outdoors

Rubbish weather

River Snizort

This is a new term I’ve learned, and it means, rainy, cold, windy, and generally unpleasant outdoor conditions…. And that was what we had today.

Cemetery island Columba

I have neglected to mention that we had several lovely days with ShedMan and CheetahWoman…lots of laughing and good times. Today, however, that came to an end….

CheetahWoman had told us about a magical cemetery island she found in the River Snizort, and we were going right by, and so stopped in. Despite the rain and many cow-pies, we discovered a sliver of the magic she had observed in the fading light of day (no rain).

Snow capped mountains

Given that it was in the high 40s (F) in the valleys, it’s not surprising that at elevated elevations, the precip was white. I think there’s new dusting atop remnant snowpack from last winter….

I really loved the narrow long chutes of water the mountains were shedding…. More a result of the rubbish weather….

Caladonian canal

In light rain (still rubbishy), we checked out the Caladonian Canal (along the Great Glen Fault), which we paralleled for part of the day….

Inverlochy Castle see through

We finished up our touristing with a quick visit to Old Inverlochy Castle, which is in pretty good shape for dating back to about 1280. This view is through both gates, all the way across the interior courtyard. It had round towers in each corner, and the wall bases and part of the walls remain outlining the exterior walls and towers. The huge rounded stones are different than in stonework we’ve seen so far.

Finishing a day of rubbish weather is uplifting….

Beach/cliff-top/old-field walk

Sand in motion CU

We parked near a sand-beach, between black rocks…basalt, we decided.

Butt of lewis crashing surf

The surf crashed and boomed on the rocks, and sprawled up the sand. We walked up on the grassy peat-covered…cliffs, I guess you could call them. We stayed away from the edge where we could not tell how supported the green-top was by rocks….

Sheep witnesses

Most of the sheep ignored us, but these were stare-ers. A moment before this, all their attention was on us….

Seagulls n flowers

We had set out to walk to the lighthouse (not shown), but bagged our walk after the second rain-storm (one lasting maybe 10 minutes, and one that pushed 20), and returned to the car. Then, we tried to drive to the lighthouse, which we were under the impression could only be accessed on foot…and presto, we could drive right up to it!

The gulls nested on this craggy rock amongst clusters of flowers that may be this kind….

Short flowers

If you look among and around the flowers, you may find an easy-to-spot snail shell, and less easy-to-spot sheep-berries…. No points for gravel-rocks (probably granite).

Not-mysteries and mysteries

Small boat from ferry

Another day, another ferry ride to an island. NOT yawn! Spotted a much smaller craft sharing our waters….

Lighthouse

Found a colorful lighthouse…at the end of the road in one direction.

Sandy beach cove

And a sandy beach in a cove at the end of the road in another direction.

Rainbow from Leurbost

What better welcome to our new housing than this colorful presentation from the sky-deities!

UnID plant

This plant is foreign to me. Found in a marshy ditch, maybe a half-dozen others within several hundred meters. Haven’t spotted it elsewhere. Distinctive. Several of the leaves are damaged, perhaps by frost? The brown pineapple-y features are from this year, not carry-overs from last year’s flowering/fruiting….

Northern highlands

Hidden lake 01 Hidden lake 02

We looped through the northern highlands, watching the clouds come and go, and the landscape change. Here, hidden lakes….

Arm of sea 01 Arm of sea 02

Arms of the sea poaching the land….

Cloud mountain River mountain

Mountains obscured by clouds, slopes peppered with rocks and cut by rivulets, sometimes with substantial rivers below.

Telephone box rural

In this land with rare cell coverage, telephone boxes remain in use (“Coins and cards”) at bus stops that the residents of side valleys use to access the outside world….

Falls of shin

We even visited a good-sized waterfall, the slopes above it colorful with spring wildflowers, grass shoots, and thriving mosses.

We found Ma Nachur’s eye candy everywhere.

S/he was there

Lake CM dock yuck

I felt so good after visiting Lake Clara Meer yesterday that I went again today. When I shot this, I hadn’t realized that The Denizen (great blue heron) was out of the frame to the left. You can see how…busy…the ducks and geese have been (overnighting?), foreground. Yuck.

Watching time happen

Craggy gardens cloud drift

We spent quite some time watching the clouds zip over this like-a-shrubby-moorland hillside, framed here by a Krumholtzed tree next to the overlook.

Black salamander

Then I noticed that JCB was standing in the parking area but near the driving lanes, very gently corralling something with his feet. What a lovely little critter! The rescue was tricky, but accomplished, or at least I hope so, and that s/he lives long and prospers (however that plays out in the salamander world).

Internet info suggests that this was a specimen of Plethodon teyahalee, and indicates that an individual will produce “slimy, glue-like secretions when it feels threatened.” Yup, this one did; took a bunch of scrubbing to get it off finger tips that came in contact with his lithe body when the leaves I was cradling her/him with slipped.

Nice recovery

PiedPk newish pond

The revamped Piedmont Park sports a lazy route for the creek, rather than the channelized, streamlined paradigm that had been employed. This is a ponding area where a huge amount of flood-runoff water dumps into the creek (below my feet as I clicked). As I stood over it today, I could hear a symphony of bullfrogs.

Note that behind that line of dark green trees in the background skyline from the middle to the right is a multi-story (like 6!, almost all “below ground”) parking garage, totally disguised from this angle, mostly by the bank and partly by those trees.

Rain change

Grounded magnolia petals

Rain today brought changes—it downed pine (and other) pollen, and it downed magnolia petals…and petals of many hues. These are a type of deciduous magnolia with far larger petals than the ones I showed the other day. This tree was so prolific that it created a veritable carpet of petal-decay, still fresh when I strolled by in the mist, but no doubt chemically shifting to the brownish hues as the night marches on.

Red caboose

GM O caboose

As we drove near the northern Mississippi border, I realized I thought of the area only in what I imagined the heat of summer is like. Seeing it under winter overcast, cool(ish), with plants still rather dormant, in essence I couldn’t quite believe I was along the MS-TN border….

PS Happy Pi Day!

Catching the light

Crepe myrtle lowlight

Made it outdoors as the light was getting low in the afternoon, and found a street where I could rev up my vitamin D…and I loved the light on the ripples in the bark of the crepe myrtle*.

* Native of Asia and other places on the other side of the globe….