Not a day for indoor chores

Heron preening
Heron preening

The first day of September dawned and with it came a new feel and smell – it was the first day that I had sensed autumn was in the air and since then, I have noticed that more and more of the new season is appearing.

One day last week, it was one of those unbelievably clear days, so typical of a bright autumn or spring day. The clarity was amazing, you could quite literally “see for miles” with even the most distant hills visible. The nearer hills were so sharply outlined and the trees on the skyline so crisp edged, that they looked like someone had taken a pair of very sharp scissors, cut them out then pasted them to the china blue sky and luminous white cumulous clouds.

Ignoring the pile of ironing, the emails needing answering and a few inside jobs that really needed completing, I was on my way to Linn o’ Dee to take a walk up the glen. The burn tumbling down through the rocks, gullies and boulders there is simple fabulous – a typical Highland burn, beloved of Scottish calendar and postcard producers. Transparent amber water rushed in white foaming tangles around boulders, smooth-as-glass sheets slipped over flat rocks and the fury of the burn when it was condensed into a narrow ravine was both thrilling and frightening. The colours in the water were simply beautiful, ranging from pale whisky amber, through slate grey to rich dark ambers in pools of stiller water. Where the water slinked over flat rocks it was either pale silver-grey or the transparent pale green of old bottle glass.

I was hoping to see red squirrels, but I only got a brief glimpse of one high up in a Scots pine tree. Later on, I got a closer view than I wanted, as an unusually dark, chestnut coloured one dashed across the road in front of our car – we only just managed to miss it!

See full article in next Thursday’s Piper.