Sunday 24 October 2010

Strathspey Autumn: Colours and Snow

Dreich weather with low cloud and rain squalls over the last few days have kept the world grey and sombre and provided little incentive to venture outdoors. Yesterday however the clouds thinned for a few hours, allowing bursts of sunshine to light the autumn trees and bring colour to the woods and hills. The high Cairngorms remained hidden, the cloud only rising just enough to show snow on the lower flanks of Bynack More and Cairn Gorm. Across Strathspey the lower Cromdale Hills and distant Ben Rinnes shone white with fresh snow. I wandered through the local woods, where the birches glowed gold. A lone buzzard circled above the woods, mewing loudly. In every dip and hollow the ground was sodden, saturated by the recent rains. There was no wind and the woods were silent apart from my boots rustling the fallen leaves and squelching in the mud. In the sunshine it was warm but in shaded areas the cold had me zipping up my jacket and thrusting my hands in my pockets. When the storms cease this is a glorious time of year, a period of brightness and beauty before the winter sets in. Soon the leaves will fall and fade, shredding the land of colour ready for the monochrome of winter.

Photo Info: The photos show Ben Rinnes (top) and the Cromdale Hills rising above the Strathspey woods, October 23, 2010. Both photos: Canon EOS 450D, Canon EF-S 18-55 IS@55mm, 1/320 (top) & 1/100 @ f5.6, ISO 200, raw file converted to JPEG in Lightroom 3.


  1. Is the snow earlier this autumn on the Cairngorms ? I was in Aviemore last week for a few days and was surprised how much snow there appeared to be when I caught glimses of the higher slopes when the mist lifted.

  2. Earlier than last year I think but some years there has been this much snow in late September. It's thawing rapidly today.

  3. Hi Chris,

    Lovely colours!

    The day before yesterday my wife and I were on the hill behind our home and Ben Rinnes looked fabulous as did the Cromdales and the Cairngorms beyond. We could see snow on the Monadliath and the mountains beyond and to the mountains to the North beyond the Firth.

    Sadly, today with the temperature rising fast, Ben Rinnes in now almost bare of snow. Still, it was a beautiful sunny and very windy day.

    It always happens Chris – I put on my winter tyres and the temperature rises – only for awhile as winter will return shortly!

    Best wishes,

    Rob fae Craigellachie