloped to just over the Scottish border at Gretna - and were married over the anvil at the Smithy, by the local blacksmith. Gretna Green has been a haven for romantic lovers for more than 250 years as a result, with couples travelling for days by horse and coach. These days, they fly in from all over the world - of the 7,500 weddings in Scotland each year where both bride and groom are non-residents, 50% take place at Gretna!

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?

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