Retreating to nature

I’ve spent the last couple of days in Killin as part of a PhD retreat but managed to get some private retreat time, too. This (and the previous) story is about one of my personal treks on the retreat. You can read about the PhD side of the retreat here.

On the second day of the retreat, we had the morning free for activities before an afternoon of presentations. Once again, I was left solo on my activity choice because I didn’t fancy sailing or mountain biking, and it seemed no one else fancied a wee nature walk and exploration of an old burial ground.

(It’s OK; I’m learning to accept that I’m in this world on my own. And I’m learning to find peace with that.)

So, I set off on my way for the walk (which included a fair bit of skipping, too, if I’m honest). Because I was on my own, I had the luxury of stopping to look at anything and everything I wanted, and for as long as I wanted. This means that I got to enjoy the smallest snail I’ve ever seen, as well as several pretty flowers and trees. (I may have even talked to the sheep a bit, as you do.)

The main reason for my decision to walk into town was so that I could see Inchbuie – a wee island on River Dochart that is home to the Clan MacNab burial grounds – and the Falls of Dochart. Other highlights included lots and lots of nature stuff and an old mill. (And I bought myself a fun-and-funky necklace from a charity shop in town!)

After tooling about in town, I returned to the centre for lunch before an afternoon of presentations – including one by me!

I hope that the photos speak for themselves, and I apologise in advance for not identifying all of the flowers. Mum and Ant Elizabeth (or anyone else) are welcome to tell me what they are and I’ll update the captions.

5 Replies to “Retreating to nature”

  1. You might say “Pretty yellow flowers”, but I say “noxious weed”. (Of course, Scotch Broom is only an invasive noxious weed over here. In Scotland it’s probably not quite so invasive.) At any rate, I love the photos…so many yellow flowers! That’s a nice looking river, too!

    1. So I’m guessing you don’t have proper names for the others I’ve not labelled? Or will I check my email later for a full list of corrections? 🙂

      1. The first flower could be a wild primrose. The tree possibly in the alder family. (Those little wormy thingys gave me quite a fright when I was a toddler. I thought they were worms…this was before I found out that worms are fun.)

        At first I thought the shrub could be forsythia, but it’s not quite the same as the one in our neighbor’s yard…possibly witch hazel? I’m pretty sure Elizabeth will know. And the last one looks similar to buttercup…but maybe not quite.

        At any rate, whatever the flowers are, they’re quite beautiful! Oh! And no idea about the white one…Elizabeth?

  2. Very nice pictures. The first certainly looks like a primrose. then of course, the nasty (here anyway) Scotch Broom. I have cut and pulled thousands of them from my wee 3 acre property, and will continue to do so until they are gone.

    The yellow lacy flower is an azalea. Some of them have a beautiful fragrance too. The tree with new growth looked like a grand fir, but I am sure there are other species in Europe that we don’t have here.

    Oh, the wormy tree does look like an alder, but the catkins seem much bigger than the varieties we have here. It could be the same family tho, perhaps an ancestral variety.

    The shiny yellow flower is a buttercup, or ranunculus. I have a million of them in my yard. the deer here do not graze (eat grass), but they are browsers, which means they munch on the broadleaf ‘weeds’ in my yard, such as ranunculus, vetch, dandy-lion, clover, etc. They just need to eat more of them so they will go away.

    The white flower with 4 petals has me stumped as well. The 4 petals is like a dogwood (cornus) but the center is not right, nor the leaves (tho difficult to make out). OK, I just looked in a british flower guide and I think it is a ‘Dame’s violet.” (Hesperis Matronalis) Was it fragrant?

    Oh, and the dry ‘dead head’ is Queen Anne’s lace, a member of the carrot family, also called wild carrot. If you pull it, the root will look like a carrot and the leaves are curly like a carrot and if you crush them, your hand will smell of carrot.

    There is your botany lesson of the day. thanks for sharing all the photos. I always enjoy the similarities to here, as well as the differences. I will be doing a walkabout in my yard today as I have been away for several weeks (in hospital and then caring for one in and out of hospital) I need some rest and nature. I will be taking pictures of what’s what in my yard. Yesterday we had a doozy of a hail storm which shredded many leaves on my young fruit trees and even put holes in some tiny asian pears that had already set fruit-bummer. Now I know how gardening is in CO where the hail can destroy your entire garden in minutes.

    Love you! Ant Elizabeth

    1. I knew the buttercup one, but thanks both for identifying the rest. I need to get a book on the local flora and fauna one of these days!

      I keep meaning to do a full-on floral tour of the city so that I can share photos with the two of you. One day that will happen. In the mean time, I will try to get photos of flowers when I’m looking at other things – especially as I know you seem to enjoy them!


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