After a cool, wet summer with much low cloud and grey skis and little in the way of sunshine the last few days have been a surprise. Summer may be over and autumn may have begun but this is the warmest, sunniest period of weather since April. Most of the day the sky was a clear blue and the hills shone in the clear air. Come late afternoon though and the low sun sent long black shadows across the bright land and the autumn colours became richer and deeper. Over the high hills to the west clouds gathered, rippling above the summits. Tomorrow white cloud and light rain is forecast but on Friday the sunshine is meant to return before heavy rain arrives on Saturday. For now this warm air is welcome. Well after dark the temperature is still 17ºC, more than the high on many days this summer, yet the sky is clear and the starts sparkle, which usually means a frost in late September.
The photo shows the view across Strathspey to the Northern Cairngorms. It was taken at 5.33 p.m. today.