Thursday, 28 November 2013

The turning wheel

Three days of deep frosts followed by a bitter day of cold, lashing rain; it feels that autumn is now turning to winter in the Aberdeenshire countryside.  The trees are almost bare and the fields behind our house have been spread with dung then ploughed to await their next crop - the land transformed  from the golds of late summer to brown shades.

On a more settled morning I took a walk to get some height and hopefully a view.

Coiliocbhar Hill is just ten minutes drive from home and I was soon up above the farmland and onto the hill ground.

The moorland grasses are bleached and dry after snow, then cold winds and frost - it really looks like winter.

To the north-east I could look over to Bennachie, that most recognisable of Aberdeenshire's hills, and one associated with homecomings.  The last time I was on Coiliochbhar Hill I was treated to a great Brocken Spectre, but no chance of that today in a cold blustery airstream.

To the west I looked over the course of the River Don and beyond to the hills separating Donside from Fiddichside......

 .......while a bit closer, the hulk of Kildrummy Castle watches the turning of the seasons, as it has done for 800 years.

I walked reluctantly back down from the hill towards a winter sky.  The wheel of the seasons is turning.  I'm about to leave for four months working abroad; when I return the wheel will have turned further and the fresh shades of Spring will be across the land.  As with the seasons, the small cycle of my own wheel will have turned too.


  1. Beautiful pictures as always, Ian. Stay safe on your trip.

  2. But where has the Tam o Shanter gone? I missed him on my last drive down past Kildrummy!
    Have a good trip.

  3. Exactly as you say, Ian, the wheel of time turns...and will bring you back, full circle, to this marvellous land. Safe travels, we'll connect again soon. Warm wishes to you and Linda. Duncan and Joan.

  4. Thanks Dan, normal service will be resumed soon :o)

    Kind Regards

  5. Hi Will,

    The Tam o'Shanter's still there! Best seen on the way up towards Corgarff, it sported a pink glittery cowboy hat last Christmas, then back to the Jimmy hat after Hogmanay. The willow tree has grown a bit, but the shape is still there. Just re-read these words and realised that folk will think us unhinged....

    So.... the Tam o' Shanter is a face applied to the base of a forked willow tree on the roadside near Kildrummy Castle and topped with a tartan bonnet :o)

    Kind Regards

  6. Hi D & J,

    I know that you understand the turning of the wheel so well, both in the seasonal context and especially in the personal context. Whilst the wheel of the seasons has no up or down, our life wheels sometimes need to dip in order to rise....

    Best wishes to you both