About this site

The environment, Nature and beauty from a Scottish perspective.

Knowledge is power......but beyond that I don't have a particular agenda to push here. I don't necessarily have answers to the questions our environment is demanding of us.....but I do have the desire to get more people talking about environmental issues even if we don't all see eye to eye.

Problems are unlikely to be addressed let alone resolved unless folk know what is going on around them. And to that end, information & debate are ultimately better than ignorance or sticking our heads in the sand.

PLUS....it's a beautiful, awe-inspiring and sometimes terrifying planet. Put some time aside to marvel at it.

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    My 2nd article for Walkhighlands: A skye full of eagles

    golden eagle

    Last month I wrote about clouds.  This month I thought I’d write a piece about the eagle parade I was treated to on the Isle of Skye in March, when I saw 13 eagles across a mere five days.

    I’ve also written about the persecution eagles have suffered, plus a wee bit to help folk tell the difference between the different eagles and buzzards.

    Tags walkhighlands Scotland eagles golden eagle white tailed eagle wildlife animals environment Skye Isle of Skye

    They’re back!


    When I stepped out the door this morning to go to work, I heard that wonderful bubbling clicking noise for the first time this year. 

    I excitedly looked around.  Off in the distance, sat on an aerial was……the FIRST SWALLOW!! :)

    It’s always a wonderful moment when they return from Africa, and their bubbling squeaks & clicks form the backdrop for the lazy summer days we’re no doubt about to get.  We *are* about to get them aren’t we?

    Reblogged from Wildfife.com 

    We had a beautiful frost this morning around 6:30am before the sun melted it.  It may be racing further into Spring but winter is still lurking when the wind drops and the skies clear. 

    Tags weather frost Spring photography Fife

    The Cuillin Ridge: It still scares the bejeezus out of me!


    I remember so vividly the first time I went walking in Scotland after moving up here.  I chose the Brack, near the Rest and be Thankful. I’d chosen it because it was close to a road, was of comparable height and a walk of comparable distance to the kinds of things I was already familiar with in Wales:


    I wanted a nice introduction that didn’t feel too far flung because, though desperate to do so, the prospect of heading straight up a 4000ft peak by myself was a little daunting.

    Not scary per se.  But it did feel like a step up.  Hillwalking in Scotland, in general, felt like a step up from Wales. 


    Tags Scotland Skye Isle of Skye Black Cuillin hiking hillwalking Cuillin Ridge hills mountains

    Have you ever had an argument with a wildlife ID book?


    Living as I do in Scotland with its clean air and many many varieties of rocks, I see lichens everywhere I go.

    I’ve never really spent much time studying them other than appreciating their aesthetic beauty, whether that be the way they completely encase full-grown trees, the way they produce colourful blotches on rocks or the way they manage to produce amazing circular patterns on surfaces.

    But recently I’ve found them more and more interesting, not least because they’re one of the few things around during winter when everything else is dormant, and I’ve been getting curious as to their names and nature.

    So, to try and improve my knowledge I took the bold step of actually buying a lichen guide.  One of those wildlife ID books that has keys you can work through to try and identify the thing in front of you.

    That sounds simpler than it is.  Usually these books have several stages, several ways of narrowing your species down, and each stage is more challenging than the last as the language gets increasingly complex and the terminology progressively more bonkers.

    To illustrate, here’s a transcript of a conversation I had with Mr Lichen Guide during a vain attempt to identify a common lichen in the Lomond Hills, one that seems widespread on gorse and heather stems.


    Tags lichen nature environment id guide wildlife science ecology

    Blethering Ben - 37 - Third time unlucky

    After a terrible winter where I’d only managed two snowy walks, neither of which got the sun or the views that were forecast, I headed to the Cairngorms on the very last day to try and get that elusive sunny snowy walk.

    Things didn’t go as planned…..but thankfully the wildlife more than made up for it.

    Tags Scotland Cairngorms Mar Lodge NTS white tailed eagle black grouse hillwalking hiking Highlands Aberdeenshire winter snow Beinn a' Bhuird