Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Glen Roy.Roybridge.

Another trip up north from a few weeks back (mid January I think)  this time exploring the Glen Roy area north of Fort William,a region which has some nice remote bothies in a very wild empty landscape.

Walked in Friday night in the dark with fuel for the fire split between three of us.No Alex this time,he was busy elsewhere that particular weekend.The temperature was well below freezing but clear and crisp.Still needed the GPS to find the bothy though as its  hidden on a dark hillside even one covered in snow.

Good night was spent in the bothy which has a wood burning stove.Normally I`m not a fan of these contraptions as nothing beats an open coal fire to gather round but this one was unusual in that you could open the door from time to time for a look see without it dying on you.

It takes away some of the magic without an open fire if the focal point is a warm but shut tight lump of metal.
Even with candles bothies can be dark places without the cosy glow of a fireplace.
Mind you its a lot better than no fire at all when the temperature is minus -12 outside.

Morning was clear and sparkling.Jules and Scott ,my bothy companions,headed back to the car via the hills above the bothy while I was happy tidying up then walking out along the glen with good views of the parallel roads.

These tide mark lines were formed during the last ice age when a glacier blocked the natural flow of water creating a large deep dam.Eventually it melted leaving tidemarks like in a bathtub.
Seen a large flock of snow buntings on the walk out,dancing between the hollows and ridges with their tinkling musical song.No pictures, far too restless and flighty over open ground.If you haven't seen them think sparrows with white breast and wing patterns.Mind you its a long time since I seen a large flock of sparrows.Them and starlings used to be a common sight in their thousands in my childhood but due to a number of factors you are lucky to see them in any numbers now.
I can remember going into Glasgow city centre at Christmas time and hearing huge numbers of birds above warming themselves on the strings of Christmas lights.Most cities then had close on a million birds each every winter.Its a bit sad to see them so few in number nowadays

When I got back to Glasgow found this wee bird in the local park.For some spring will not arrive.
On the bright side `,m a taddy daddy again as another amphibian `maybe even the same one) has dumped its load of spawn in my pond for the second year running.Yippee! A summer spent among the little froggy folk again!
On the way back in recent trips I,ve been taking an interest in all the roadside sculptures springing up.Most of these are by Glasgow based artist Andy Scott who has been active for years with works as far afield as Australia as I found out with one of his works."The loaded dog" planted outside the  Whyalla vet surgery in South Australia.I`ve always admired his projects starting with the heavy horse on the M8.

Captured this recent example at Cumbernauld. She`s called" Arria" after the original Gaelic meaning of Cumbernauld as the coming together of waters.As anyone whose paid a visit to this new town on a wet windswept day can testify ,the name is apt as it sits high on its ridge.
He`s an exciting artist with a lot of different  public projects coming out over the next few years.

This is not one of his but a good likeness of our former MP and First Minister Donald Dewar.Unusually for a politician he was well liked by most folk,maybe this is why the kids find him irresistible for late night high jinks even when he stands on a lofty plinth.It could only be Glasgow!


Here`s one of Scotts pics from their day on the hills above the bothy....


auntiegwen said...

That's a very upmarket bothy you were in, almost The White Company of bothies!!!

Loving th Donald Dewar statue, he was a lovely man, my parents MP for years, like you say well loved by all.

-maria- said...

Beautiful pictures. The bothy looks cosy!

blueskyscotland said...

Cheers Auntiegwen.
My god that was fast. This post is only just up!
He was my Local MP for many years as well and always had time for folk in the community not just when the elections were running.
Shame they keep pinching his metal specs from his statue:0)
I suppose the rest of Glasgow,s statue,s feel left out apart from the Duke of Wellington who, for reasons unknown, is also never without his traffic cone.

Anonymous said...

I remember the Glasgow starlings well and all the fuss that was made about getting rid of them. Glasgow's not the same without the incredible racket they made...and the crashing sound of the trams as the sparks flew from the overhead lines...and the stink of the old Buchanan St Bus station...and the bus station's toilets! Urgghhh!

Oops...trams...that's a bit of a giveaway time-wise. Well at least they ran...unlike Edinburgh's current crop!

blueskyscotland said...

Hello Maria.
Thank you.
I,ve only got one typing finger! I cant keep up!
I,ll give you both a Present instead.Finished my book.Wicked by Gregory Mc guire.An instant classic with one of the best,although(through no fault of her own)deeply flawed female characters in modern fiction.
I was close to tears in several parts surrounded by pissed lumberjack types in a remote mountain hut at the weekend but I kept my composure.(I,m a mask, me!)
One of the most original,moving fables I,ve read in many,many years.Look it up.Doubt you,ll be disappointed once you get over the archaic style of writing used in the original OZ books.

I,m showing my softer side after
flushing an entire family of spiders down the toilet.(If you put them outdoors they just come in again.)

blueskyscotland said...

What is this Ken!Beat the next comment.com.
I,ve got a social life surfing the rest of the internet I,ll have you know.Yep I remember the last tram cars and noisy starlings.I,m off now to you tube to check out Pj harvey,s latest noise "the words that maketh murder" video.
The gone away fishing sign is now over blueskyland.....

Anonymous said...

All the world's starlings are hanging around the wreckage of Brighton's West Pier; all the sparrows of the world are roaming around the foothills of the Carpathians in sizeable yet good-natured herds...

How does one get new post alerts from Blueskyworld?

The Glebe Blog said...

Hi Bob,ref your dead bird.
I recently read that the harsh winter we and other parts of the world have experienced has resulted in the deaths of more birds and fish than in a normal winter.
With the natural disaster in Japan and the fighting in the middle east our mortality rate must be on a steady if not downward keel.

blueskyscotland said...

Hi pete.I,ll inform Alex about that.He,s the computer guru.I,m just the mad technophopic recluse in the corner.
I suspect one of the reasons the UK,s sparrows and starlings are in decline is a lack of suitable nesting holes as modern buildings these days are mainly bird proof.

Why so cheery Jim?
Embrace the impending apocalypse with both arms and a welcoming smile. Look on the bright side.If the human race gets wiped out its then a great day for the world,s wildlife.Think of all the nesting holes then :0)

Robert Craig said...

All the starlings must have come to the east coast. We have mobs of them in our garden. They like to peck away at the lawn until it looks like it has been run over with an aerator.

blueskyscotland said...

Hi Robert.That,ll be looking for worms and grubs.Shows how bright they are.They know the best food and weather is out east.Gulls also patter their feet together on the grass to fool the worms its raining hard so they come up to the surface.I,ve tried it with large soft brushes. With the right amount and speed of pattering It actually works!How do they know to do that?