Summertime trips

Summer, this year, has stalled several times. Most days are a mix of everything, hail, rain, sunshine and cloudy can be expected anywhere at anytime!

With a friend (@catwith8lives) visiting last weekend we were lucky to at least get a day with some sunshine and managed to visit a few of the local attractions along the John Muir Way and later drove north into the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park.

I live close enough to the Falkirk Wheel to be able to walk there along the canal tow path, a walk that can be extended along the John Muir Way via Rough Castle and back into Bonnybridge at the Forth & Clyde Canal. The Falkirk Wheel is a rotating boat lift that connects the Forth and Clyde Canal with the Union Canal. It opened in 2002, reconnecting the two canals for the first time since the 1930s as part of the Millennium Link project.

Driving into the Trossachs is always a bit arduous, the amount of traffic that is in that area on such tight roads is amazing. Making it to Loch Katrine was worth it though, there is a great walk around Loch Katrine that has splendid views of the surrounding hills and if you are lucky you will also see the Sir Walter Scott steamship. Trips on steamships have been going since 1859 and the Sir Walter Scott has been cruising Loch Katrine since 1899.

Visiting the Trossachs was also a great opportunity to eat at Venachar Lochside Restaurant, which I highly recommend and as luck would have it they were able to host us after our visit to Loch Katrine. Usually it’s very busy at the weekends and during the summer they close for wedding receptions, so it’s worth checking their website beforehand. Have added a photograph that I took before in winter from the garden of the restaurant, it is a great location to take photographs of Loch Achray and the surrounding countryside.

Loch Achray, winter 2017/18

Sparkling trail for you to follow

I visited the Carron Dams Local Nature Reserve this afternoon with the bright and sunny weather providing an ideal time to get some photographs of the recently installed sculptures. The reserve is a unique, wetland environment and is a legacy of the Carron Company which dominated the local landscape for over 200 years. 

Carron Company was founded in 1759 and in many respects drove the industrial revolution in Scotland. It acted as the mother ship for 100 years developing expertise around it, and providing the spark that prompted Glasgow to become the industrial giant it was. It’s national and global impact was remarkable, and its products remain widely known. Carron Dams was once the reservoir that powered Carron ironworks’ blast furnaces. It is now a wetland with several routes through the surrounding woodland.

There are many activities going on around the area but the reserve is well known for (dog) walking and cycling (especially mountain biking), but on a sunny day it is a great reserve to wander around and take in some clean air, now that the industry of the past has gone. I have added a fewof the pictures below, if you are local to this area I highly recommend a visit.

The snail has trail behind it with the words “Leaving my sparkling legacy. A trail for you to follow”.

Time passing

it seems hard to believe that we are well into April and I have not posted, or taken any photos since the beginning of the year. Have been busy with GIS and wrestling with Geoserver a lot, which isn’t really an excuse for not going out to take photographs or experiencing anything of life lately.

I do go through periods lacking inspiration for going out roaming, but I am starting to feel some good thoughts coming back and will hopefully get out soon, whatever the weather (as this is Scotland) and release the shutter a few times.

So, as I have nothing new to add I re-worked one of the last photographs that I took for nothing more than shits and giggles. Have just deleted all the photos out of the Photo’s app and on the desktop as I am “fairly” sure they are all in the Lightroom Catalogue. And let’s face it, if it isn’t in the catalogue was it really worth keeping anyway? Probably not, or probably not worth remembering.

When you’re too late for the sunset.

When you’re too late for the sunset.

New Year 2019

I think it is only appropriate to start this post by saying “Happy New Year” to my readers/followers. I have spent most of the festive period in digital isolation, which is a cute way of saying i have spent most of it in front of the television watching marathon sessions of Netflix. The only interaction I have in these periods is Netflix asking me if I am still watching? How do you disable that annoying feature anyway, if I wanted it paused I’d train the cat to pause it on command. My apple watch also tells me to get up once an hour, but I just put it round the cats neck to make sure that it thinks I am moving and alive.

I did venture out on New Years Day with absolutely no idea where I was going to drive to but I did have the foresight to pack my camera. As I pulled out of the driveway I had two thoughts, Fife or the Trossachs. The latter dominating my thoughts primarily as I was in the wrong lane on the motorway for Fife as I sailed past the junction.

The Trossachs generally refers to an area of wooded glens and braes with quiet lochs, lying to the east of Ben Lomond in the Stirling council area of Scotland. The name is taken from that of a small woodland glen that lies at the centre of the area, but is now generally applied to the wider region. It is part of the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park which opened in 2002.

I have posted below two shots, Loch Ard and the Lake of Mentieth. I was a little late for sunset, but I did manage to get a few locations that I can go back to.

Loch Ard at dusk

The Lake of Mentieth at dusk