Dawn breaks dark and grey a marked change from the last few days which have been warm and spring like.
Its as if all the colour has been leeched from my surroundings and I am looking at a world in monochrome.
This has always been an eerie place and the light grey mist that hangs over everything does nothing to diminish that feeling.
The overhead sky is a dark gun metal grey becoming lighter above the eastern horizon where it takes on a chrome like appearance, becoming an ever increasingly darker grey as it drops below the horizon,then lighter again on the surface of the loch, where here and there tendrils of mist rise like smoke on the surface of the water.
Like grey ghosts a few hinds and followers can be seen drifting in and out of the Alders and bog Oak slowly making their way up the hill to where they will spend the daylight hours, having spent the night down on the flats feeding on cotton grass.
Cotton grass starts to grow early in Spring , having a higher nutritional content than most other moorland plants and is much sought after by deer, first the shoots and later the flowers , which are attractive also to Hares and Grouse, this is the same plant that later produces seed heads
that look like balls of cotton wool, but only if the flowers have escaped being eaten, which is why they are seldom seen in high numbers, unless they are growing where there are few deer or are in an area that has been fenced off.
Way out on the hill the eerie call of Curlews give away the presence of a travelling Fox, but its impossible to spot him in this poor grey light.
A Heron looking more like a Pterodactyl than a present day bird glides in and lands to stand one legged in the shallows to await the arrival of his breakfast.
There are tales of Kelpies or Each Uisge in this loch though I am never entirely sure which is which, the fable of the Kelpie varies from region to region and is Scotland's own shape shifter.
The Kelpie is a Celtic water spirit living in the pools of Scottish streams and rivers the Kelpie usually takes the form of a horse which will try to lure humans particularly children on to its back, where upon the unfortunate rider will find he is stuck, the Kelpie then returning to the river where it will devour them apart from the liver which the Kelpie apparently finds unpalatable.
There are variations of this tale told all over the Highlands usually involving ten children, nine of which are lured to their deaths the tenth escaping to tell the tale.
Sometimes the Kelpie is said to appear as a beautiful young woman who will attempt to lure young male travellers.
Each Uisge is a similar creature but its habitat is dark Highland lochs, sea lochs and even the sea on occasion.
While the Kelpie tries to lure humans Each Uisge is said to actively hunt them.
Though here alone I am not greatly concerned by water spirits, at this time in my life I think it unlikely that I would climb aboard a big black horse and try to ride it bare back, nor is my head likely to be turned by a young woman should she suddenly appear at dawn by a Highland loch.
However in the unlikely event of finding myself tempted by either scenario, I should think I would still be quite safe, knowing these water spirits penchant for young flesh, they would most likely find me to be well past my best before date.
A stiff breeze suddenly springs up and a squally shower skitters across the surface of the loch before dieing out as quickly as it started, a foretaste of whats to come.
Colour is starting to seep back in to my surroundings and its time I made a move before the weather closes in again