One of the cutest little critters you might encounter while in Scotland is the red squirrel.
Red squirrels (S. vulgaris) are identifiable by their reddish-brown fur, fluffy tails, and tufts of hair on the ends of their ears. They may be spotted in a variety of woodland habitats; however, these elusive creatures are most likely to be found in coniferous woods – especially in the pine forests of the Highlands or further south in the Dumfries and Galloway region.
Hello, friends! I hope you are all continuing to stay safe and healthy during this crazy pandemic. How is everyone weathering the quarantine? Has the place where you live begun to reopen?
Today I would like to show you Culloden House, a stately Georgian-style mansion set in the beautiful Scottish Highlands. Last year, Mr. C and I visited for afternoon tea, before exploring the house and grounds and then heading over to see nearby Clava Cairns.
This was such a fun moment for me. We were traveling through Aberdeenshire, Scotland, when we came upon this shepherd and his trusty canine companion moving their flock of sheep from one pasture to another. It’s a hundred of these wonderful little Scottish moments that stick with me the most.
I am going to take a short media break for the remainder of September, but I will anxiously look forward to seeing you all again in just a few short weeks!
Following each of our trips to Scotland, I like to create a coffee table photo book as a way to both commemorate our adventures and to share the highlights of our trips with others. Today I thought it would be fun to share with you a page from the book I am currently working on. It’s just a little snapshot of some of the wee sweet faces we met when we were there this past May. Cuties, all of them.
Have a terrific week, everyone. I’ll see you again soon.
Queen Anne’s Lace always makes me think of the scene in Anne of Green Gables when Diana Barry tucks a sprig of the summer flower into her best friend Anne’s hair. She tells Anne, “This is the very last of the Queen Anne’s Lace of the summer.” She then says, ” Don’t worry about your hair. No one even notices it anymore.” Her tender gesture and reassurance speaks to the sweet and inseparable bond of friendship between the girls.
The last thing one would expect to see in Scotland (outside of a zoo) are Mandarin ducks. But Mandarin ducks we did see!
A couple of months ago, we were walking through Milton Woods (near Farr), along the grassy bank above the River Nairn, when Mr. C spotted some unusual waterfowl swimming below. Not sure what type of birds they were, he attempted to snap some photos. Unfortunately, they caught sight of him and were frightened and flew away. This photo was the best one he got.
It wasn’t until a bit later when I was looking through our photos that I realized what we had seen. How fantastic! Mandarin ducks! In Scotland!
According to BBC Scotland, the birds were introduced to the UK from the Far East in the mid-eighteenth century. Over time, some have managed to escape captivity and have bred and established colonies. There are over 7,000 of these native East Asian species in Britain. Very few have made it all the way to Scotland, which makes what we saw even more special.
One of my heart’s desires on our recent trip to Scotland was to find a bluebell wood. I worried that we might have been too late, but was absolutely delighted to see them still in bloom. These photos were taken in a wood next to Boleskine Burial Ground on Loch Ness.
It’s the little things.
A fine and subtle spirit dwells In every little flower, Each one its own sweet feeling breathes With more or less of power. There is a silent eloquence In every wild bluebell, That fills my softened heart with bliss That words could never tell.
That one comes at you straight from Mr. C. Thank you, Ladies and Gentlemen. He’ll be here all week. 😀
Also called ‘whin,’ common flowering gorse is a large, spiny, evergreen shrub that bursts onto the scene in late winter/early spring. Though it is not uncommon to spot its blooms in Scotland year-round, April and May is when this plant really explodes in bright yellow splendor.
Hi Friends! One of my favorite discoveries from our Scottish adventures is a unique company called Heathergems. The only manufacturer of its kind, the Heathergem company produces beautiful jewelry and other gift items from the stems of the heather plant.
I first saw these interesting creations at the James Pringle Shopping Outlet in Leith, Scotland (a decent place to look for a few souvenirs, if not a tad bit on the kitschy side – I did once find a very cute hat!). Since I was last in Scotland, I have seen Heathergems for sale at the Celtic shop near my hometown here in the States.
Aside from the Scottish thistle, perhaps no other flower epitomizes Scotland the way that the heather plant does. It makes me think of the 1954 MGM musical Brigadoon – Gene Kelley singing to the beautiful Cyd Charisse about the heather on the hill and the pair falling in love as they glide effortlessly over the moor. Sigh…