Re Learning the Seasons
The highlands of Scotland loom large in the imaginations of writers and members of the diaspora. For those who are curious, here is a perspective on life on the edge of the North from an American from the heartlands.
When my friend had a chore to do in Dingwall and she asked if I would like to go with her and make a trip out of it, I knew it would be a good time; I just had no idea what kind of a good time. The photos are snaps of the view out our window in the little bed and breakfast in a fishing village south of here called Avoch (pronounced something like awk). My friend found it by happy accident when the B and B next door was not able to accommodate us. It would be hard to imagine a lovelier setting. That was the first treat of the adventure. The day was as beautiful as the photo suggests with soft air, bright sun, just a bit of coolness in the air to say that Autumn was coming. A particular treat for me was the sight of trees, deciduous trees with leaves in colours of the season as I know it. I love the heather and the barley and the lovely grey stonescapes, but I miss trees. In my zeal, I planted an orphaned Acer (genus of Maple trees) that I bought for a pound at the local charity shop. Although it is only 13 inches tall and has only three leaves, the leaves managed to stay on the tree and to turn a cheery red within the protection of the walled garden. These full size trees put the brave little Acer's display to shame, but they have many years on her. I believe in her. In time she will rival these grand dames.
I promised my friend Keith that I would discover the truth about cow tipping as I became a proper cowgirl. As an added bonus for all my urban readers, I'll throw in a bit about sheep tipping, too.
Working cats, like working people everywhere, have varying degrees of success and ease. Life in the North of Scotland should never be considered easy, especially for cats making it on their own. I have seen them working the tall grass along the farm road for little varmints that I hope they think are tasty or pouncing on baby rabbits, where, I must admit, my loyalties are somewhat divided. I trust that there are some large, sturdy cats working in the barns that may from time to time stand off the larger rodents. I try not to think too much about the large rodents other than a generic gratitude for those sturdy cats.
This church on the hill is open only one day a year. A friend researched its history and through her efforts made an opportunity to open the church to display the history and the beauty of the simple church which she has been researching.
I have been pretty quiet in virtual life because I have been very busy with interesting but taxing adventures--a job application, a driving exam (only the first half of it), and creative projects--a writing assignment and putting two craft projects into an exhibit. In between I have been trying to persuade orphan kittens out of the barn they think of as sanctuary and helping shift cattle.