"Scottish Snippets"

"Colour Supplement"

12 May 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. This separate "colour supplement" displays some more pictures, in a larger format. Here is this week's crop of Scottish views!

Lochinch Castle near Stranraer in the south-west of Scotland was built in Victorian times by the Earl of Stair, a descendant of Sir James Dalrymple of Stair, who had signed the orders which resulted in the massacre of the McIans of Glencoe. Lochinch was a replacement for Castle Kennedy, which had been destroyed by fire in 1716 - the staff had heard of the imminent return of the 2nd Earl of Stair from France where he was ambassador. They were airing the bedding in front of an open fire - and the earl arrived to find his home in flames.

The grounds of Castle Kennedy contain many magnificent rhododendrons and azaleas brought there by Sir Joseph Hooker over 100 years ago. This is one of the many colourful azaleas.

The P&O ferry from Belfast in Northern Ireland sails into sheltered Loch Ryan to berth at Cairnryan, north of Stranraer. You just have to hope that you don't travel north or east from Cairnryan after the ferry disembarks all those heavy trucks and cars onto the narrow, winding roads. Glasgow is 80 miles to the north.

The bell-shaped flowers of Abutilon come in many different colours and as they are natives of the tropics and sub-tropics, they need a sheltered position. This example was growing in the walled garden of Castle Kennedy.

I have often seen herons patiently fishing on the banks of lochs and rivers, but this was the first time I had seen one on the seashore - near Culzean Castle in Ayrshire. This seems to be a mature bird, with a long, black wispy crest at the back of its head. The elongated neck indicates that it is hunting for fish - and that dagger-like bill is at the ready.

Culzean Castle has appeared on a number of occasions in earlier editions of this colour supplement, but there always seems to be a new angle to take a photograph. In this shot the palm trees in the garden below are a feature. Visitors are often surprised to see palm trees, but the warm waters of the Gulf Stream give the west coast of Scotland an extra bit of warmth to allow such trees to flourish.

The terraced gardens below Culzean Castle are an ideal spot for growing clematis - instead of climbing upwards, the branches and flowers cascade downwards.

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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