A ‘rest day’ on Cairn Lochan

Cairn Lochan, Cairngorms

After returning from my short backpacking trip in the Cairngorms I planned to have a rest day before working at the weekend. But as I sat in my caravan on the camp site where I work (and live on work days and others) eating a leisurely breakfast the sun came out and lit up the Cairngorm. This was too good an opportunity to miss, so I changed my mind and changed my clothes into hiking gear. I may make some of you a wee bit jealous now when I tell you I walked into the Cairngorm mountains directly from my ‘home’. No cars or buses needed – I simply shut my door and set off on foot.
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Three days in the Cairngorms

Tomintoul to Glenmore: Linn of Avon to Fords of Avon

The weather forecast was not looking good for my planned mid-week trip in the Cairngorms. Rain, wind, and the summits hidden in cloud all 3 days. But I was psyched up to get out there into the hills, so a change of plan was called for. I browsed the maps and decided that I’d tackle a walk in the glens instead of the tops. Neil dropped me off at Tomintoul and I was to spend 3 or 4 days walking back to Glenmore – to be back for the weekend for work.
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A three-day low(ish) Cairngorms backpack

Camping at Fords of Avon

Last week I did a short backpacking trip in the Cairngorms. The original plan had been for Neil and I to head to the high hills, but after checking the weather forecast (rain, rain and more rain) Neil suddenly decided he had work to do! 🙄 However I was psyched up for a trip between my weekends at work and decided to do a lower level solo trip.

Neil dropped me off at Tomintoul and I walked back to Glenmore via Glen Avon and the Lairig Laoigh, beside Bynack More. Day one was nice easy walking – but tough as I was carrying too much weight (eg a 2-person tent). Day two rained non-stop the whole day. I’d really like to go back to walk Glen Avon again when I can see the scenery. The third day was showery, but pleasant.

I’ll write a full trip report shortly.

Early summer in the Caledonian Pinewoods

Abhain Ruigh-eunachan burn, Glenmore
The typical riparian scene in the ancient Caledonian Pinewoods is a mixture of pine, silver birch, downy birch. alder and goat willow.

I’m revisiting the Scots Pine trees I mentioned ten days ago, to show the flowers again. A friend mentioned noticing the red blooms on the trees. These two pictures show how the male flowers are initially covered in red scales which protects the pollen. The red scales are now beginning to fall off and the yellow pollen can clearly be seen.
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