Compo

Out and about with Compo

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Winter will soon be with us once again. This was my upper garden in January:

 

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A winter squall off Britain's most northerly mainland point, Dunnet Head:

 

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The sun shone yesterday morning so I took advantage of the rare fine day (Heavy rain and lightning later) and did a coastal walk from Beriedale to Dunbeath. The vegetation is now quite tall, so gaps in the clifftop path were difficult to spot and the chance of a plunge down 200+ft of cliff was never far away :blink: I took some photos, many of which I have deleted; the remainder will appear here, perhaps tomorrow. I use RAW format for my photos, so it takes a wee bitty of time to transpose them and edit for posting here. Meanhwile how's this for a lovely piece of treasure trove.... a huge 1½lb puffball fungus. I found it on the walk and have been enjoying puffball with each meal since!

 

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My bike ride this morning produced these two sightings. A Reed Bunting and a Yellowhammer. Sorry abotu the quality but they wouldn't keep still!

 

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Saturday morning dawned bright and clear so we took a walk along the Berriedale to Dunbeath clifftops.  The weather deteriorated as the morning wore on but we made it to Dunbeath before the thunderstorm broke. Here's a few pictures taken during the walk.

 

Berriedale to Dunbeath part1. Mostly wildflowers:

 

A John O'Groats traill marker:

 

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Wildflowers abounded along the walk:

 

A Spotted Heath Orchid:

 

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Foxgloves and grasses, all in flower. The grass pollen hung like a mist in the air:

 

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A Field Scabious:

 

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Berriedale to Dunbeath part 2. The scenery:

 

Berriedale from the north:

 

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An Dun:

 

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A sea arch:

 

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Close up of the arch:

 

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Same arch from the north:

 

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Yet another Caithness sea stack:

 

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A lonely house on the hill:

 

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Berriedale to Dunbeath part 3. Other stuff from the walk:

 

Part of the seabird colony on An Dun:

 

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Dotted around the 147miles of John O'Groats trail from Inverness to John O'Groats are walkers visitors books. They are contained in boxes like this:

 

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The hole in the drystone wall is known as a "Sheep Creep".

 

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The entrance to Dunbeath castle:

 

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Dunbeath harbour. the end of the walk:

 

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Brilliant stuff Compo, as usual ! Magnificent scenery.

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Berrriedale to Dunbeath extra:

 

You think you have found a lovely, shady litte stream to follow in a wooded gorge but just twenty paces from where I stood the stream tumbled over the cliff edge as a waterfall.

 

The stream:

 

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Twenty paces further along it becomes this:

 

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Good job you weren't talking and not looking, could have been nasty but I suspect all the walking you do you can expect the unexpected.

Fantastic photos you must love it there.

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Not so nice when yet another wind farm plan is announced. It is now very difficult to get a photo of the countryside without one in view.  There are 86 just offshore here - soon to be extended to 360!

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Perhaps if you researched the actual risks involved with a nuclear power plant you would be surprised to learn just how small they. It's a fact, for an instance, that more radioactivity is emitted from Ratcliffes chimney than any leakage from a nuclear plant.

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15 hours ago, Deepdene Boy said:

I'd still rather have unsightly wind farms than a bloody great nuclear power station with all their inherent risks. 

 

 

We've had the Dounreay nuclear site up here since the 1950s and the only problems were caused by people not following the rules in the early days. Dounreay brought badly needed investment into a depopulating area and stabilised the county for the duration of the site. It is still the biggest employer in the area.  Windfarms on the other hand, have brought destruction of peat lands, deforestation and landscape devaluation. They provide big profits for a few, big bills for the many and practically no jobs after construction.  I'd rather take my chances with the nuclear site, as would many up here.

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5 hours ago, Deepdene Boy said:

Try telling the inhabitants of Chernobyl that.

 

Chernobyl is always quoted as proof of how dangerous nuclear power is. It was not due to any danger inherent in nuclear generation, it was the result of human error and  poor maintenance. Many more deaths have occurred in the mining industry. 

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Scaremongers were patrolling the beach one day some years ago when I was sitting in the sunshine near Sellafield. They approached me with their clipboards and asked if I realised what danger I might be in, sunbathing so close to a nuclear plant. I said that if it resulted in me growing two heads it would make me twice as smart. They left me in peace.

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The pinnacle Beinn Dearg, Torridon, NW Scotland:

 

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Standing on top of the pinnacle looking south. That's a river in the glen below.:

 

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Beinn Dearg summite cairn looking at Beinn Eighe:

 

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Beinn Alligin from Beinn Dearg.

 

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A highland stream in the hills

 

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SWMBO on the way up Beinn Dearg

 

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As normal fantastic landscape, I wish I was there, keep the photographs coming.

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Thanks Trogg.

 

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Vistas I am never likely to see in real life... great pics..

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Yet again, Well done Paul.

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12 hours ago, Compo said:

Beinn Dearg summite cairn looking at Beinn Eighe:

Brilliant photos Compo thanks for posting. I particularly like the one with SWMBO on it with the two rivers that flow into the lake or is it loch? A person in the frame gives you an idea of the scale.

 

When I used to fell walk and climb in the late 60's and early 70's it was the custom to add another stone to a summit cairn when you reached the top, is it still done? or have all the local stones been used up and you have to take one up.

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Adding a stone (Stane) is still the custom, Oz, but the winter storms often cause the cairns to collapse if they get too tall.  The "Loch" is Loch Torridon and is tidal. A person in teh frame is great for perspective but in many of thet hills in the north of Scotland, you don't see anyone all day! 

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A winter walk in central Caithness:

 

The end of the road

 

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A bend in the river. See the ice in the water on the bend? It is "Pancake Ice" and forms when freezing water swirls around an ice particle. See the photo after this one for closer views of Pancake Ice.

 

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Pancake Ice:

 

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Another look at the Pancake Ice

 

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SWMBO in the wilderness

 

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A footbridge at Dirlot

 

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And finally - Me!

 

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