Scottish Snippets

Colour Supplement

11 October 2008

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!

Until recently, the central garden area of St Andrew Square in Edinburgh was fenced off and was not accessible to the public. This year, the private garden has been taken over and after a 2.6 million makeover, is now open to all. The monument to Henry Dundas, Viscount Melville, is modelled on Trajan's Column in Rome. Henry Dundas was a distinguished lawyer and became Solicitor General for Scotland in 1766 and later Lord Advocate in 1775. He became a Member of Parliament of Great Britain in 1774 and had a distinguished career as Home Secretary, War Secretary and First Lord of the Admiralty.

The early plans for the Georgian New Town of Edinburgh placed a church on St Andrew Square to face the one in Charlotte Square, at the other end of George Street. But Sir Laurence Dundas got there first and built himself a grand mansion instead. It was later taken over by the Royal Bank of Scotland - the bank created a magnificent banking hall inside with a blue painted dome with gold, star-shaped windows letting in the light. A representation of this ceiling is incorporated into all the Royal's current banknote designs.

Michaelmas Daisies are part of the Aster family, a daisy-like herbaceous perennial. Michaelmas, the feast of St Michael, occurs on 29 September and Michaelmas Daisies are at their peak around that time. As it is one of a diminishing number of flowers in bloom at this time of year, it becomes a useful source of nectar for butterflies such as these Red Admiral butterflies.

Over the three years during which this colour supplement has been produced, there have not been many photographs taken inside buildings. But as the cocktail bar at the Uplawmoor Hotel in East Renfrewshire was so attractive, with an impressive copper canopied fire forming an interesting centrepiece, I thought it was worth including it. I visited Uplawmoor Hotel recently to do a review of the food on offer for the restaurant review section of Rampant Scotland - you can see the illustrated review at Great Places to Eat - Uplawmoor Hotel.

Peafowl consist of two species of spectacularly plumaged pheasants, and the male peacock is famous for its iridescent blue-green or green coloured plumage and huge, elongated tail. This one is starting to grow its new plumage after moulting in the late summer. It was strutting on a wall at Drummond Castle in Perthshire and so its lack of tail feathers is perhaps not too obvious.

I always think that the fruit of Cornus (Dogwood) looks like an experiment in genetically modifying a strawberry - that went badly wrong! The fruits are sometimes known as dogberries or houndberries.

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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