Friday, November 25, 2011

Winter weather update

Experienced a rich variety of weather patterns this week with something different to look at each day. Started with freezing fog drifting down the loch very low over the water causing a stunning reflection in Loch Ness. Then we witnessed rainbows reflected in the water too. At one time we saw a perfect rainbow arc reflected in the water making a circle of colours....really breath-taking to look at and I could not tear myself away from the window. It didn't last long and by the time I got the camera only the ends of the rainbow remained.

Yesterday was really windy and chilly and we were glad to sit by the cosy fire listening to the great gusts of wind rattling at the windows. This morning we woke up to see snow on the mountain tops opposite and a very menacing sky. Winter has arrived in all its glory.


Monday, November 21, 2011

Great spotted woodpecker at Aspenwood.

 



















The Great Spotted Woodpecker is a frequent visitor to the nut feeders outside the large lounge window of Aspenwood Cottage. It is extremely sensitive and the slightest noise or movement causes it to fly away and climb up the nearest tree trunk. This one is a male because of the red feathers at the back of its head - females do not have this colouring. We wondered if it is one of the juveniles we took on video being fed by dad back in July.....so do have a look at our Video Gallery.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Chilling out !




The weather suddenly turned very chilly yesterday evening and there was a sharp ground frost everywhere when we looked out this morning. The temperature remained just above zero all day and a low freezing fog drifted along the loch from the NE.
Wrapped up warm and walked along to the pier crunching on all the frosted leaves underfoot although strangely some plants were still in flower in the hedgerows.

Removed the ice from the birdbath and topped up all the feeders as this is the time of year when the birds and red squirrels need us most. We heard on the radio that blackbirds have started to breed as the weather has been so mild lately they think it is Spring again.
The squirrels have started to grow their darker Winter coat and larger ear tufts ready for protection against the cold. We are all prepared for Winter......bring it on !

Friday, November 11, 2011

Walking in Torr Woods at Dores.

Another beautiful autumn day dawned so after completing some work in Inverness we drove back and parked at Dores beach which was almost full up with people enjoying a lunchtime meal in The Dores Inn. We thoroughly enjoyed walking along Dores beach on the pebbles and then turned right in to Torr Woods. We noticed alot of the overhanging branches and prickly bushes had been cut back and there is now a new secure gate leading in to the woods with a passing gate. Met one or two people with their very energetic dogs carrying branches of various sizes and passed the time of day but mostly we were on our own in very peaceful and colourful surroundings.
There are a few small secluded beaches on this walk which lead down to the shoreline of Loch Ness so we stood and relaxed for a while admiring the wonderful panoramic views.





On the return journey we had previously noticed a newly made forest track leading down towards Loch Ness so we explored this further and sure enough it opened up onto a very rocky but picturesque shoreline. It is not possible to walk along the shoreline unless you want to get very wet so we followed a man and his dogs along a new lower forest footpath and came out at the end of the crescent shaped Dores beach.  The weather was beautiful and we enjoyed an excellent walk in the November sunshine.







Tuesday, November 08, 2011

November weather so far.

We have had a very dry start to the month with pleasant mild temperatures for the time of year....double figures during the daytime but just above freezing at night. Most days have opened with a clear blue sky after a beautiful starry night but we will wait to see what is ahead. Last year it did start to snow in late November but for now we shall enjoy each day.






Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Walk along the River Oich

A fine dry day so we drove over the mountain and skirted Loch Tarff on the way to Fort Augustus. Spotted two stags silhouetted on the hilltop and a gushing waterfall tumbling down the hillside. Drove through the village and turned left at the sign to Jenkins Park and Auchterawe. At the end of this rather bumpy track we parked in the car park and strolled though the woods admiring the magnificent seasonal colours. The large elm trees were especially grand and still dressed in leaves of various autumn shades. Underfoot we walked on carpets of leaves and pine needles. After a peaceful stroll we took a right hand path leading down to the River Oich which was gushing along at a good speed and bubbling over the rocks at certain points. Ray has been here fishing and had knowledge of the various pools allowed for fishing. We did not meet a soul and it was a most refreshing walk on a November morning.