Outdoor Discoveries

What originally was a news section for the rest of the website soon became a place for me to write about human-powered wanderings in the countryside. Photography inspires me to get out there, mostly on foot these days, though cycling got me started. Musings on the wider context of outdoor activity complete the picture, so I hope that there is something of interest in all that you find here. Thank you for coming!

First month of winter?

1st December 2009

It might be my Irish schooling but the thought that November is the first month of winter is ingrained in me while others consider it to be December. The current drop in temperatures after what may have been a relatively mild November may convince some but the deluges during what became the wettest November on record sent a very different message, one that is very persuasive when it comes to keeping you indoors unless you had the severe misfortune to bear the brunt of flooding that afflicted many in England. Scotland and Ireland.

This November's grottiness may have had a hand in my not getting in some outdoors action since October but winter often has its brighter occasions too and I am determined not to fall into hibernation either. That was one of the reasons why I headed up to Edinburgh over the past weekend. Apart from the chance to do some Christmas shopping, the promise of broken cloud allowing glimpses of blue skies and sunshine also held prospects for some photographic activity. On the day, the Edinburgh that I found was a grey foggy one so the camera stayed out of use apart from some experimentation. Ironically, I might have had more luck with the sun if I had stopped off among the Southern Uplands or the Cumbrian fells though there was plenty of low cloud about in those parts too. It wasn't something on which I dwelt with the other things that I got sorted. As it happened, a copy of The Sutherland Trail (yes, it's the Cameron McNeish and Richard Else one) proved too tempting to leave after me so it has now joined the others on my reading list.

The mention of the latter volume brings me to something that seems to be in the offing with good weekend weather prospects for the West Highlands. As ever, the weather that actually awaits me is another matter but the escapade still makes a getaway from the winter everyday and that is what really is needed. Hopefully, a little winter sunshine will brighten up things and a spot of pleasing hill country exploration would be very much appreciated too. After last weekend, I am not going to get up my hopes to heady heights so I'll go with whatever comes my way. Well, open mindedness like this can be rewarded as my Western Isles escapade proved so very adeptly last year.

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