Monday, 12 October 2009

The Colours of Bennachie

Our local hill is Bennachie, a very prominent granite outcrop in Aberdeenshire. The main summit is 528m, but by far the most noticable feature is the "Mither Tap", a 518m summit. I climb the hill very regularly as it's just a few miles from home. On a very misty day, I set out through the woods. The light within the wood was startlingly green - a multitude of shades.

In some of the more open parts of the wood, Oak saplings were glowing yellow and gold against the more muted colours, and seemed to be amplified by the low light levels. At this time of the year it's easy to think that life is in decline, but today I saw more birds in the wood than I've ever done before. A flock of up to 1000 Song Thrushes were moving through the Spruces, a Jay called in alarm and sent them up into the mist. Bullfinches, Siskins and other small finches were also on the move, presumably migrants arriving in northeast Scotland from Scandinavia.

On the Mither Tap, all was misty and damp with a cold wind. As so often in Scotland, the view from the inside of one cloud closely resembles the view from inside any other cloud!

Coming down from the higher ground, I dropped below the mist in the valley between Bennachie and Millstone Hill

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