Monday, October 29, 2012

First snow.

Last Friday we watched as a white wall of snow came eastward from Urquhart Castle and swept over us in a windy flurry. It only lasted five minutes and disappeared elsewhere. The temperatures have been zero at night causing a frost to form on the hills opposite amongst the autumn colours. More snow has fallen on the Cairngorms and Aviemore but today it is a warm 5C. Our Loch Ness Monsters have begun to hibernate....not a bad idea !

Monday, October 22, 2012

Getting cooler.

The days have been getting cooler with temperatures in single figures although this does not deter the hardy sailors who must have to contend with very cold weather drifting up the Great Glen. This morning was so foggy that we could not see Loch Ness at all but by about 2 o clock the mist had descended down in to the water leaving a clear blue sky. The forecast is for colder northerly Arctic temperatures from Thursday with a strong possibility of snow laying on higher ground. Last week the Cairngorms had 2 inches of snow at Scotland's largest ski resort and also snow at the car park at the foot of the funicular mountain railway which bodes well for an early start to the ski season as they normally open during November.
Although it is cold it is also quite beautiful and the gleaming autumn shades are spectacular.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Sunset on Loch Ness.

A very chilly start to the week with temperatures in single figures during the day and just above zero at night with a sprinkling of snow forecast for the tops of the Grampian and Cairngorm mountains. 
This evening we had a beautiful sunset which was a cheerful ending to a rather dull day. The blue night sky is a sign of a starry night and a good reason for a warming nightcap.

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Pine Marten comes for lunch.

Talking about amazing wildlife ....We were very surprised during Sunday lunch to hear a disturbance in the trees near the house and to suddenly see a young Pine Marten dash out of the shrubbery and launch himself onto the bird bath for a good drink. He then managed to work out how to climb down the carefully placed branch - put there to help young squirrels - and on to the bird table. We have not seen one during the daylight as they are normally nocturnal creatures although they are known to be active during the day in the summer months.The weather has been fair and bright this week so obviously this youngster was making hay while the sun shone. During his visit there were 3 pheasants in the garden and a red squirrel on a nearby tree who were not too fazed by this new visitor. Pine martens have been known to chase squirrels if they are very hungry although their diet is very we witnessed. It was just amazing to watch from the window.
Our guests at Aspenwood Cottage last week did put out alot of suet balls in the wire feeder which were all 'stolen' over night so we think this is the thief.
Check out more Pine Marten info.

Watch the Pine Marten on video.

Friday, October 05, 2012

Wildlife update

The big brown hare has been running around the place at great speed and is about the size of a puppy. A mother and young deer have been appearing on the front bank leading down to Loch Ness in the mornings munching at the grass. The birds are always pleased to see you in the mornings for feeding time and the robins paricularly can be quite bold and cheeky, often landing on the bird table as the food is being put out. There are more greenfinches about now and a few sightings of the long tailed tits. The pheasant family appear and hoover up any food remains under the feeders keeping the place neat and tidy. Of course the red squirrels are constant visitors all year round and enable me to creep up quite near to them for a really close up photo. Their ear tufts are slowly growing ready for winter warmth.
The garden area is a haven of wildlife activity and a constant source of amazement.