"Scottish Snippets"

"Colour Supplement"

20 January 2007

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 of Scottish views.

The snow which fell on Thursday morning in central Scotland had been forecast, but even though it was not all that deep, it caused considerable disruption to traffic. Later in the day, the clouds rolled away and I was able to take this picture of Dumgoyne and part of the Campsie Fells from the window of my own house.

Having flowed for over 100 miles, the lovely river Tay is meandering slowly to the sea after passing through Perth. At 120 miles, the Tay is regarded as Scotland's longest river. But some people dispute Loch Tay's position as it is only called Tay after it emerges from Loch Tay and argue that the 25 miles of tidal waters of the Firth (estuary) of the Tay should be excluded, leaving the Spey (110 miles long) as the longest river. However, the Tay is the largest river in the UK, with a catchment area of approximately 2,000 square miles. Regardless of the statistics, it is still a beautiful stretch of water, along its entire length. This photo and the others below of scenes in and around Perth, were taken when the sun shone ten days ago.

Huntingtower Castle, a few miles from Perth, used to be known as Ruthven Castle. But in 1582, a group of nobles, including Lord Ruthven, kidnapped the young King James VI and held him captive for ten months in Ruthven castle. For that action - and a later conspiracy against the monarch, the name was "proscribed" or banned by the Scottish Parliament. The castle was taken over by the crown and renamed "Huntingtower". Originally two towers, these were not connected by further apartments until late in the 17th century.

It was most surprising to see these catkins flowering in the middle of January, close by Huntingtower Castle. The word "catkin" is derived from a Dutch word meaning "kitten".

These leafless trees, also beside Huntingtower, were quite a contrast to the catkins. Despite the blue sky, they have a wintry air about them.

The present Balhousie Castle in Perth was built in 1860 but incorporates a 16th-century L-plan tower house. The property originally belonged to the Eviot family but was sold by them in 1478. In 1962 it became the regimental headquarters and museum of the Black Watch Royal Highland Regiment. The displays tell the story of the regiment from its founding in 1739 to the present day, with many medals, uniforms, weapons, pictures and audio-visual displays and tableaux.

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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