This is a tortoiseshell butterfly I saw the other day. Despite its loveliness, the shadow it casts makes me think of a menacing alien. If it were several times larger and looming over me in unfamiliar circumstances I think my heart rate would increase quite rapidly.
This picture was taken on the pebbly eastern bank of Loch Tay, at Kenmore in Perthshire. There were quite a few ducks splashing about in the water, and a more sedentary lot lined up on the shore, dozing peacefully in the sunshine.
A swathe of magnificent purple lupins at Dirnanean Garden in Perthshire.
Floors Castle, near Kelso in the Scottish Borders, is a magnificent old stately home sitting in splendid grounds. It has an excellent tearoom, garden centre and adventure playground, and the gardens round the back of the house are a delight to wander round. The archway shown below is one of the many attractive features of Floors: a profusion of greenery cascading over a stone wall leading into a paved courtyard.
This picture shows the effects of rotational heather burning on a moorland in the county of Angus. The purplish patches on the hillside are areas of heather that have been burned in different years. Burning heather gets rid of older plants and encourages new growth, and burning small areas in successive years creates a patchwork of plants of different heights. Moorlands like this one support a variety of wildlife, including several species of ground-nesting birds that prefer to nest in recently burned areas.
Two wild goats in the Queen Elizabeth forest park in Galloway, Scotland. Supposed to be kept on a strict grass-based diet, this ancient breed of long-haired beasts will happily relieve you of your sandwiches given half a chance.
A peaceful scene of contented cows grazing beneath a verdant hillside in Glen Lochay on a beautiful summer’s day. As I look out at the cold grey January weather today, I’m dreaming of countryside rambles under blue skies in warm sunshine.