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Thread: Lord of all I survey

  1. #1

    Lord of all I survey

    Its a long hard climb to the top,each ridge fooling you into thinking you have arrived,only for get another to appear ahead.

    Eventually you breast a ridge and there is the Lochan, a solitary Widgeon taking flight as you approach, and you wonder what attracted it to this high altitude, its now a case of a stroll across the plateau and a scramble
    up a short scree slope and you are finally there.

    Lay back and catch your breath before taking in the vista, this is one of my favorite places especially on a fine day at this time of year, when the Autumnal light has a clarity that you seldom see at other times.

    Colour might not be the first thing you would think of on a Scottish hillside but at this time of year there are a myriad of colours to please the eye.

    The deer grass is already turning to orange, the bloom on the heather is all but over, but there are still patches of purple and here and there splashes of scarlet where the leaves of Blaeberry have been touched by frost.

    Far below the birch trees on the burn side are golden unlike the ones on the low ground which are still green, and there a single rowan tree its leaves now a bright red in contrast with the grey of the rock it stands in front of.

    A couple of hundred yards distant a small bachelor herd of stags contentedly chewing the cud, there coats glowing a rich chestnut in the late summer sunshine, no sign yet of the aggression towards each other that will appear in the weeks to come.

    Along the lower slopes of the hill the bracken has taken on a multi coloured look green , yellow and reds from a pale tinge to a deep russet.

    Beyond the bracken a band of magenta, this is rosebay willowherb or fire weed as its more commonly known,this band of colour marks the railway line, fire weed as its name implies often grows where there have been fires in the past, and is common on railway embankments harking back to the days of steam and sparks from the engine.

    This is the line used by the Caledonian sleeper unofficially known as the deerstalker express, linking London Euston and Fort William which allowed members of the gentry to hop on the sleeper at Euston and arrive early in the morning at one of the stations along the line fresh and ready for a days stalking at an estate of their choosing.

    Further still many specks of colour can be seen a look through the binoculars confirms that it is people and the specks of colour that you saw were the jackets and backpacks of walkers on the military road now part of the West Highland Way, a walk that begins at Milngavie near Glasgow and ends at Fort William a total of 96 miles.

    Down in the glen one can see the ruins of a building this was the one time home of Duncan ban Macintyre an 18th century Gaelic poet, Duncan was to the Highlands what Burns was to the Lowlands, and his poems and songs were famous enough for him to go on tour and he was treated much like a modern day rock star.

    For much of his working life Duncan was a forrester, in these days a forrester looked after a hunting forest as in deer forest not trees, so much like a present day stalker, though at that time the deer were hunted not stalked, and this would have been his job when he lived in the house that can be seen from here.

    He was also a soldier for a time on the Loyalist side, though from some of his work it would appear that he had some sympathy for the Jacobite cause.

    He later moved to Edinburgh where he became a constable in the Edinburgh City Guard, the Guard was a company of foot soldiers, responsible for protecting the Scottish capital and its people, its main function was to act as a police force maintaining law and order and arresting miscreants, the Guard could also be called on to defend the city in times of emergency.

    Probably Duncan's main reason for moving to Edinburgh was his poetry in the 1700s Edinburgh was the place to be for a poet to make a name for himself and get his work noticed.

    Burns at this time was also living in Edinburgh, history does not record if the two men ever met, though its more than probable that they did, they would certainly have known of each others work.

    The main difference between Burns and Macintyre was that Burns had some education he wrote in both Lowland Scots and English and had an understanding of Latin, where as Macintyre was illiterate having to dictate his work to others for them to write down, his work was also all in his native Gaelic.

    Duncan died in 1812 in his 89th year and he is buried in Greyfriars kirkyard Edinburgh.

    I have so far only mentioned the immediate view but this point were I sit is close to being the centre of Scotland and commands vast views.

    To the north Rannoch moor and the mountains of Glencoe , in the west Loch Etive and in the far distance the island of Mull, to the east Shiehalliion and beyond, on a clear day its possible to make out the east coast and the North Sea, and to the south on a day such as today Arthurs seat at Edinburgh

    Even if it is but for a brief moment in time on a day like today I am indeed Lord of all I survey.
    Last edited by bogtrotter; 03-09-2014 at 23:58.

  2. #2
    Never had the good fortune to step foot anywhere like that. One day I will though, if I bother to renew my passport

  3. #3
    very nice description

  4. #4
    Nice write up.Cannot wait going to the hill again in October near Rannoch Station.

  5. #5
    You paint quite a picture! Much more creative than Instagram in my opinion. I would love to see this view in person though!

  6. #6
    Nice, keep them coming. I shall be in the west Highlands soon

  7. #7
    It's not always true that a picture paints a thousand words.

    Very nicely written, and far better than just a photograph, IMO.


  8. #8
    what a write up wish I was There.

  9. #9
    SD Regular Mr. Gain's Avatar
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    Aug 2011
    SW Birmingham (Rubery Rednal)

    The beauty of a fine verbal description betters a visual image in that it takes in each element in turn, rather than all at once, and makes each of them into a unique gift carefully selected by the eye of the beholder, crafted by hand, and delivered directly to the reader's imagination.
    "Docendo discimus" - Seneca the Younger (c. 4 BC – 65 AD)
    “Comodidad, tranquilidad y buena alimentacion” - A Spanish recipe for contentment that oddly omits hunting.
    "I'm off to spend some time at the top of the food chain..." - (after) Tulloch
    "Oh [dear], they probably heard that in the village!" - RickoShay

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