bigger hills

last Sunday we took the electric car to Glen Tilt, a round trip of 120 miles with hills and dual carriageway – I did not drive faster than 60 mph, but the hills on the way seemed to be sucking up a lot of juice. however on the trip as a whole, the battery performed well and we only used 120 miles on the battery readout, so very satisfactory.

this is the annual sloe-picking walk, with snacky picnic and beautiful scenery. last year there was a killer hill, but this time the shooting range being open we had to walk along the river and avoided it.

walking up from Blair Atholl the river Tilt has an impressive rocky bed, and the beech trees – so many in Scotland – are lovely. although there were leaves on the ground of many colours there were very few trees that had changed to autumn golds

a small stand of birches on the hill like soft flames

a few speckles of gold here and there

not so many conifers

we crossed the river

some change to a more yellowy tint. last year we were a couple of weeks later and the beeches had definitely got their autumn glory together.

beech seems very successful in this climate

Kemback, Lumbo Den … they all have majestic graceful beech trees.

here their trunks are splotched with green and white algae

a lot of this version of the path didn’t have views of the hills

until further along, a little higher up

the heather and bracken make interesting colour combinations of browns and ochres

looming hills made to look smaller by the phone camera

on the way back we were a little higher, above this croft with its four barking dogs in kennels, and idyllic stone wall enclosed fields

and this dear little bothy on the edge, by a tumbling burn (something growing out of its chimney, so it looked disused). the sitka spruce plantation is a bit of a sad blot on the Glen.

but I was happy to see several big glossy healthy ash trees here. perhaps the Glen shelters them from wind-blown spores of the ash die-back fungus.

lots of rough pasture

another splendid isolated ash, and a rather less croft-like house (not in the photo) with its horses

and back through open woods

grassy glades of birch and oak, perhaps what would grow here naturally, but more spruce and larch plantation hanging down to the river.

nearing our hedgerow destination. the birds have not taken the rowan berries yet.

some of the blackthorn has turned quite special pale orange and amber. but not many sloes, the same as last year. but the year before there were masses.

pretty silver birches with catkins already

and silvery lichen thick on the hedge trees.

I did manage some drawing

not as much as Glen Feshie, it was cold, and there was the odd spot of rain. we walked eight miles altogether. there is a longer walk, further up the Glen, of twelve miles, it would be fun to do that one day, with more in the way of a lunch.






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