Scottish Snippets

Colour Supplement

13 December 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 graphics, in a larger format. Here is this week's crop of Scottish views!

Although the snowfall ten days ago in the central lowlands of Scotland was not as heavy as the forecasters had predicted, it still managed to transform the countryside into a Christmas card scene. This photo was taken in the Torwood area, on the border between Stirling and Falkirk.
Graphic courtesy of Vicki.

The cold weather has continued into this week and many ponds and small lochs are freezing up, making life difficult for ducks and swans which rely on waterweed for food. These Mallards are residents of Tannoch Loch in Milngavie (pronounced Mill-guy), a dormitory town north of Glasgow. They approached immediately, hoping for some bread instead of a camera! The Blackheaded Gulls in the background (with white heads in the winter) were ready to swoop in too, of course!

The large swan population (and many other waterfowl) on Hogganfield Loch in Glasgow has grown because of the number of people who come to feed them every day. Even so, they are always eager and crush in to the side of the loch to grab a share of whatever is being thrown to them.

The "London Eye" in the UK capital, carries 3.5 million passengers every year and is 440 feet high. It gives views of central London including the Houses of Parliament and the river Thames. This new wheel at the Braehead Shopping Centre, near Renfrew, is just 130 feet high and was erected in just ten days. The views from the gondolas are not quite as scenic as those from the London Eye, with views up and down the river Clyde of derelict shipyards and the roof of the shopping centre. At this time of year though, the wheel looks attractive with its bright lights, but there is not much of a view at night of the river etc.

Operators World Tourist Attractions have been granted permission to site the wheel near the Braehead Shopping Centre for an initial period of six months, with a possible extension of up to three years, if it proves to be successful. It features 30 capsules capable of carrying eight people each and will operate from 9am to midnight, seven days a week. The main parts of the wheel were made in Germany, before being shipped over and slotted together at Braehead. It is the 10th wheel of its kind in the world, with other locations such as Windsor, Hyde Park, Manchester and York in England as well as in Australia and India.

I always used to think that there were not many flowers to be seen in winter time in Scotland. But since starting this colour supplement and looking out for attractive pictures, I am sometimes surprised by the variety of flowers which can be seen, even in December. This elegant, purple Hebe is a good example. Hebe are native to New Zealand and different varieties of this evergreen shrub can flower at various times of the year - even December.

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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