Changes are coming fast as spring staggers unsteadily forward; there was snowfall at the start of this week and temperatures/wind chill such that hat and gloves were on once again.
The oak tree I’m following for Track a Tree: buds near the base of the tree, 20th April.
Are my efforts entering a new phase? Maybe I’ll reduce the number of photo points I want to use as part of my John Muir Award about the seasons. The photo point facing due west is a challenge – I didn’t expect that a great proportion of visits would be in the evenings as is turning out to be the case. But retaining all the points would give me the choice to share most of, or just a part of, the story with others. Pruning things a bit might help, though, and at my next visit I will keep this in mind. My guiding diagram/map as yet remains the same (much like the song). See JMA mind map.
This is a little island just south of Milarrochy Bay. The first photo was on 3rd April, while the second was taken on 20th April. There is a big change in the level of Loch Lomond, but you can also see that the positions for each photo are definitely not the same! Time of day, weather…it all makes a difference to the exercise, as I am learning (slowly). This one is into the setting sun of an evening, just to make things tougher for a total beginner.
I have often used the wee island as a guide to progress when hurrying along the path (why am I sometimes hurrying? I can explain…) and to help locate a little crag of serpentinite, part of the ‘Highland Border ophiolite’, which in turn is part of the Highland Boundary Fault Zone. See this leaflet about the geology of the area between Balmaha and Milarrochy Bay, from Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park. Ophiolites are amazing remnants of oceanic crust which can give a relatively easy view of that assemblage of rocks found beneath the deep oceans. The Shetland isle of Unst is a great place to see ophiolite (see http://www.shetlandamenity.org/shetlands-geology,) as are Oman and Cyprus (haven’t seen these last two myself).
I found a photo I took a while ago of the little serpentinite crag by the path near Arrochymore Point (GPS for scale) and one of similar rock on Shetland (footprints for scale)
Update: October 2015. Here’s another photo of the serpentinite crag by the WHW south of Milarrochy Bay.
Speed of travel? My evening visit with friend SC was a leisurely time of great discovery for me, and I managed to keep the slow pace on my last solo visit, phoning home a couple of times to say I’d just be a wee while longer…. Maybe the best bit of my learning so far is about different ways of seeing, or trying to see rather than just to look; enjoying being in the trees by the loch and not getting too hung up about the photos or even the details. “…for going out….was really going in.” John Muir, quoted in R Macfarlane’s introduction to Nan Shepherd’s ‘The Living Mountain’. The sounds and sights of this beautiful woodland are a revelation best experienced when I slow down and try to stay still to be among the magic.