Sheep Crossing-A Traffic Jam in Aberdeenshire

A farmer moving his flock of sheep on a road in Scotland.

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!

xo,

Wee Sweet Faces-Animals in Scotland

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.

A collage of various animals in Scotland, including Highland Cows, sheep, red squirrels, and a pheasant.

Have a terrific week, everyone. I’ll see you again soon.

Queen Anne’s Lace-The Legend of this Delicate Flower

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.

From Anne of Green Gables, Diana Barry tucking a spring of Queen Anne's Lace into Anne's hair.

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Mandarin Ducks in Scotland? Why Yes There Are!

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.

Mandarin ducks. In Scotland. Who knew?

Two male Mandarin ducks and one female Mandarin duck swimming in a river.
Two male Mandarin ducks swimming in a river.

A Silent Eloquence-“The Bluebell” by Anne Bronte

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 field of bluebells in Scotland.

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.

∼from “The Bluebell” by Anne Bronte

A field of bluebells in Scotland.

It’s Gorse, of Course-Scotland’s Spiny Evergreen Shrub

A golf course in Scotland borders by a wall of yellow gorse flowers and an old man in a blue sweater with his dog playing golf.

Look, it’s a Scottish golf gorse! Ba-dum-ch.

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.

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What a Gem! Scottish Jewelry by Heathergems

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.

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…

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The Gardens at Greywalls Hotel-Gullane Scotland

Those who are acquainted with me and Mr. C know that we are quite fond of gardens.  For those who aren’t, I must confess that we (or is it just him?) are also a bit…well…ambitious.  You know the phrase go big or go home?  Sometimes I think we invented that phrase.

Nearly ten years ago, Mr. C and his trusty Kubota tractor took down a large, somewhat problematic tree behind our house.  The removal of the tree and its massive root ball left us with a rather unsightly, gaping hole.  Ever the visionary and enjoyer of manly projects, Mr. C had the brilliant idea to construct a pond/rock garden where the tree had previously stood.  But in typical go big or go home fashion, the project did not end there.  One pond quickly became two.  Then three.  Then four.  What we have today, nearly a decade later, are three smaller ponds that connect via rocky streams into a larger pond.  What my husband has built is quite extraordinary. 

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