A bit of good news never goes amiss
A regular port of call on my tours of the blogs and websites is Chris Townsend’s outdoor site. Today’s visit was a particularly gratifying one as Chris was the bearer of welcome news in respect of the river Braan.
Many of you will know, some may not, that the Braan is the river which shadows the A822 between Amulree and Dunkeld, feeding the falls at Rumbling Bridge and those below Ossian’s Hall in The Hermitage (an NTS property). Latterly the river has been earmarked for a possible hydro scheme which threatened to severely impact on flows through the falls. The good news is that this proposal has been rejected by the Scottish Executive.
There’s particular resonance for me in this ruling: stretches of this river have been favourites of mine over almost two decades; mostly during holidays in Birnam, Dunkeld and the surrounding area. There will be plenty who, like me, will welcome this decision.
And welcome the implications of it too: suggesting, as it does, that we have a voice which is sometimes heard and that victories are just as possible as setbacks. There will be plenty of other battles ahead.
Picture (upper): The falls of the Braan, the Hermitage near Dunkeld. Final stop on the journey of many a salmon run.
Picture (lower): Younger, fitter, faster – Rob enjoying one of many days spent walking by the Braan.
Winter loosens its grip …
… if only by a little.
Living at a relatively low altitude (around 350 feet) it can be easy, even after years of walking the hills, to overlook just how different things can be at even quite modest elevations.
Although temperatures have yet to pick up significantly there is a changed feel around the garden and its immediate neighbourhood: Crocuses are opening, along with early Cyclamen; tiny nodules on branches are developing into recognisable buds; the blue tits finally seem to have accepted that the old nest-box isn’t coming back and have set about the business of appointing the new one to their tastes.
So it was with something of a surprise that I stepped out onto the car park – altitude 800 feet or thereabouts – to find the ground frozen brick hard and the run-off from the hills a treacherous sheet of verglas. And it was cold, very much winter cold, once out of the lee of the hill and into the teeth of the wind. Few people seemed to be out and about; all of them well wrapped and moving briskly. I was glad not to have been deceived into leaving a layer behind and it was another small lesson in the wisdom of never going out under-equipped.
Sitting here now, back at the computer, the sun has gained enough strength to warm the rooms at the south of the house and, out in the garden, shoots are clearly visible which were still to emerge even a couple of days back. Nobody’s fooled.