Tuesday 31 October 2017

A Wander Up Craigellachie

After spending the best part of the last two weeks with a very bad cold that made going up and down the stairs exhausting I finally made it into the hills with a gentle amble up Craigellachie. The birch woods here are always lovely, but especially so in autumn. With a light breeze just causing the leaves to move in the hazy, damp air the trees looked insubstantial and magical, a wash of colour.

At the back of Aviemore, just before the underpass that takes you under the noisy roaring traffic on the A9, a heron posed for me by a pond. Then it was into the Nature Reserve and the start of the woodland walk on a wet path.

The woods shimmered. I listened and looked for the peregrine falcons often found here but heard and saw nothing. The grey sky high above was quiet.

The path started to narrow and steepen as it began the climb out of the woods. The ground was wet and slippery with fallen leaves and greasy rocks. Above, the clouds started to break apart and become ragged, torn by the wind. Patches of blue appeared. Maybe the summit would be clear. Maybe.

Now I was on the edge of the woods, looking over the trees as they rippled into the distance in waves of colour.

Above the trees the wind caught me, strong and specked with rain. It wasn't cold though - a light jacket and shirt was enough to keep me warm. The clouds raced me to the top and of course won. There were no views. Rain started to  fall. I didn't mind. The glorious woods were uplifting. Content, I descended in the dusk.

The blurring on my jacket is wind movement caught by a slow shutter speed. It was dark in the mist, the light already fading on this last October day.

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