That time of year is upon us again, there is an autumnal feel in the air,if you are at a loose end and are in need of some distraction come walk with me in the glen if you will.
Its early morning and the mist is thick in the glen bottom,but you just know the sun will break through and it will be a fine day.
Along the glen bottom the bracken is starting to change colour, here and there Goldfinches are feeding on the seeds of the thistles that grow along the burn edge.
We decide to get a bit higher and maybe climb above the mist thats clinging to the glen bottom
we start up the side of a feeder burn, here there are some trees growing on the steep edges of the burn, where they have escaped the mouths of deer and sheep, mostly Alder Birch and Rowan and a small Scotch pine protruding from a crack in the rock, a natural bonsai.
The tops of the Alders and Birches glowing golden as the sun starts to break through, the Rowan's
are covered in orange and red berries, these will soon be stripped by the arrival of the Fieldfares
and their chack- chack will be heard throughout the glen.
Darting away up the burnside a Ring Ousel,and sitting on a rock at the waters edge his tail bobbing up and down a Grey Wagtail
not nearly as common as his cousin the Pied Wagtail.
We have now left the mist behind and are bathed in sunshine the sky is a cloudless blue and away below us the mist in the glen bottom looks like a huge Loch or even a sea,with the hill tops sticking out like Islands.
Suddenly we hear a musical wink wink as a skien of Pink feet pass high overhead, and in the distance an Eagle soars , we are now high on the hill but even this late in the year there are still
patches of heather in bloom the purple Ling
and here and there the more vivid coloured Bell heather.
Small birds dart about pipits or buntings, pipits I think , but I should know I have spent the best part of a lifetime seeing them and not giving them a thought, why don't I know? should have made more effort to find out.
Then I hear it a droning sound and my heart beats faster this is what has drawn me here, its the approaching Red deer rut, all summer long the stags have lived quite contented in bachelor groups up on the high tops, now they are starting to find there voices and a bit of aggression to wards each other is creeping in.
Any day now they could break and roaring will be heard the length of the glen this happens each year brought on by the shortening days, temperature also plays a part a couple of nights sharp frost can set it off.
Can't predict the exact date, but the Stags feel the stirring as it approaches as do those of us who stalk them.
Unfortunately no stag stalking for me anymore, I wonder how long I will continue to feel the quickening as this time of year approaches