It’s nearly Christmas – and, more importantly for the wildlife, nearly the winter solstice when the year turns and the days start getting longer. But, given it is the festive season, let’s have some snowy pictures.
Monday was most unexpected. It had been (and still is) mild and wet, apart from on Monday night when we had a sudden fall of 6 inches of snow. All the trees were coated with it.
The woods just seem to turn monochrome in the snow. It’s a silent black-and-white world.
Rabbits look dark against a snowy background. In the deep snow, often all you can see is two ears!
Their tracks are everywhere. So which way was this one going? From top to bottom of picture-or bottom to top?
Splashes of colour come almost as a shock to the senses. The holly berries look impossibly scarlet against the snow.
Some pink peeping through the branches resolves itself into a redpoll, feeding on birch catkins.
While a treecreeper forages on the underside of a branch. They have to feed there as the top side of the branch is deeply covered with snow.
And a wren scrambles around a birch trunk, alert for any insect.
Loch Kinord was almost totally frozen, for the first time this year.
A combination of the wind and snow snapped a birch tree over the track. But that’s what chainsaws are for!
And then….it turned mild and wet again! It’s been 10 to14 degrees Centigrade here for the rest of the week and really doesn’t feel like December. All the snow vanished inside two days and the lochs are really high with the snowmelt and added rain.
The oaks are confused. Always last to lose their leaves, there are still a couple that look autumnal…..and one tree still has quite a bit of green in its leaves.
There has been the odd glimmer of sun but it gets dark so early when it’s overcast. These pines were photographed about half past one in the afternoon. Daylight? What daylight?
With the holidays approaching, we’re sorting out our winter opening hours. The walks, car park and toilets will be open all the time (barring fire, flood and emergency) and the visitor centre will be open on the days shown here.
And finally-as it’s Christmas- here’s the obligatory robin photo! This bold fellow was following us around the loch, in the hope we’d disturb something he could eat.
Merry Christmas and all the best for 2016!