"Scotland Week by Week" contains a selection of flowers, animals, birds and scenery typical of the time of year. The photographs were previously part of a regular "Colour Supplement" which ran for nearly four years as part of the original Scottish Snippets newsletter. While seasons do vary, this collection gives a good idea of the flora and fauna typical of central Scotland at each time of year.
Low temperatures in February and March begin to increase in April, bringing about an explosion in flowering of many spring blossoms. The photo here was taken in the graveyard of the Church of the Holy Rude, nestled below Stirling Castle. In typical fashion, the daffodils are in bright sunshine - while the sky behind is filled with leaden clouds, threatening another April shower.
Yes - there was a strong wind blowing here! Often, with pictures of flags, it is difficult to get one with the material showing all the design. That was not a problem when this picture of the Scottish Saltire flag was taken at Bannockburn National Monument. The flag pole looking like a halberd (a pike with an axe on top) added to the scene.
There was a significant amount of cloud in the morning when this picture of a part of Sheriff Muir (and some surprised local sheep) was taken. The Battle of Sheriffmuir between the Jacobites (mainly Highlanders) and the Hanoverian troops took place in this area in November 1715. The battle was inconclusive, but afterwards the Jacobites withdrew.
To the north of Stirling lie the Ochil Hills, the remnants of ancient volcanic activity. The steep southern slopes (seen here from the top of the Wallace Monument) are due to a geological fault which caused the area to the south to subside.
It was the rustling in the leaves that gave away the whereabouts of this tiny wood/field mouse. This was the type of mouse that Robert Burns wrote about in his poem "To A Mouse:
Wee sleekit, cow'rin, tim'rous beastie,
O, what a panic's in thy breastie!
Although the mouse looks quite visible in this illustration, in the woodland gloom, it was hard to see through the camera viewfinder. Fortunately, its strategy of keeping still (useful when the sharp ears of an owl are nearby) meant that it stayed still for long enough for a few pictures - before bouncing away.
Bold Robins often sit still, posing for the camera, rather than flying away. This one was perched on the back of a wooden seat in a picnic area - a good vantage point for spotting any crumbs!
Osteospermum make an eye-catching display in any garden, even one as impressive as that at Culzean Castle. Each bloom is about 2" across, though that close-up lens helps to highlight the central "disc floret". It produces a succesion of blooms right through the summer.
Culzean Castle Country Park maintains a small herd of red deer and this is the dominant stag, with his impressive antlers. Each year the herd produces more than ten deer calves.
This is one of the 50,000 plants representing 900 varieties of heather at the Bell's Heather Garden. It is named "White Perfection". The six acre garden garden houses Europe's largest collection of heathers
This striking Primula Denticulata was catching the late afternoon sun at the National Trust for Scotland's Branklyn Garden in Perth. They are also known as the "drumstick primrose" for obvious reasons. They come in a range of colours, from white to pink, purple, lavender and red, but they all have a yellow "eye" in the centre of the tightly-packed flowers.
Pollok Country Park in Glasgow is home to a large herd of Highland Cattle, some of which have won prizes at major shows. Each year, visitors to the park are delighted to see the latest additions to the herd. Highland cattle are an ancient Scottish breed of beef cattle with long horns and shaggy pelts. They were developed in the Scottish Highlands and western coastal regions of Scotland where their thick shaggy hair makes them more suitable for cold Northern climates.
If you want to look back at other editions of these photos of Scotland week by week, there is an Index Page
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