The Rampant Scotland Newsletter was published regularly for many years and built up a large following both via the Web version and by an email version sent direct to subscribers. It provided an insight into what has been happening in Scotland, snipped from the Scottish media, for Scots in Scotland and abroad, bringing news, events and photographs plus a Scottish magazine section.
Although no longer produced in that format, but to help to fill the void, an irregular publication of "Scottie's Diary" is being created on a range of subjects - see the index below.
If you would like to be advised when further pages are added here or major updates to the pages of Rampant Scotland, just send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with "Scottie's Diary" in the subject line.
- April / May 2016 Daffodils feature in a visit to Geilston House and the spring lambs and a Highland Cow looks after her young calf at Ardardan Farm, while at Dalkeith Palace and Country Park the bluebells and doronicum add a splash of colour as a drone helicopter flies overhead. Finally, a Mallard trumps them all with a brood of 15 ducklings and a pair of Great Crested Grebe perform their mating ritual.
- January to March 2016 - We are used to a lot of rain at this time of the year but this year records were broken for the total amount of rain that fell. Despite that, there were opportunities to wander round the Botanic Gardens at Kelvingrove in Glasgow, visit the World-famous Burrell Art collection (inside, out of the rain) in Pollok Country Park, and more recently see the spring flowers in my own garden as well as the birds at Hogganfield Loch gearing up for spring!
- Scottie's Photo Diary Festive Season - 2015/2016 - December turned out to be the wettest in Scotland since records began in 1910 - we had 333.1mm in the month. That reduced the opportunity to take photographs - though I sometimes take pictures while sheltering under a large golf umbrella.. Even so, there are always dry spells so I got some pictures of the Christmas lights in Edinburgh and paid a visit to Loch Lomond Shores and its "Sealife" aquarium.
- Scottie's Photo Diary October 2015 - Despite being Autumn/Fall and overnight mist still hanging around in the early morning, there were a lot of dry days with some sunshine and relatively mild temperatures - by our standards (in the 50-60F range). I paid another visit to the Scottish Borders, Dean Castle in Ayrshire and Edinburgh. And the weather meant that after a poor summer for butterflies, 4 Red Admirals enjoyed the banquet laid on for them in my garden and kept returning every day till the last week of October.
- Scottie's Photo Diary - August / September 2015 The sun shone quite a lot in September - castles in the Scottish Borders and butterflies in Scone (and my own garden) looked so much better in the sunshine! Damselflies made an appearance too.
- Scottie's Photo Diary - June / July 2015 Despite July 2015 being one of the wettest for many, many years, there were still a number of days when the sun did actually shine and outdoor photography produced a number of attractive photographs. But we didn'tstray too far from home!
- Scottie's Photo Diary - May 2015 This is when the birds are busy looking after their youngsters so this diary is full of hungry Great Crested Grebe (who hitch a ride on Mum's back while Dad goes fishing for sustenance, while young cygnets feed themselves while their parents show them where to get the right food - and I get mugged by a Robin looking for nibbles for its chicks every time I step outside the door... Bowhill House in the Scottish Borders provides a more tranquil setting and the former main Post Office in Edinburgh becomes "Waverley Gate".
- Scotie's Photo Diary - Spring 2015 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.
- Scottie's Photo Diary - Central Glasgow at Christmas 2014 A selection of photographs taken in central Glasgow of the Christmas decorations, December 2014.
- Scottie's Photo Diary - Edinburgh at Christmas 2014 A selection of photographs taken in central Edinburgh of the Christmas decorations, December 2014.
- Scottie's Photo Diary - August / September 2014 A collection of photographs of flowers and wildlife and scenes with descriptive text covering July including a ring-necked parakeet in Hogganfield Park in Glasgow, Bell heather and Rudbeckia at Geilston House, using a 70 times zoom lens at Culzean Country Park, tall Acanthus plant (sometimes known as "Bear's Breeches" ) at Greenbank Gardens, the floral clock and Greyfriar's Bobby in Edinburgh.
- Scottie's Photo Diary - August Butterflies A collection of butterfly pictures taken at the end of August including a Comma in my own garden and Red Adirals, Peacocks, Commas and Small Tortoiseshell in the garden at Drumpellier Country Park
- Scottie's Photo Diary - Jewels of July A collection of photographs of flowers and wildlife with descriptive text covering July at such locations as Rouken Glen Garden Centre, Pollok Country Park, Culzean Castle Country Park, Loch Lomond Shores, Ardardan and Geilston and My Own Garden
- Scottie's Photo Diary June a collection of photographs of flowers and wildlife with descriptive text covering the later part of June at such locations as Culzean Castle Country Park, Greenbank Garden, Drumpellier Country Park and Hogganfield Park plus My Own Garden.
- Blue Heaven - Scottie's Photo Diary May/June a collection of photographs with descriptive text covering the months of May and June at locations such as Branklyn Garden and Scone Palace Perthshire; Greenbank Garden, East Renfrewshire; Drumpellier Country Park, North Lanarkshire; Hogganfield Loch, Glasgow; Finlaystone Country Estate and Edinburgh.
- Scottie's Photo Diary March/April - a selection of graphics with explanatory narrative covering Spring flowers photographed in Greenbank Garden, Culzean Castle Country Park in Ayrshire, Pollok House and Country Park in Glasgow and Geilston House and Garden, Argyll.
- Scottie's Photo Diary August/September - a selection of photos with explanatory narrative covering flowers photographed in Geilston House Garden, Argyll and Bute; flowers and butterflies in Greenbank Garden East Renfrewshire which is celebrating the 250th anniversary of the construction of Greenbank House itself; butterflies and juvenile Great Crested Grebes in Drumpellier Country Park, North Lanarkshire; butterflies, fox and sparrowhawk in my own garden in East Dunbartonshire.
- Scottie's Photo Diary June - a selection of photos with explanatory narrative covering the newborn cygnets and ducklings in Hogganfield and Drumpellier Country Parks and the flowers in Finlaystone Country Estate and Culzean Castle Country Park as well as my own Garden.
- Scottie's Photo Diary May - a selection of photos with explanatory narrative covering spring flowers and young birds at Hogganfield and Drumpellier Country Parks, Finlaystone Country Estate Greenbank Garden and Culzean Castle Country Park.
- Scottie's Photo Diary January/February - a selection of photos with explanatory narrative covering Edinburgh, Finlaystone Country Estate, Culzean Castle Country Park and My Own Garden (Mainly).
- Edinburgh Christmas Decorations, December 2012 a slide show of the Einburgh city centre Christmas light displays and other attractions in 2012. Includes a link to the equivalent YouTube video.
- Glasgow Christmas Decorations, December 2012 a slide show of the Glasgow city centre Christmas light displays and other attractions in 2012. There's also a link (at the end) to a slide show of similar pictures on YouTube at Glasgow Christmas by Night 2012
- Scottie's Photo Diary October 2012 Autumn/Fall colours of the trees at Hogganfield Park, last of the summer flowers - and a robin - at Finlaystone Estate in Inverclyde, a rose and a peacock buterfly in my own garden and a miscellany of HMS Duncan a Royal Navy warship, the moon rising and the sun setting.
- Battle of Britain Air Show, Leuchars, Fife Large format illustrations of many of the aircraft present at the Battle of Britain Air Show at Leuchars, Fife in 15 September 2012. Includes Avro Vulcan delta wing bomber, Boeing B52h Stratofortress, English Electric Lightning, Eurofighter Typhoon, Gloster Meteor, the "Red Arrows" (officially known as the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team) and Supermarine Spitfire.
- Scottie's Photo Diary September 2012 Photos and descriptions of places in Scotland visited in September 2012. Illustrations are from Dunblane, Scone Palace, Greenbank Gardens and my own garden.
- Scottie's Photo Diary August 2012 A collection of photos and explanatory text on some of the places visited in August 2012. Includes flowers, butterflies and dragonflies at Culzean Castle Country Park in South Ayrshire and butterflies at Drumpellier Country Park in North Lanarkshire
- Scottie's Photo Diary July 2012 A collection of photos and explanatory text on some of the places visited in July 2012. Includes RSPB Nature Reserve Loch Leven, Òran Mór bar and cultural centre, Drumpellier Country Park, North Lanarkshire and my own garden.
- Scottie's Photo Diary June 2012 A collection of photos and explanatory text on some of the places visited in June 2012 - the wettest June in Scotland and the number of days with rain was among the highest in the last 50 years. Includes flowers from my own garden and Drumpellier Country Park, North Lanarkshire and Hogganfield Park in Glasgow.
- Scottie's Photo Diary May 2012 A collection of photos and explanatory text on some of the places visited in May 2012. Includes Stirling Castle Palace, Kilmardinny Loch and My Own Garden or locally in East Dunbartonshire.
- Scottie's Photo Diary March 2012 A collection of photos and explanatory text on some of the places visited in March 2012. Includes Edinburgh, Stirling Castle, Colzium Lennox Country Park, Finlaystone Country Estate and either in my own garden or locally in East Dunbartonshire.
- Glasgow Christmas Decorations, 2011 a slide show of the Glasgow city centre Christmas light displays and other attractions in 2011. There's also a link (at the end) to a slide show of similar pictures on YouTube at Glasgow Christmas by Night 2011.
- Edinburgh Christmas Decorations, 2011 provides a selection of the photographs I took of Christmas decorations in Edinburgh at the end of November, 2011 with a commentary on each one. There's also a link (at the end) to a slide show of similar pictures on YouTube at Edinburgh Christmas by Night 2011.
- Battle of Britain Air Display, Leuchars, September 2011 - photos of the flying display and the static aircraft park.
- Scottie's Photo Diary - September A collection of pictures with explanatory text on some of the places visited during September - including Butterfly and Insect World, Lasswade, Midlothian, Drumpellier Country Park, North Lanarkshire, Vane Farm, Loch Leven, Greenbank Gardens, East Renfrewshire.
- Scottie's Photo Diary - August A collection of pictures with explanatory text on some of the places visited during August - including - Falkland Palace, Geilston House Garden, Greenbank Garden and Scone Palace.
- Scottie's Photo Diary - July Part 2 A collection of pictures with explanatory text on some of the places visited during the second half of July - including Drummond Castle gardens, Great Crested Grebes on Hogganfield Loch, Highland cattle in Baldernock, North of Glasgow and a very young Coot chick in Drumpellier Country Park, North Lanarkshire.
- Scottie's Photo Diary - July Part 1 A collection of pictures with explanatory text on some of the places visited during the first half of July - including Islay, Dalgavern Mill Museum of Country Life and Costume, Portencross Castle, Ayrshire, Finlaystone Country Estate and Drumpellier Country Park, North Lanarkshire.
- Flying Visit to Islay A day trip to the Inner Hebridean island of Islay to see the scenery, villages and whisky distilleries on the island.
- Scottie's Photo Diary - June, Part 2 A collection of pictures with explanatory text on some of the places visited during the first half of June - including Loch Lomond, Cairnpapple Hill and Beecraigs Park, Clyde View Park Renfrew, Drumpellier Country Park, New Kilpatrick church stained glass windows and my own garden .
- Scottie's Photo Diary - June, Part 1 A collection of pictures with explanatory text on some of the places visited during the first half of June - including the Wallace Monument near Stirling, Culzean Country Park and a number of new arrivals - baby birds and a fawn.
- Scottie's Photo Diary - May, Part 2 A collection of pictures with explanatory text on some of the places visited during the second half of May - including Peebles, Finlaystone Country Estate, Kailzie Gardens in the Scottish Borders and newly hatched ducklings at Kilmardinny Loch and Drumpellier Country Park.
- Scottie's Photo Diary - May, Part 1 A collection of pictures with explanatory text on some of the places visited during the first half of May - including Glendoick House and Gardens, Bathgate in West Lothian and Bladernock.
- Scottie's Photo Diary - April 2011 A collection of pictures with explanatory text on some of the places visited during the month - including Culzean Country Park, My Own Garden, Baldernock and Glenarn, with butterflies, magnolias, rhododendrons, roe deer - and a hedgehog.
- Scottie's Photo Diary - March 2011 A collection of pictures with explanatory text on some of the places visited during the month - including Culzean Country Park, Finlaystone Country Estate in Inverclyde, My Own Garden and Lochwinnoch in Renfrew.
- Scottie's Photo Diary - February 2011 A collection of pictures with explanatory text on some of the places visited during the month - including Alloway and Ayr, Finlaystone Country Estate, Hogganfield Loch in Glasgow, My Own Garden and the RSPB (Royal Society for the Protection of Birds) reserve at Lochwinnoch.
- Scottish Parliament Inside and Out - The Scottish Parliament building has always been controversial but it is certainly "different". It opened for business in September 2004 - nearly six years after construction started and at a cost of over £400 million. I recently took the guided tour of the building and discovered a lot about the design of the building and came away more impressed by what had been achieved by the architect. In addition to an article on the building, there's a slide show of photographs taken both inside and outside Scotland's parliament.
- Snowbound Scotland - November may have been bad for snow and freezing temperatures but December is shaping up to be even worse, with major roads gridlocked, the main motorway between Edinburgh and Glasgow closed for two days and forecasters saying that if this cold weather continues (which is looking likely) this December is "almost certain" to be the coldest since records began - in 1910.
- A Snowy November - After the long hard winter last year we were hoping for a return of some milder weather this year - but November this year has broken previous records for snow and cold weather. While it caused disruption on roads, railways and airports, the sparkling sbnow did create some photo opportunities!
- Scottish Maritime Museum, Irvine - after more than ten years of uncertainty, it is looking as though the oldest clipper ship in the world will be taken to South Australia where it will be preserved as a major tourist attraction and a reminder of the heritage of South Australia and its links with the UK. "The City of Adelaide" is currently at the Scottish Maritime Museum in Irvine and I took a trip there to say a last farewell to the ship which was known for 40 years as the "Carrick" when it was moored on the Clyde in the centre of the city.
- World Pipe Band Championships - I've been going to this event for ten years now and here are my impressions of attending the event along with a slide show of photos from the championships.
- Everything Coming Up Roses - pictures and video slide show of the annual international rose trials in Tollcross park in the east end of Glasgow.
- Whirlwind Tour of Lewis description of a 12-hour tour of the Lewis Western Isles calling in at the 3,000 year-old Calanais standing stones, Dun Carloway Broch (an Iron Age drystone hollow-walled structure of a type found only in Scotland), the Black Houses at Na Gearrannan and Arnol, Lews Castle, Stornoway (the largest town on the island with a population of just 9,000). Lots of graphics and, of course, a YouTube slide show as well.
- Summerlee Heritage Park, Coatbridge rejoices in the title of "Scotland's noisiest nuseum" with working machinery demonstrating how steel and iron were produced as well as Scotland's only working tram way (at least until the new Edinburgh tram system gets up and running. The windows media slide show associated with this article includes video clips of the vintage tram car in operation.
- Almond Valley Heritage Centre is largely set up to educate and entertain the younger generation but that doesn't stop septuagenarians like me having a wander round the farm animals, birds and exhibits, including an Anderson shelter that brings back memories of war time. But I did give the "bouncy castle" shaped like a cow, complete with udders, a miss!
- Edinburgh's Winter Wonderland The Capital benefits in all its public events by having the marvellous backdrop of Princes Street Gardens with the castle behind that. That comes into its own in winter when floodlighting and Christmas lights add to the magic. Then there's the 60 feet high illuminated Ferris Wheel and the ice rink and funfair to create that winter wonderland. I wandered around enjoying the sights and taking lots of photos, of course. While some added colour to the diary page, I inevitably had to create another video slide show as well.
- Glasgow Winterfest Scotland's largest city may not have the scenic advantages of Edinburgh but more than makes up for that with an extensive display of Christmas lights in George Square and surrounding streets. Once again, only a Windows Media Video Slide Show could do justice to all those attractive displays!
- Scott Monument, Edinburgh On a recent visit to Edinburgh I climbed to the top (all 287 steps) of the Scott Monument in Princes Street Gardens and took a number of pictures from the viewing platforms. That prompted me to look again not just at the history of the monument and also at the life of Sir Walter, a man who not only wrote great novels and poetry but also focused attention on many of the aspects of Scottish culture and history that we take for granted today. Of course, the monument itself and the views from the top allowed me to create a great video slide show as well.
- Five Sisters Zoo - in West Calder, south of Edinburgh in West Lothian, with a wide variety of mammals, birds and reptiles from all over the world, including Fennec Foxes, Crocodiles, Porcupines, Bat Eared Foxes, Ring Tailed Lemurs, various varieties of Owls, Monkeys, Pigs, Goats, Ducks, Parrots and other birds as well as Meerkats, Prairie Dogs, Racoons, Wallabies, Otters and Guanacos.
- Culzean Castle and Country Park - often called the "jewel in the crown" of all the National Trust properties. When asked "What is your favourite place to visit in Scotland?" I invariably reply Culzean. In my view, Culzean isn't just the "jewel in the crown" of the National Trust for Scotland, it is the crowning glory of the heritage organisation and rightly the most visited property in the trust's portfolio. This illustrated feature on the attraction also contains no less than six video slide shows with lots more illustrations.
- Drummond Castle Gardens, Perthshire - an illustrated feature page on why this is one of my favourite places to visit the castle with its Italian Renaissance style garden and its equally superb "kitchen garden". The page includes a Windows Media Presentation to display even more photos of the castle, gardens, flora and wild life.
- 2009 - A Painted Lady Year - Every early summer, Painted Lady butterflies leave North Africa and fly across Europe. Depending on weather and food supplies in North Africa, numbers vary each year. In a few years, clouds of them arrive along the south coast of England and reach as far as Scotland - creating a special "Painted Lady Year". 2009 has been one of those years, and I was able to photograph many hundreds of these lovely insects in Cambo Estate in north Fife last weekend. So I've created a page with lots of illustrations - including a Windows Media Presentation and a short video clip.
- The Gathering 2009 - the gathering of over 125 clans in Edinburgh on 25 July, in Holyrood Park, Edinburgh. The event included Highland games, a parade of the clans up the Royal Mile and a 'pageant' on Edinburgh castle esplanade.
- Heart of Scotland Air Show - an illustrated account of attending the first such air show at the airfield at Scone, near Perth. In addition to the illustrated narrative, there is a "Photo Library" of 60 graphics of aircraft in the flying display and in the static park.
- 21 Century Road to the Isles - come on a virtual tour of some of Scotland's more accessible islands linked by air to Glasgow and other Scottish cities - an illustratd description some of the history and attractions of Benbecula, Barra, Islay, Tiree, Kirkwall in Orkney, Lewis and serving Shetland.
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