Thursday, 18 June 2009

Motorbiking, a moat and mixed weather

It's almost midsummer and, as usual, the British weather just doesn't know what it wants to do! We had some warm, sunny days earlier in the week, a real dreich day in the middle, improving to sunny intervals in between heavy showers being blown in by a strong wind today.

It may have been unsettled weather but it's already been a much better summer than last year. After a couple of lovely weeks in May, we waited in vain for the sunshine to return. 2008 - the summer that never happened.

One thing's for sure, we've been getting some interesting skies just lately. To see more of them, from all over the world, visit Skywatch Friday.

We watched this shower pass us by.

We were lucky, there was more blue than grey.


Tuesday's weather was just perfect for a run out on the motorbike. We headed out over the very bleak Dava Moor and passed Lochindorb on the way. There is a ruined 13th century castle on an island in the middle of the loch. It once belonged to the infamous Wolf of Badenoch.

Stopping lochside to admire the view. We encountered about five cars on the narrow road - it must have been rush hour!

Looking back to the castle

The ruins

My view of the Dava from the back of the bike.

We ended up following a few country roads that we'd never been on before. This one was lined by some lovely rhododendron bushes.

Not only did we have an enjoyable ride but we called in for tea at the Mill Inn, Brodie. I stopped short of taking photos of the meal but I can tell you that it was delicious. I'd recommend the Inn if you're ever passing that way.


Wednesday was mostly rainy but it cleared for the evening and that allowed for a pretty sunset. Jana and I went down to the windy beach to watch. We had the place to ourselves, must have been too chilly for the usual sky watchers.

An interesting cloud formation over the harbour. It was picking up some colour from the setting sun further west.

Jana's ears are blowing in the wind.

Nice sky, choppy sea.


One of our walks today was to Duffus castle.

Desmond at his happiest - chasing and barking!

The castle is surrounded by a moat, parts of which are covered in a green weed and this proved to be the downfall of one small dog........ as you will see.

There were lots of tadpoles to be seen in the clearer stretches. These were all swimming in the same direction, as if they were doing laps of the moat! We decided it had something to do with the wind creating a current. No legs on this lot yet. (Click to enlarge)

These were on the other side and are slightly more developed. You can see their back legs.

Just a bit further on and we saw lots of these little guys in the grass at the water's edge. They made a beeline for the water just as our feet approached. Funny how there seemed to be different stages of metamorphosis as we moved around the moat.

Rosa was the small dog who made the mistake of thinking that the green weed was solid ground! It was her first ever swimming experience and, although she did a perfect doggy paddle, I don't think she'll make a habit of it. In a bit of a panic, she headed out towards the middle of the moat and had to be encouraged to turn back to the bank. Taking photos was not priority but I did get a shot of her drookit self afterwards.

You may be wondering what Jana is doing.
This is the rear view of a shaking vizsla. After a high speed run down the hill, her brakes failed and she also took an unplanned dip into the moat.

I can't imagine what the tadpoles made of it all.


Secret Mom Thoughts said...

Beautiful sky shots. I especially love the first two shots. The clouds in those are great.

Louise said...

What beautiful and varied skies. Some remind me of the western U.S. Some are clearly the UK. Really cool how different they are.

GoldenSamantha said...

Oh what beautiful pix!!! Wish we were there - or at least - closer! How gorgeous! Can't imagine rhodie lined lanes -
Hugs xo

Julia said...

Wow! That is gorgeous! We should house-swap sometime :)

Jennifer Wilbur said...

I'm with Julie. When are we house swapping? Those skies are just fantastic. Call me a dog lover (surprise), but the shots of Jana and the Paps bring a huge smile to my face.

chrome3d said...

There was a whole journey. The raincloud was of course spectacular but I liked the dog on the evening beach the most.

Pyatshaw said...

Wonderful skies and great animal pics., as usual, but does your mummy know you are sitting playing on the computer at this hour???

Linda said...

The lovely Laich of Moray! Feeling so homesick just now! Those sunsets are gorgeous - when my mother came to live inland from Buckie the thing she missed most were the Moray Firth sunsets. But I'll be up your way in a week or so. I can't wait.

My dad maintains that the Wolf of Badenoch was an ancestor of his. Not sure I'd be too proud of that. Still, nice to see the family castle in your shots.

jabblog said...

What a wonderful journey through your very beautiful part of the world. I enjoyed the history lesson and really smiled at Rosa and Jana and their soggy miscalculations.

SquirrelQueen said...

So very beautiful, I love all the photos and would love to see it all in person some day.
Have a wonderful weekend,

kazu said...

Beautiful sky.
Great shots!

Thanks for visiting my blog.

Mike said...

Fabulous post!

Dot O said...

YOur sky photos are amazing!!! I love the one with the pink cloud formation especially but they are all so unusual and beautiful in their own right.

Of course, I love the dog photos too - what would we do without our beloved furbabies???

Hope the weather is nice for your weekend! Happy SWF!

syel said...

you must have had a wonderful week! glad you were able to take lovely sky photos!

VioletSky said...

Looks like an adventurous trip - for all! Love that dramatic first shot, the clouds almost touching the earth.

WV = memory

Regina said...

I like it all.Thanks for sharing your skies, and the story.

Samantha ~ Holly and Zac ~ said...

That looks like a lovely place to go for a motorbike ride.

Very nice shots.

Have a great weekend. :-)

Glennis said...

Wonderful, I liked seeing the dogs ears blowing in the wind, and the lovely scenery.
Silly little pooch falling in! He won't make that mistake again.
The clouds were also really nice, specially the pink tinged one.

Dave Coulter said...

What a great series. Happy trails and happy SWF!

Oz Girl said...

Wow, a lovely post, where to begin? I love your first photo, obviously you have very flat land like we have here in Kansas, so you can see the weather formations for a long stretch. The clouds and the rainstorm in that first shot are just gorgeous.

I love your Vizsla, Jana, and the paps are oh so funny! I want a papillon in my next dog life. :)

And the ruins of a 13th century castle... it is always amazing to me to see buildings that existed so very long ago.

Thx for coming by my blog and commenting, I really enjoyed this post on your blog. :)

Have a wonderful weekend!

bowledover said...

Mixed weather indeed but such a wonderful trip you had out.
Your storm cloud touched by the setting sun is wonderful,though they are all great.
Your extended family is fun company and no doubt fill the days with incidents.So nice to see them.
Thanks for your visit and comment.

Olga said...

Amazing scenery - thanks for sharing your part of the world! Dogs adventures are hilarious :)

Thanks for visiting my blog!

Esther Garvi said...

Wonderful skies! The one with Jana and the flying ears is my favourite!

Carver said...

These are all wonderful shots. I think the second one is my favorite. Something about that gorgeous sky and the field just beckons me.

Pearl Maple said...

Beautiful collection of photos, such a big expanse of sky on show across the horizon. Thanks for taking us all on tour with you.

BCxFour said...

How did I miss this post??? First thank you so much for putting in the links to the various sites you visit. I devour scottish history and adore to see the pictures you take along with the wonderful historical information.

I love love love the shots of the sky and the harbor, espeically the one of Jana on the beach. Stunning!

The tadpoles and frogs! Amazing! Brought back some wonderful memories of playing with tadpoles and frogs when I was a child. Thank you!

Amber and Nala said...

How cool that you saw some tadpoles and little froggies! :) They are so neat huh! And beautiful, big clouds. Hope you get some sunny days soon though. :)

Nala & Amber

Babooshka said...

Just can't get over those clouds. The pink tinge and the low rolling very odd but beautiful

Jo said...

Oh what beautiful sky shots. And I LOVE your motorbike. I remember the two/three odd clear summer days when visiting the UK in June 2005. I mentioned to my sister with whom I was touring your beautiful country, that there seemed to be so many motorbikes. She said as soon as the weather is good, EVERYONE makes the most of it, even if you have to take leave from your job. I mentioned on my reply to your comment on my m/c post, that we've just returned from a quick trip to the mountains before my dh flies back to the Sudan. Our weather, although freezing by South African standards, was clear and sunny.Wonderful way to tour - biking. I'm sure you agree! (((Hugs)))PS I love your dogs and their escapades in the moat.

sunnyme said...

Oh, Edinburgh is so nice. I loved it there!
Hope you had a well and pleasant holiday! I would totally house swap with you!