Scottish Tid Bit: Exploring my local Scotland

Exploring my local Scotland

I have a chronic pain condition that can make getting out for exercise tough going. There are weeks I can manage munros and other days I can barely manage the local lane. With Covid restrictions in place I have formed a habit of not venturing much further than my garden! This doesn’t help my creativity (or my health!) so it was time to form a new habit.

Introducing Friday Exploration Day

I’ve always had a love for staying and exploring closer to home. It most likely stems from growing up on a farm and having the freedom to walk miles without restriction. With ‘staycation’ now being the buzz word it has never been a better time to explore my local area.

To make sure I plan it into my week I have made Fridays my ‘exploration day’. A day for exploring somewhere new. I have bought OS maps for my local area: the North East Scottish coast, the Angus Glens and the outer reaches of the Cairngorm National Park. As this becomes a habit: I open the large paper maps with anticipation on a Thursday evening.  I am guided by my energy levels and the weather – not to avoid the rain but to make the most of how the weather will impact the views.

This journey is important in growing my connection to the landscape of Scotland. Treading a map with my feet that connects with the paths on the OS maps.

Glen Clova: Loch Brandy

There’s something magical about a body of water created up high! Glen Clova is a glacial valley with Loch Brandy a mountain corrie. I walked this route in mid May although the ground was dry there were still many spots of snow left over. At this time of year the landscape can look dormant: it can perhaps appear stark and uninteresting. I promise this is far from the reality. On closer inspection there is a spectrum of colour and texture. The heather is abundant; coloured burnt umber, russet and brown with the promise of green to come. The rocks and stones are covered in lichen from grey to green to orange!

Once I reached the Loch I was mesmerised by the stillness of the water. The intense charcoal grey and the sky reflecting silver. This with the rocky backdrop and the dried heather has to be one of my favourite colour combinations.

What do you think of the colours of this landscape?

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