|A lone paddler, walking to launch site on the Tay.|
As we left our flat in Perth for some exploring and light hiking up in Dunkeld, a paddler walked by shouldering his yellow kayak. My own yellow Atlantis Spartan VI sea kayak is so far away but he's snug and in the good company of two others back in Canada, all three under the watchful eye of a friend - who I rather think has a special place in her heart for "Spartan". He will be happily contemplating his own dreams and knowing that he will once again be back on the Salish Sea...in due time.
|The Tay, this day, under a Scottish achromatic sky.|
|The river takes it all in stride.|
At low tide, the flow quickens just a little, perhaps in anticipation of reaching the sea. People, gather on the shore, picnic, and dabble their feet in the cool, receding waters.
|A quieter moment, at one with the river.|
Fly fishermen can be seen casting their line out, wading ever further into the stream. It seems like such a contemplative activity, relaxing, even to watch from the shore.
|Standing, on the same spot that water skiers sped over, only hours before.|
A couple of days ago, we left the Tay to explore the town of Kinross, south of Perth, and walk an 11 km trail winding part way around Loch Leven. Looking out to a small island on the loch, it was astonishing to see the 14th century castle / prison where Mary, Queen of Scots was imprisoned for a year in 1567. There is such an incredible depth of history here. It is tangible to the senses.
|Loch Leven Castle, where some of history's "famous players" spent time.|
Yesterday, another easy hike from Dunkeld to the Loch of the Lowes, led to a wildlife preserve administered by the Scottish Wildlife Trust. The loch is designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest. It's possible here to view an amazing variety of wildlife, some of whom build rather impressive accommodations for themselves and their families! An osprey nest...more than five feet in diameter!
|This osprey nest is almost as big around as our backpacking tent!|
These easy country walks may not be gut-busting "grinds", those hikes that leave you with a delicious feeling of healthy exhaustion and exhilaration, but they sure sooth the spirit and connect you with this wonderful part of the world, and the folks who live here.
|Trying to figure out the combination - just kidding, Joan!|
|Such delicate beauty to be seen, everywhere...|
especially when you pause for just a moment.
|So many older folks here are fit and active...and outdoors, exploring.|
We thought they were a great example to us all - and told them so.
|Life can get complicated for plants too. :)|
|Take a very, very old stone house, |
knock out a wall, add glass and some skylights - wow!
|Historic Dunkeld Cathedral, amidst the trees.|