Macro experiments

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Experimenting again with the Macro lens for my camera. Enjoy trying to capture things in a different way but on a large learning curve.

Deer encounter!

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A great visit today to the Red Deer Encounter at Highland Safaris, Dull (twinned with Boring, Oregon), Perthshire. Interesting hour spent learning all about the deer and then the fun of feeding them. A superb place to visit for all ages.

The visit also features an encounter with a beautiful Barn Owl.

Easter Sunday

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How to spend Easter Sunday – watching the Red Squirrels a couple of metres away from you, on the other side of the conservatory door, and being creative at the same time. A mostly foul day, weather wise, with very short interludes of warm sunshine between long and heavy downpours of rain.

This little squirrel was a very rusty red colour, with long ear tufts. He/she was looking very plump and fluffy today and glowing in the sunshine.

As it was unfit to be out in the garden working, I was using some of my favourite tweeds to plan out and then sew a landscape of a favourite bit of coastline on the Isle of Lewis. These photos are almost a before and after, except the project is not yet completed – more sewing to do and then the final additions will turn it into a unique item for some kind person to purchase and hang on their wall.

 

A blue sky day to remember.

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The burning of the heather on the moors meant that bands of smoke drifted across the landscape in an otherwise cloudless sky. The moon looked spectacular, ‘suspended’ against the blue sky. Even at this time of year when the countryside has yet to burst into new life the landscapes are rich in colour. There wasn’t a breath of air which meant the reflections on Loch Tay were mirror perfect, even in the late afternoon.

Perfect camouflage

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We have had some glorious weather lately, with cloudless skies, giving wonderful vistas. Yesterday we took a favourite drive through Glen Quaich and then over “the roof of Perthshire”. The bird life was fantastic. Firstly, we watched a Red Kite circling overhead and then a large number of Lapwings flying around and with the males displaying on the ground to attract the females. It is a long time since we saw so many of these beautiful birds, their wing feathers shining a verdant greeny blue in the bright sunshine.  The air was filled with their calls and that of the numerous Curlews that were also courting.

Once we got up onto the moors there were Red Grouse everywhere you looked and they were making a tremendous amount of noise. It would be amazing to record their conversations because they must have quite a vocabulary! They make so many different calls in that distinctly guttural voice. Love was definitely in the air and there was much pairing up going on, with the males carefully following the females around and ready to brusquely fend off any other potential suitors. Whilst the brilliant red eyebrow wattle of the males is very evident during the breeding season, they are otherwise superbly camouflaged amongst the moorland vegetation. The rich brown plumage of the males blends in with the browns on the ground and the female is equally well camouflaged. Both sexes have wonderful white-feathered legs. Whilst numbers of Red Grouse are decreasing in many areas of the UK, this part of Perthshire has no shortage and this is perhaps partly due to the careful and regular burning of the heather, on the moors, in the Spring and late Autumn, to stimulate the rich new growth of heather shoots that these birds love to feed on.

Taymouth Castle

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Had a tour yesterday of Taymouth Castle which is currently (as far as we can remember this work has now being ongoing for about the last 14 years, with various companies running out of money!!) being turned into a 5 star hotel and spa resort etc. Still a very, very long way to go and many millions of £s to be spent. All the restoration work on the magnificent ceilings has been completed and they are absolutely stunning.

The golf course is, apparently, opening on 1st April and they plan to serve afternoon teas in the castle. We won’t be holding our breath for the supposed opening of part of the building as a hotel by the end of the year. Not with just the handful of workmen we saw!

If parts of this building (inside) are so architecturally important in the UK – apparently the Houses of Parliament are the only other example of this – why didn’t the Sate step in to save it years and years ago? Or Mr. Salmond persuade Mr. Trump to buy it!!!! Now that would have been an interesting scenario.

Here we snow again!

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Woke up to this and more forecast. So much for all that gardening last week!