Wednesday, 10 December 2014


Home again after a long spell working away, and the weather has turned towards winter. A storm system lashing the west coast of Scotland with wave heights of up to 15 metres - described in the maritime forecasts as "phenomenal"- was roaring its way across the country. Whilst the winds haven't been as strong in the north east, there is some significant weather here too.

A popular local walk is around or over Knock Saul, a 412 metre/1352 ft hill surrounded by forestry with good tracks.  I thought that the trees might give some shelter from the frequent snow showers blasting in from the west.  Not long after starting out I could see a heavy shower incoming.  The air temperature had been just above freezing all day and so any snow falling was likely to accumulate on the ground.

I increased my pace a little to try and get into the forest before the snow arrived and just about beat it...

...but "shelter" was a relative term as the air rapidly chilled and the snow whirled down through the trees.

The snow continued heavily for over an hour, coating the trees and producing an appropriately Christmas like effect.  As the shower passed the wind fell and the sky began to show signs of clearing.  I had originally thought to just walk around the hill on the forest tracks but the prospect of a view was temptation enough to make the short climb to the summit.

Even at this modest height winter is incoming.  The wind was chilly and at mid-afternoon the light was beginning to fade.  All the surrounding high ground has snow cover though the lower farmland is snow free so far.

There was a pale sunset blush in the sky as I descended back down to the forest track, a wash of colour in a newly monochrome world.

Heading back down the track there had been a noticeable increase in the snow cover.  A large shower to the south passed clear.....

...but a glance to the west into the teeth of the wind showed clearly what was incoming. I battened down and walked on, enjoying the wild weather.


  1. Welcome home, Ian! We look forward to regular postings and inspiration again from Mountain and Sea. "Battening" down on the trail, not too far from home has to be a lot less onerous than battening down at sea in 15m waves! Warm wishes to you both. Duncan and Joan.

  2. Thanks D & J - it's good to be home :o)

    Warm wishes

  3. Welcome home Ian and have a great Christmas holiday at home.


  4. Thanks Douglas - now we just need the wind to drop :o)

    Best wishes