Scotland 2016 Pictures Days 3 and 4

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Photos Thursday 4th August 2016 - Day 3


I woke up at 6AM. It was grey and damp outside. It looked set for the day so a slow start ensued. I couldn't complain as the first two days of the trip had been excellent. Although my arms had been 'eaten alive' with about 20 bites counted. It was only the arms so I guess this was from yesterday. I got busy processing photos over breakfast while Jack and Stella had a lie in. We were all up and doing things by 9AM though as the rain got heavier. At 10AM I showed Jack the GoPro. He found it interesting but wasn't keen on the barrel distortion of the lens, especially in wide mode. I didn't go out at all today as it was damp and cold and not very pleasant for being out. I had planned for atleast one day like this and my plan kicked in, catching up with a large backlog of photos to process. With breaks for lunch and dinner and and general chitchat I did make good progress. I Was hoping for better weather tomorrow, which is Stella's birthday so a lunchtime outing was guaranteed. I eventually retired for the night soon after 10:30PM.

Even in the pouring rain Scotland is a pretty place. This picture summed up day 3 nicely.

Photos Friday 5th August 2016 - Day 4

Morning Walk

I woke up at 6:45AM. It was still raining! We were all up soon after 7AM. Today was Stella's birthday so I gave her my card which she liked. I identified more of the trap moths thanks to online help overnight (I had posted them to the Moths UK Facebook group). By 9AM the rain had cleared and the sun was coming out again. It was a welcome return after such a dull 24 hours. I set up the GoPro for a timelapse facing Southeast out of the lounge window. Jack set up a timelapse camera in the garden pointing Northwest.

At 10AM I went on a local walk to try to get to the nearby river, Muckle Burn. I tried the field to the Southwest of Jack's place. It was an easy walk over the grass (not too muddy) to the river. But I couldn't get near to the river as it was fenced off. I then decided to have a wet scramble up a steep slope back to the gate (I had gone round going down). This was a mistake as I soaked my shoes and the bottoms of my jeans. However I carried on and backtracked past Jack's place and walked on Northeastward and round to where the road goes over a bridge over the river. Again there was no easy way down to the river so I returned to Jack's place, getting back at 10:30AM. It wasn't a very interesting walk in the end but despite that and the wet shoes and jeans it was a nice walk to stretch my legs after a lazy day inside yesterday.




The sun coming out as early cloud and rain clears. The field to the Southwest of Jack's place. Speckled Wood at the side of the field. Muckle Burn at the bottom of the field, seen through a barbed wire fence.





The bridge to the Northeast of Jack's place. Looking across a potato field by the river. Looking upstream and downstream along Muckle Burn from the bridge. 180 degree panorama from just beyond the bridge.

Cawdor Tavern

Back inside I processed more diary captions until we left for the pub at 11:40AM. Jack drove us in the Skoda to the Cawdor Tavern for our planned birthday lunch, arriving at 12:10PM. It was a nice pretty place with old style decor and lots of ornaments on the walls. While waiting for the food Jack was experimenting with the cameras including my iPhone camera. We had some complimentary home made wholemeal bread first. Then Stella had a starter of carrot and coriander soup. For mains Jack and I both had haddock and chips while Stella had the fish special which was plaice on the bone. Then Jack and Stella had coffees for afters while I couldn't resist a chocolate brownie which was delicious. I then paid up (I had agreed to and was happy to pay for this meal as a thank you for them letting me stay with them and for Stella's birthday) and we left at 2:15PM.






Nice sky aloft as we depart for Cawdor. Driving through pleasant woods and past a cow field. The Cawdor Tavern.






Jack and Stella posing at a table outside before we enter. Looking around inside the Cawdor Tavern. Taking a picture of the birthday girl.






Demonstrating the art of the iPhone selfie. Jack trying out my camera, taking a picture of Stella with her soup. Jack posing for the iPhone and trying to make window glare look like a halo. The main course arrives. Jack posing with a chip of course! Dessert was amazing!

Drive onto Moors

Instead of driving straight back we went for a quick foray up into the hills. We headed Southeast out of Cawdor then South-Southwest into the hills. Up here it was very wild and rugged, and beautiful in the nice weather. I tried to take pictures but in the back seat of the Skoda it was rather difficult. Eventually we dropped down a zig zag stretch of the road into a place called Drynachan Lodge.





A nice house as we head out of Cawdor. Heading out past a farmer's field where hay bales are being made. Driving up onto the wild open moors South of Cawdor.




Driving across the wild open moors South of Cawdor.




More open moorland. Entering woodland above Drynachan Lodge. A nice view of the River Findhorn as we drop down the zigzags to Drynachan Lodge.

From Drynachan Lodge we went East alongside the River Findhorn to a nice meadow close to Banchor where we stopped to take a look around.


Even before we got out of the car we could see Scotch Argus flying about. It turned out to be a great Scotch Argus spot. We spent the next half hour butterflying. There were maybe 40+ Scotch Argus and which ever way we looked 5 or 6 could be seen on the move. It was perhaps a bit too sunny! It made photography rather difficult. But patience in the long grass helped. Also a Small Heath and a few Ringlets and some moths were seen.



360 degree panorama of the butterfly meadow by the River Findhorn. Small Heath. River Findhorn panorama.





Two shots of a Scotch Argus. Another Scotch Argus. Udea lutealis moth. Scotch Argus on heather.

360 degree panorama from a more upstream location in the long grass.




TODO: Identify Bird. Silver Ground Carpet moth. One more Scotch Argus shot. The road ahead to Banchor, Dulsie and beyond.

Drive Back and Evening

Once we had finished we moved on at 3:25PM, carrying on Eastwards to Dulsie and North to Ardclach before taking the A939 northwards to get back to Jack's place at 4PM.

That was a lovely and unexpected bonus trip. Stella didn't mind us butterflying while she rested in the car. Meanwhile back at Jack's I processed photos, swapped stories, looked at Jack's timelapse while mine continued to roll. At 6:15PM I cooked some food and then stopped the timelapse when the weather went very grey in the evening.

Golden hour cloudscape before it went very grey.

I continued with photos and diary into the evening until I retired at midnight.

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