Friday, 1 October 2010

Birthplace of the Don

My first days back on the hill after a long spell at work were to take me from the birthplace of one river (the Don) to near the source of another (the Avon).

On a day of alternate sunny spells and lashing showers I set out from Cock Bridge at the foot of the Lecht (the infamous Cock Bridge to Tomintoul road). Patterns of light and shade raced across the landscape on a blustery north wind. The hill in the distance is Creag Veann or Mheann (middle hill) and in the foreground is the boggy ground of the Feith Bhait.

This boggy hollow gives rise to the infant River Don, which flows east to the North Sea and in turn gives it's name to the city of Aberdeen (Obar Deathan - mouth of the Deathan - Deathan translating as river deity).

These hills at the edge of the Cairngorms aren't formed of the granites of the main massif, but of schists and diorites. The softer rocks break down readily to give more rounded and fertile hills. This weathered boulder looked like a piece of some enormous spinal column.

There was still plenty of green in the landscape, but looking closer the signs of Autumns approach were evident. The blaeberry leaves are turning a flaming red colour which glowed among the mosses and ferns


  1. My second favourite environment: a tapestry of colour, a breeze on your face and in season the call of the curlew as it drifts across the hillside or moor.Thanks Ian.

    David A

  2. Hi Ian, good to talk yesterday and catch up. You have some fantastic photos on the blog and great wee notes. I see you got Ian P out on the water under his own power! Take care and hopefully will get a chance to pop up and see you. T