Tuesday, 19 May 2009

Catching up

I'm quite behind with posts as things have been pretty busy here. It's going to get even busier with a family gathering coming up, more of which later.

Our run of blue skies came to an end with heavy showers today, but the following photos were taken when it seemed that summer was upon us. My lighthouse photo of last week featured a mass of gorse bushes and, for those that aren't familiar with it, here are a couple of closer views.

Although it is bright, colourful, long-flowering and smells delicious (rather like coconut), it is very invasive, takes over large areas and can be difficult to keep under control. Many of our favourite pathways along the coastline have disappeared under the gorse and there is no way you can push through it because it defends itself with some very nasty spikes! You can see them in the close up below.


A new cycle path has been built beside us, it's not very long at the moment as it is being done in stages but it can be joined up with a country route to make a nice circular ride. I took Jana out with the bike, planning it so that the strong wind was behind us on the more exposed section! She was off lead for half of the time and trotting next to the bike for the rest. Good exercise for her and me.

The nice new cycle path

I've always liked this tunnel of trees


Last Sunday Jenny and I, plus Jana, Brint and Keira, tackled Bennachie, a well known Aberdeenshire hill. It's very distinctive with its four peaks, the most interesting being Mither Tap, a knobbly granite point which was once part of an Iron Age fort. It can be seen on the far left of the photo below.

Bennachie (photo taken from Wikipedia)

Although not the highest of hills, it was steep enough in places to get me huffing and puffing and wondering what on earth I was doing there! The view from the top was well worth all the effort though. It is actually a broad, heather covered ridge with the peaks well spread out. Mither Tap is the one that seems to be the most popular with walkers but Oxen Craig is the actual summit and we wanted to take them both in.

Mither Tap appears out of the trees on the lower slopes

Jenny poses (reluctantly) with the dogs on Mither Tap

We stopped for lunch at the top and the dogs weren't left out. Jana and Keira wait for their biscuits

PLEASE can I have it?

Looking out over green Aberdeenshire

There was a championship show going on in Edinburgh and we were able to keep up to date with how friends were getting on via the wonders of modern technology! Jenny's daughter Ria was relaying results from the computer at home to Jenny's mobile phone.

Jenny gets the latest news

Looking across to the summit peak, Oxen Craig (L)

Coming down from Mither Tap

Interesting pancake-like rocks on the last climb

Oxen Craig, the very top, looking back at Mither Tap

The view north


Sylvia K said...

What an incredible day that must have been! Your photos are really suberb! Lovely skies and gorgeous countryside! Thanks for sharing the day!

A Woman Of No Importance said...

Lord those tiers of rock are really peculiar and wonderful...

The gorse has been going mad here this year - You are so right about the coconut - That's it! My husband sneezes all the way home from work in the city!

Beautifully evocative pics madame! Merci mille x

Checkers said...

what a beautiful place you live in. that looks like you had a wonderful day hiking, biking and picnicking

Owner of Storm and Jackal said...

That hike looked like a lot of fun! And what great pictures. I love the one of Jana with the gorse. Very nice!

Linda said...

Love Bennachie! But I've never climbed it, so thanks for the views. I remember singing 'Gin I wis far the Gadie rins' in P7 and we all thought it was so cool that there should be a song about Bennachie.

Colin Campbell said...

Good work. I am lazy in my old age and walking to my car is about all I do other than Supermarket isles. Lame I know.

Pyatshaw said...

"Please can I have it?"--the look on the dog's face is priceless.

Gayle said...

Unbelievable view! I would have huffed and puffed to death! (And would have been more than reluctant to have my photo taken!). The dogs are so well-trained (I did not do good in this department with my own dogs). Beautiful photos! Thanks for sharing your day.

jabblog said...

What a lovely day you had. I'm sure everyone slept very soundly that night.

DCampy34 said...

Those pictures are absolutely stunning - wow - where are you located?

Love the pic with the biscuits - if we could talk that would have been PLEASE

Woodrow, Sweetie & MJ

Faery said...

The Pictures are beautiful the countryside gorgorgeous, I'd like tolive in that country*sigh".
Love the dogs,mine are four dogs that I found each abandomed in the street they were all in bad conditions, took them home and now they are owners of my house :s

Jo said...

What a wonderful day of hiking and enjoying nature with your beautiful dogs. Thanks for the view.

Jenny said...

Good walk! Lovely pics. One more practise walk, then its definately Ben Rinnes! Then I'm going to take your picture after the climb to the top!! Hee Hee! Jana and you will have one more thing in common the colour RED!
No seriously, really enjoyed it, the sheps are looking forward to the next one!

Tootie said...

You have amazing scenery there. I've enjoyed looking at all of your photos. I'll be back when I have more time, to look further.

sylvia murphy said...

This looks like a great hike. The more I see of the wilds of scotland the more it makes we want to come and ramble.

D said...

Wow, what amazing views you captured! Thanks for sharing them. Your blog is beautiful. The pets, of course, are stealing the show! Thanks for your visit and comment at my blog. :)

kRiZ cPEc said...


Honey the Great Dane said...

Oh my goodness, what INCREDIBLE photos!! I always thought Scotland is the most beautiful place on earth (except possibly NZ!) - I fell in love with it the few times we visited when we were still living in the UK - and everytime I see your pictures (or the Dugallmore Beagles), I'm proved right again!! (of course, part of it is your skill as a photographer too! :-) )

Absolutely incredible - you are so lucky to have such beautiful places to walk the dogs in. The colours in the first picture - espeically with Jana too - are just wonderful. And love the ones of the bike ride too!

Maybe one day when we come back to your side of the world to visit, we can get out to Scotland again and do this climb too!


Notails said...

brings back memory's!!!!

Maria Berg said...

I think I read that you were from Scotland but the photo look like New Zealand.

Well now i see that it is not winter sorry...seemed that summer was upon us., you also wrote.


Kimberly said...

beautiful German Shephards... Jana looks lovely as ever.. What a pretty place to run and play!!!

Samantha ~ Holly and Zac ~ said...

Those photo's are lovely, that looks a beautiful place for a hike and a climb.

Thanks for sharing them.

Amber and Nala said...

Great bike path....I have yet to venture out on bike with nala....she would likely run in front of me causing us both to crash but I want to give it a try. :) Awesome hike too....we would love that! :) Gald you had a great time. :)

Nala & Amber

Claire said...

that looks like a lovely climb!

also, i never can get over how shiny jena is. what do you feed that dog??

Baruch said...

Wish I could go on that walk - it looks like such a beautiful and interesting place. The pancake rocks are amazing. We have pancake rocks here on the West Coast of NZ's South Island. The beautiful photo of the yellow flowers are Gorse and we have that too and yip, it's are very, very invasive. It's a very hardy plant that can survive hot and cold weather conditions and seeds may last 100 yrs in the soil, waiting for conditions to become suitable for germination!!

Kirigalpoththa said...

Wow what aplace! Great place for a hike.

Thanks for posting and I'll be a frequent visitor to your blog :)

Keep it up!!