Scottie's Photo Diary

- Spring 2015

I never go anywhere in Scotland without my camera and I take photographs wherever I go. Sometimes I go somewhere specifically to take photographs with a view to adding another page to the Rampant Scotland site. On other occasions I just see something that makes an attractive picture or else it's another graphic to add to the library to perhaps use on a future occasion. This is a selection of the best photographs I took in the second half of May 2011 with a commentary on each one. It thus forms a pictorial diary of my travels during the month which can be shared by everyone!

There has been a bit of a gap in the series but here is a selection of photographs I took in the spring of 2015 - the pictures are in chronological order from February to April. There is a commentary on each one.

Although there was not a lot of snow in the central Lowlands of Scotland this winter but we did get some in February which added a nice touch to the crocus flowers that had already pushed up from the ground in my own garden.

The snow around Glasgow didn't last long (though even at the end of April snow was being forecast further north for parts of the Highlands of Scotland at the end of April. The crocus here are glistening in the morning sunshine from the overnight dew.

Of course, it's not just the flowers that announce the arrival of spring - these newly born lambs were photographed at Ardardan near Helensburgh. A few minutes earlier thy had somehow managed to get on the wrong side of a wire fence and couldn't get back to their mum until a member of staff came along and lifted them over so that they could scurry to the "milk bar".

As the weeks rolled by, the crocus flowers opned up further, especially when the sun shone. These flowers were spotted at Deumpellier Country Prk in North Lanarkshire.

I had meant some time ago to go along and take a photo of this statue of Buffalo Bill in Dennistoun in a residential area in the East of Glasgow. Buffalo Bill and his "Wild West Circus" came to Glasgow from 16 November 1891 until 27th February 1892. The show played to an audience of up to 7000 and the show also featured famous sharpshooter Annie Oakley, as well as Kicking Bear, Short Bull and One Bull, all members of the Sioux tribe.

On the way to Dennistoun I passed the Tennent Caledonian Wellpark Brewery on Duke Street. This was founded in 1740 on the bank of the Molendinar Burn and is now owned by C&C Group plc, which purchased the Tennent Caledonian Breweries subsidiary in late August 2009. The walls surrounding the brewery complex have been used to display some of the recent adverts from the company, many of which feature the capital letter "T" which is part of the company branding. Tennent's Lager has been Scotland's market leading brand of pale lager since it was first produced at the Wellpark Brewery in 1885.

Ive been to the "People's Palace" Museum on Glasgow Green many times but the "Memory Lane" feature on Rampant Scotland prompted me to make another visit so that I could get photos of many of the subjects that were being mentioned in the submissions to these pages.

This white heather growing in my own garden reliably produces these showy white flowers with brown tips every year and keeps spreading too.

While doing some tidying up in the garden I had been sitting in a garden lounger from time to time. On one occasion when I returned I found this ladybird on the seat - and it ptomptly had its photo taken!

Regular readers will know that I have an interest in aviation so when I am working in the garden I usually have my camera handy to take pictures of aircraft on the approach to Glasgow Airport some miles away. The planes at this point are at about 1,500 feet high. The turbo-prop aircraft here is operated by Flybe is known as a "Dash 8" and is made by de Havilland Canada. Over 1,000 Dash 8s have been built.

This daffodil has an orange trumpet and the variety is called "loch Loyal". Loch Loyal is a freshwater Scottish loch, located near Lairg in Sutherland, in the northern Highlands. Brora and Golspie are two towns that are close to Loch Loyal.

There are approximately 20 species of herbaceous or evergreen perennial flowering Helleborus in this family of plants. They are particularly valued by gardeners for their winter and early spring flowering period; the plants are surprisingly frost-resistant and many are evergreen. This plant was seen at the National Trust for Scotland Greenbank Garden.

Another flower seen at Greenbank was this pink Pulmonaria - I have the more common blue variety in my own garden.

This bright shrub forsythia is named after William Forsyth (17371804). He was a Scottish botanist and a royal head gardener and a founding member of the Royal Horticultural Society.

Although some people prefer the traditional yellow daffodil with its trumpet, there are many other shapes and colours available now. This all white one contrasts quite well with the red heather growing beside the bulbs.

April is a busy time for gardeners as the annual bedding plants start to arrive at the local garden centres. I bought a box of mixed colours of Ranunculus which had red, pink and white as well as the yellow variety shown here. The buds on this plant augur well for a succession of blooms over the summer months (I'm always an optimist)

We've had a sparrowhawk in our garden on a number of occasions over the years. They clearly regard the bird feeders there and the associated sparrows, bluetits, dunnocks, robins and blackbirds as a good source for "lunch". Fortunately they don't appear very often and the local birds instinctively know to hide when the sparrowhawk is around!

If you want to read the other Diary entries going back to 2009, there is an Index page.

Where else would you like to go in Scotland?

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