Tuesday 26 March 2013

After the Storm, A Quiet Day: Cairngorms In Winter

Terry filming beside Loch Morlich

Following the excitement and effort of the stormy days when we failed to cross the Lairig Ghru (see last post) I had a much more relaxed day’s filming with Terry Abraham beside Loch Morlich. The clouds were still racing past high above and the highest tops were mostly hidden but down in the forest there was no more than a chill breeze. High up conditions were still severe though with signs announcing that the Cairngorm ski resort was closed again while snow ploughs tried to clear the access road.

Loch Morlich shimmering in the sun

Down at the loch sunshine came and went, though any heat was whipped away by the wind and the temperature remained below freezing. Oystercatchers flew low over the water piping loudly then ran along the golden sandy beach that curves round the head of the loch. There were pied wagtails too and mallard ducks out on the water. Across the loch the snow-covered hills of Meall a’Bhuachaille and Creagan Mor shone in the bright light.

Creagan Mor and Meall a'Bhuachaille

The wind was too noisy to record my voice out in the open so we retreated into the shelter of the pines with a view over the Allt Mor, the main feeder for the loch and here a slow, placid and dark stream very different from the raging mountain torrent it is for most of its length. Dippers bobbed on the branches of fallen trees out in the water. Under the trees the air was very cold and I was glad to finish the recording and finish and head off for a warming mug of hot chocolate in the nearby Glenmore Café from whose windows we watched chaffinches and coal tits and, just once, a crested tit feeding on the many peanut-covered tables. There were no red squirrels on show though, unlike the last time we had been here.

A welcome refuge

Warmed and refreshed we ended our quiet day at the far end of the loch filming the Cairngorms rising above the woods and water. 

Terry filming at the end of the day

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